The choice power plant that propelled the Maserati brothers to victory since their presence was known in 1914 has predominantly been the Twin-Cam, Twin Plug, straight 6-cylinder engine. A combination of torque, balance, power and lightness, it was a durable engine that was predominately the basis for much of their success. This engine found its way into the Grand-Prix winning 250F as well as road cars alike, such as the A6 Series, and of course Maserati’s first mass-produced sports car, the 3500GT. Unfortunately the quintessential Maserati power plant was not immortal. By 1963 the demand for power was ever pressing amongst the exotic/supercar manufacturers and an all-new twin-cam V8 would replace the 6-cyldiner, first debuting in the Quattroporte. Thus the last car to carry the fabled 6-cylinder, twin cam, twin plug race bred power plant was the Maserati Mistral. Penned by Frua, clothed in aluminum, and designed, as a GT car to be rivaled by only the best the Mistral was the end of an era for Maserati but a true masterpiece in many ways.
The example on offer, chassis # AM109072 according to the accompanying Classiche Documentation was ordered on December 9th, 1963 for a Mr. Mariano Benvenuto through the selling dealer Ditta Orfeo Ferasin. Its specifications as new were for Closed Frua Coachwork, finished in Azzuro Vincennes (Light Blue) over Red Connoly leather interior and fitted with Borrani Wire Wheels. It was delivered on July 8th 1964 to its ordering owner in the Lavis-Trento region of Italy. Exact history beyond this point is not entirely known. The next hint to this continuing story is that the car carries a weathered California Blue plate on the back showing that registration number “002 BZR” was last registered in 1978. Upon finding the car, and searching, behind the drivers seat in a storage compartment, was the matching tag belonging on the front of the car, perfectly preserved and still in it’s wrapping. We can only assume that the car made its way from Italy to the United States some time in the 1970’s. It carried the CA tag it has now from 1977 at least. What is said to be known is that the car was found in California in 2013, sitting partially outdoors since about 1980. 34 years off the road and awaiting restoration, and currently showing what is believed to be 47,000 original Kilometers.
Unfortunately, the California heat and sun has taken a devastating toll on his example. Obviously for total restoration, this Mistral is complete however and has many elements of originality. Lots of items from the hoses, clamps, ignition wires and even some factory markings still remain. The body appears to be solid throughout with minimal corrosion, given that it is an alloy bodied car there would be little to begin with. There are a few dents, and the nose looks to have been tapped at one point and fixed, but nothing too invasive. The interior is totally dried out, shrunken, but it is all there in terms of accessories, knobs, pulls and the little hard-to-find items. The engine bay is largely untouched and looks to have been running when parked as nothing seems to have been taken off or stripped from the car over the years.
The major issues these cars suffer from is corrosion where the chassis meets the body as the substructure of the body/chassis is steel and the body is aluminum, as a result electrolysis occurs and corrosion is often evident. This car will require some rust repair in various places.
Maserati Mistrals have been under-valued in the market place for some time. As values have risen across the board, the Mistral gives way to the very fact that it is the last genuine 6-cylinder Maserati to be produced and it is this fact that absolutely qualifies it as a worthwhile and investment-grade marque and model. This is a fantastic base for anyone who is ready to restore one to perfection. Best original colors, options, known early history, and complete for total refurbishment this is an opportunity worth much consideration.
Available Documentation:(Click the links below to view the files)