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Heated Storage Find: 1966 Maserati Mistral

Imagine owning a celebrated sports car for just under ten years and then parking it for the next few decades due to an issue with the fuel injection. Seems crazy, right? Well, crazy or not, that’s the story behind this 1966 Maserati Mistral coupe here on eBay that’s been locked away in a heated garage for years. With the owner having now passed, a dealer in Oregon has put the Maserati up for sale and bidding is rapidly closing in on $50K.

The Maserati is practically completely original. The red leather interior is still impressively supple and details like the matching shifter boot and awesome wood-rimmed wheel remain in place. After the running issues associated with the fuel injection system developed, the owner drained the fluids, put the car on jackstands and left it waiting for a repair job that never materialized. While I’ve let projects slip before, I can’t imagine walking past a Mistral coupe every day without wanting to dive in and return it to the road.

The body remains in impressive condition, and the seller emphasizes that all of the photos show the Maserati in its as-found state with no detailing performed. Aside from some discoloration on the hood and a dent here and there, the Mistral appears straight and true. The knock-off wheels are fantastic, and the lack of rust backs up the claims about proper storage. The tool roll and jack are also included, and the chrome is said to be un-pitted. This is the rare case where the body and interior don’t need to be restored (and shouldn’t be).

If the fuel injection issue is just that, getting this Maserati’s desirable 4.0 inline-six to fire again shouldn’t be too complicated – but hey, I’m not a Maserati mechanic. On my HiAce, the injectors and the fuel pump were both suspect, so perhaps a similar issue is what took this Mistral out of commission. Regardless, it sports all the right options and is quite unrepeatable in its current state. With the impressive cosmetics and proper storage as key selling points, I suspect this Mistral is going to drive home a strong sale.

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    I know we teased the dyslexic’s a while back. Of all the maladies to have, I’d think dyslexia would be the least serious, compared to what some folks have to deal with. Sometimes, it’s nice to sit back and have a chuckle, in good taste, about our problems. Gives us a well needed break. With that said, I always thought this car was named “Mistrial”, even though, I know nothing about it, except it looks like a magnificent automobile. Next to a Ferrari ( or some wild exotic), Maserati, it seemed, was the king of all sports cars. Just the name conjures up images of high revving, pipes a’ screamin’, 5 speed ( I’m sure) mayhem. Did Maserati ever make an “econobox”? Better have deep pockets for this one.

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    • Jeff Lavery Jeff Staff

      Ironically, I’ll bet that those who deal in the art of lawyer-ing and mistrial-ing were the target audience for the car!

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      • Woodie Man

        That ll be ten days in the county jail for misdemeanor punning

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    • bob

      Just to let you know, the mistral (for which this car is named)
      is a strong, cold, northwesterly wind that blows from southern France into the Gulf of Lion in the northern Mediterranean

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      • Woodie Man

        Wait….I have alternative facts…….

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  2. RayT Member

    Not the biggest fan of the Mistral’s styling, but have always loved six-cylinder Maseratis. This one is WAY overpriced — translation: I can’t afford it — and I’m surprised that the flipper/seller didn’t address the “fuel injection problem” and jack the price up even more. Not knowing, I’d have to assume it’s something a little more problematic than a clogged injector….

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  3. Larry Brantingham

    The fuel injection on these was an early Lucas mechanical type first used in the 1960 3500GTi. I’ve read that few people then and fewer now know how to set it up. Many cars were converted to Webers in period, so it is not too surprising that it was put aside when it went wrong.

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  4. Adam T45

    Please don’t tell my wife, but I think that I’m in love with another woman! She’s gorgeous.

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    • KeithK

      I think then your Mistral would be your Mistress.

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      • Adam T45

        Very clever. I’m impressed!

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  5. sunbeamdon

    Ann and Nancy where are you?? I hear the Mistral Wind calling me!

