How Brave Are You? 1967 Maserati Mistral

This car is the opportunity of a lifetime–for the right, very brave individual who’s wanted a vintage Maserati exotic car for a long time! It’s listed for sale here on eBay at no reserve, and with bidding at only $25,000 as I write this and the average value on Hagerty’s site being $193,000, there’s a lot of room to get this car right. However, as you might expect, there’s an issue or two! The 1967 Mistral is located in┬áBremerton, Washington–for the moment.

The Mistral was produced from 1963 to 1970, and this version, the 4.0 liter engined one, is considered the most desirable coupe. From what I was able to find, cars like this could do around 135-140 mph at the top end and had good (for the time) 0-60 times of under seven seconds. That’s pretty quick even now! And what modern cars have the Frua style that this one does!

Whoops! Something missing here! That’s right, the 4.0 liter straight six isn’t in the car. The former owner purchased the car in 1969, and parked it in 1978 in Kitsap County, Washington after pulling the engine for a rebuild (the reason is undisclosed). And it’s sat ever since. What a shame!

Rebuilding a Maserati engine, especially one that has been apart for so long, is quite a daunting task. As I wrote in the title, “how brave are you?” Not only is it almost assured that something will be missing, there’s a reason those exotic car repair shops get so much money for engine work. And I’ll hunt down and personally spray with used hypoid gear oil the first person that suggests an LS transplant!

The interior is actually in quite serviceable condition, with only minor issues. That air conditioning unit looks pretty interesting to me as well! If I could just restrain myself to having only one collector car, maybe I could pull this one off, but there are too many other fascinating cars out there for me to restrain myself to just one. However–if a Mistral (named after a French wind) is your thing, I doubt that you’ll ever find a more solid one for less. Just start inserting tab A into slot B–a lot!

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Comments

  1. DAN

    ls3

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  2. Bradshaw from Primer

    nah, use a LeMans winning engine….Ford 289.

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    • Peter P

      Its almost tempting to buy this car to prevent idiots considering fitting some stupid USA Cast Iron push rod lump in place of the original engine !
      What are you thinking !
      Half the point is in keeping it to its original form without polluting it with some crude US lump ……
      Peter

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  3. Rick

    I don’t come her for the “writing” but this listing has 10 explanation points !!

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  4. Fred W.

    Wayne Carini may end up with this one. On another note- a mid 60’s Italian sports car with A/C?

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    • charlie

      That under dash a/c unit looks identical to the window unit hanging in our Houston garage apartment in the early 60’s. I sure miss it!

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    • Bruce Best

      Maserati Sebring and Mistral cars all had the option of air conditioning from the factory or as a dealer installed option. These are a blend of sports cars of the era and grand touring machines. As for the engine the only hard thing is adjusting the valves and getting the gaskets properly set.

      New materials make that latter far easier than it was in the past. As for a V-8 replacement, If you wish to throw over 100K of value out the window it could work but these are high torque engines and are perfect for the car. It would be easy to put too much power into those rear tires and totally spoil the near perfect behavior of the chassis.

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  5. Howard A Member

    I thought we saw this car before, but that was a ’66. We (I) had fun picking at the name ( I forgot one, The New Christy “Minstrals”) although, the dyslectics took offense to that, and I’m sorry.
    What a magnificent car. This probably breaks all protocol, but I agree, small ( take your pick) V8. While I’m sure you’ll piss off the purists and sacrifice that awesome sound ( I suppose you could get a CD, “Italian Car Sounds”, by K-tel) but just be so much easier. And I’m sorry, a smooth running V8 sounds pretty cool too.

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  6. Jeffro

    Ford Ecoboost 4 banger!

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  7. Dave

    From the look of things here, you’d better have a 55 gal drum of that hypoid…

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    • Jamie Jamie Staff

      I do have a five gallon bucket….

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      • Horse Radish

        by all means, you have my permission to ‘mist’ it on thick, on all of them.

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  8. Geoff

    The six from a 280z

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  9. junkman Member

    I wouldn’t be afraid of figuring how the engine goes back together, the trick will be to get a look at everything they have BEFORE you commit to buy. Engines are engines not rocket science.

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    • Wayne S.K.

      But JM, what if that ONE little “dealywog” is missing and can’t be sourced anywhere on the planet? ­čśÇ

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  10. bcavileer

    Looks like the main bearing cap for ‘7 is still on the crank. These are great motors. Fear not earthlings. It is rebuildable. Stop bastardising great cars…cripes. You guys kill me with the transplants. Yuk. Welded up a block web in a Dino, line bored and it is still running… Fix it.

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    • Dave Wright

      Absolutely on point……….not a difficult fix at all. Keep it original.

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    • Mark S

      I couldn’t agree more with both junkman and bcavileer it is just an engine. Of course the parts are going to cost more but if your a mechanic and you have a service manual this is not an overwhelming task if this were mine I’d get all the machining done then buy a rebuild kit which includes Pistons, bearings, rings, you know the works. Then put it on an engine stand and just get working on fitting it back together. This is a rare and unique car it would be wrong to put any other engine in there, it needs its original engine back in there. Of course an inventory in going to need to be done before purchase to make sure it can be put back together.

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  11. Bruce Best

    Bcavileer good call. It looks to be all there and in good shape. I wonder if the fuel injection went off track and caused the pistons to wear too quickly. For information most of the air conditioners compressors were from York and they are pretty much standard units. The Lucas fuel injection unit should be totally rebuilt before using it and totally forget the gaskets with the car. GET NEW ONES, I am not certain how old they are but recent changes in gaskets make the new ones so much better.