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  6. Dave Wright

    I owned and drove nearly the identical car for 10 years. Lots to comment on. The Lucas fuel injection is a robust trouble free system but takes an experianced hand to do initial set up. Injectors are adjusted via shims whitch stay in adjustment well but can be a struggle to reset if needed. I had mine set up by Richard Crump near Cambridge before shipping it back to the US and never had as much as a hiccup from it. It did run a bit rich at the altitude I lived at in Utah but the fix could have been worse than the ailment. This is an aluminum bodied car, so no rust. Even the steel tube frame resists corrosion well. Paint,body and interior work costs the same whether you are doing a fine car or a cheep one, these cars in nice condition, are easily eclipsing the 120,000 mark, in these days of 3,000,000 Ferraris, these are a bargain. They are a robust simple engine that is much more reliable that the V12 cars and very close to the same performance.

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    • Bruce Best

      I had a 1966 Sebring Series II with exactly the same engine. There is a place in Kansas City that can repair the Lucas Fuel Injection. The man’s name is Brian Haupt and I can back up your statement that these are wonderful systems if you maintain them properly and make certain they are set up right.

      As compared to a Ferrari of a similar year these are much better cars for the road. They are just a airs breath away in performance but much easier to live with. As of note the distributer is a 12 plug system for all of these engines have two plugs per cylinder.

      There are those that put three dual Webber carbs on with a new manifold but those generally do not make as much power and I know some people that have had drivability issues with that change. The English version of the TR-5 or here the TR-250 had this same form of injection.

      The weak points on the engine are the head gaskets and the water pump. The water pump can be rebuilt as last I know by MIE out of Seattle Washington. There are much better gaskets as well making these much better cars to keep running.

      I drove mine from Baltimore to Kansas City without a problem and I had a number of short trips.These are very fun cars and I expect soon the price will go up dramatically.

      As for drivability just remember you are on NARROW TIRES that you can induce throttle breakaway without too much effort. Learn how to drive one on a very big open parking lot before you get too much into the car. They drive very well but differently than modern cars. The brakes are very good and the steering is lighter than you might expect.

      I have driven a number of 250 and 275 Ferrari models and I much prefer the Maseratis as transportation. The Ferraris had for the most part a better looking body but the interiors of the Maseratis are build for real people.

      If you get a chance see a convertible version of the Mistral for it is one of those cars that does not photograph well. It is truly beautiful where the hard top version is little heavy looking.

      This is an easy fix. If someone needs to have the fuel injection fixed have them touch base with me thru this site. Good luck.

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  7. Dolphin Dolphin Staff

    SCM says the median auction price paid for coupes has been just under $200K. They made 828 coupes, so not as rare as some but way rarer than most. The Spyders go for about $700K and they made 120 of those.

    IIRC the designer was Frua, who had a distinctive style, and I really like these Mistral coupes, maybe even more than the 3500 GT. With the reliable drivetrain these have, and assuming this car is in good shape and doesn’t need a tune by Richard Crump (or Clive Box, who was his associate I think), then it is a screaming bargain at the current bid. But I don’t think it will stay at $52K for long.

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  8. Dave Wright

    You are correct on all counts (was it Rob Box?, I have to dig out there book)……..the spiders have always been very expensive. I have lost my Maserati experts here in this country. We are all getting old…….need to find one to tune my Quatroporte. Richard is a great guy….when I was in Europe last fall, I heard he is still alive, has to be in his 90’s. I would find the expert on this car these days, have it tuned and set up, a high end detail and drive it.

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  9. Rob

    Another word for the ‘Dealer’, who probably bought it for a song, due to its injection problems.. a Professional Flipper.

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    • Imperialist1960

      There is no shame in flipping a car, is there?

      I have been through about 40 and the profit supports my hobby. Not a dime out of my main income goes into any of my cars and wife does not question $500 carburetors or other items that show up on the doorstep/cars that show up in the hobby area of the house. I maintain a truck and trailer with a winch in a metro area that does not readily support storing them, and I watch the for-sale ads and move on stuff that looks like a deal. I then present the car “properly” to others for their buying consideration at a profit to myself.

      -So what?

      The car above was presumably not illegally stolen from the estate, and was purchased at a price that they agreed to. I see no crime here. What did I miss?

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      • Scot Douglas

        I think the biggest problem is that we are jealous one of us didn’t find it first. 🙂

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  10. S Ryan

    A Maserati that ran for 10 years with out being rebuilt.
    That’s some kind of record somewhere.

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  11. Rob

    Like I said, it’s now gone over low Blue Book, so I’m sure that ‘Dealer’ will be getting a nice tidy profit, w/o doing anything but advertising it, i.e. when it’s all said and done..

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  12. Klharper

    The place to get parts and info on the FI system is http://www.powerprops.com in Holland.
    I have worked on a few of these systems on maserati and triumph TR6. Both systems are very similar and that is the euro TR6. I don’t have enough experience to call myself an expert but from what I have seen it is a reasonably good mechanical system, and the biggest problem with it is when something is not quite right with the engine the FI system is blamed.
    Most of my limited work experience has been on a Sebring which has the same basic layout as the mistral. I think that the mistral is a better looking car than the Sebring, but that is down to taste.
    I wish I had found this one before the dealer had.
    Kevin

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  13. George

    my favorite matchbox car as a kid…

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  14. Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    I always liked these though never thought of them as Ferrari competition.

    It’s missing 6 cylinders!

    Never knew they came with Lucas injection, thought the Webers were stock.

    Love the lines.

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  15. Joe - Sports Car Shop Joe Potter Member

    Just finished a full engine build on a Maserati 3500 GTI (Lucas). The engine is amazing. Much more low end torque than a 250 Ferrari and thus nicer to drive around town. The Lucas injection is simple and very accurate. Between the twin spark and the injection I can get the best numbers I have ever achieved from a vintage car with the gas analyzer.

    Joe Potter

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    • Bruce Best

      I completely agree with your assessment. While they did not have the extra six cylinders they had the low end torque and were generally within 5% of the maximum horsepower of the Ferraris of a similar year so generally they were a better drive.

      In the day the Maserati were purchased by movie stars, wealthy business men and political bigwigs and some racing drivers. The six’s were much easier to keep on the road and the engine was an almost exact replica of their Formula 1 racing engines just de tuned to make them drivable on the regular fuel of the day. Beautiful photo I know a number of people that would like a photo of all four sides of that beauty. Thank you for posting.

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    • Mike Burnett

      Joe,

      Absolutely love the engine support rig/radiator/ diagnostic panel. Where can I get one, please?

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      • Joe - Sports Car Shop infuriarsi Member

        Mike that stand that I use is made by a company named easy run. About the best one I have found for simple ease of use. Most of these are set up for a V8. I have found this one is quite nice to use for the varied pickup points on Italian and British engines

        Joe

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  16. Seaton Howell

    When I was a lot younger I had one of these. The problem will be found in the trunk on the right side. THE FUEL PUMP. I had the problem with mine and wound up getting another one out of a 3500 Sebring. It had two and did not need both. Pump pressure had to be about 1200 lbs in order to work properly. Back in 1975 a new one was about $1200.00.

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  17. Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    Great, now you guys have convinced me that I need a Maserati Six.

    What is the block cast in steel or alloy?

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    • Bruce Best

      Alloy block and steel liners. The transmission are almost all ZF and the rear axles are the same supplier as those for Jaguar of a similar year. Only the engine and body/frame are unique to Maserati. The door handles are like so many of the era Alfa but much of what you will need to put one back on the road is relatively easy to get.

      The factory can be a tremendous help as can MIE. Good luck. I know my Sebring Series II I had to sell to cover my late wife’s medical bills sold for just under $300K and that was 5 years ago. I truly hated to sell that car. Well there is always the lottery LOL

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  18. Dave Wright

    I joined MIE when it was first started by Andy Monderono…..spelling might not be correct. He was a furniture store owner in the Seattle area that tried to corner the Maserati market. I quickly learned he was a serious crook. I would order parts from the factory for 1/3 the price he was asking (the factory parts manager, Mr Bignoli, knew my car well, he was the only one that spoke English in the department) Andy was constantly trying to buy my car cheep. I spoke to the new owners last fall and was pleasantly surprised at there knowledge and prices. I am going to go visit them when things thaw out some here at the ranch. I think they are in Everett now.

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  19. Mike Burnett

    Thanks Joe, I have contacted the company concerning their engine test beds.

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  20. Dave Wright

    Sold…….137,299.00…………155 bids

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