    There is a place called Maserati Information Exchange that can help you with everything you need to bring this back to life. The big thing about these cars is that they were assembled with the attention to detail that F-1 race cars had in the day. Lighter castings, forged rods, pistons, cranks and cams. They are like most other twin cam motors but the details are what make them wonderful engines. As for sound these sound like a more muscular XKE and that is not such a bad sound, not bad at all.

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  12. BradL

    It looks like the car needs a thorough cleaning inside and out and an engine rebuild and it would be a fantastic driver. I see an intake manifold but no carbs, but the three Weber DCOEs will not be difficult to obtain. I’d love to take this one on.

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    • Dave Wright

      These were all fuel injected. I have known people with cars that were converted to Webers and none of them were really pleased with the outcome. Find the current Lucas mechanical injection expert, set it up correctly the first time and you will live happily ever after.

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      • BradL

        A little more investigating and I find you’re right. What I thought was merely an intake manifold has throttle bodies and injector ports. The Lucas metering and control unit can be found next to the oil cooler in a few of the last photos.

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  13. Jimmy g

    193000 avg.. Retail if the car was running and driving . As it sits it’s neither .the car looks good in the photos but it will need a full restoration whoever purchases the car will need to pick it up under 50k.

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  14. Joe - Sports Car Shop Joe Potter Member

    These engines are not highly complicated to build, but they do require a bit of finesse to get correct. The first bit of fun you will have is getting bearings to match the crank. Then the crank is off to Mile High to be straightened and repaired. Getting the correct cam grind, etc. The blind rear main seal is always fun. And yes the Lucas injection does need to stay. It is an expensive endeavour to build this engine, but well worth the effort and money.

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  15. Steve Sage

    I’ve got an idea…. How about an LS transplant?!!!

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  16. Rustytech

    I agree, fix this engine! You can swap in any engine you want, but your not going to be happy with what it does to the value if and when you decide to sell it. If you have a mechanical background, a good machine shop lined up, a parts source, and the correct specs. You can do this! Then your going to have a sense of accomplishment, and a valuable car.

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  17. Joe

    It wouldn’t be hard to get that Maserati back on the road with a 4.0 straight six.

    Jeep made millions of them, there should be a good one at a pick a part somewhere! ­čÖé

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  18. Learjet

    If money is no object then OF COURSE you’ll want to rebuild the engine. For us mere mortals though a BMW inline 6 works for me.

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  19. Ken

    All the comments on rebuilding the engine, using new gaskets etc, are spot on. I had an earlier one long ago that seemed fine on a short test drive. First long run getting everything fully warmed up, a hard stomp on loud pedal and car quit. Low oil pressure cut-out shut things down. One of the previous owners hadn’t used proper sump gasket and had sealed it with tons of RTV. Found a giant handful in center sump baffle right under oil pick up. Once things got fully to temp any sudden accel pulled it into pickup screen dropping oil pressure too low. Rebuilt the engine in the kitchen as there wasn’t room in the single car garage I had at the time. Sold the Mistral to buy a house. It was a great car and the Lucas injection was trouble free.

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  20. Howard A Member

    I’ve been thinking about this, and you folks are right. I got a chuckle out of bcavileer’s comment, “stop bastardizing these fine cars”, and it’s true. It would be just as heinous as putting an American V8 in a beloved XKE. ( I COULD see it in a XJ, tho) I apologize, this is an awesome car, and you’re right, it’s not a rocket motor ( ever look at those things? Nothing looks right) Thing is, when I (we) talk about putting V8’s in cars like this, clearly, we have no intention of ever owning one, so we dream up ways to “bastardize” it. Probably the coolest Italian car( not including exotics) to come down the pike. With some work, someone is going to get a nice automobile.

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  21. John D

    Mr. Jenson didn’t have any issue about using the big block Chrysler engine in the Interceptor which looks like this Maserati resembles (or the Interceptor resembles the Maserati). I would use a Gen 3 Hemi, but that would anger both the Chevy boys as well as the Italian import guys too. I do agree that with the service manual comments, that it could be a DYI. But an old mechanic gave me a special tool for timing the cams, he had to buy it for a trade in st our dealership in the sixties, and he never used it again. So the special tools developed by the cars’ manufacturers is a roadblock.

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    • Dave Wright

      Mr ‘Jensen” as you say was an original manufacturer……he can design and build a car as he wants. I am sure a V configured engine will not even fit in this car. A properly engineered machine (car, boat,airplane) Is designed as a package, everything fits and works as a unit particularly in this level of build quality, to say nothing of the loss in value you would subject the car to without the original equipment. Probably 100,000 or 50%. There are plenty of chassis around missing drivetrains or plastic kit cars that can be built to whatever someone’s taste is to destroy a car that has the potential of remaining an original example as the manufacturer intended.

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  22. YankeeTR5

    This car, I believe, sold at a Lucky Car Auctions in WA a couple years back for north of $78K (it was either 79K or into the low 90’s…memory is foggy, but I remember thinking it marked a high water mark for Mistral projects at the time) It came out of an estate and was pretty much in this condition (with dust still on it) when auctioned. So, pretty brave of the person to offer it up at no reserve. It’ll be interesting to see where this lands.
    As to rebuilding the engine. Simple to do, just have to find the parts. Like Ferrari, many of the internals on the engine are bespoke to Maserati, made up of odd sizes that, because are used by no other mfg, don’t offer a cross reference to something cheaper. In other words, you end up at the Maserati counter and pay the price. The STEEP price. That said, once all the stuff is gathered and put together, these motors are very robust. Keep the FI in good shape (several places in the UK can refurb them and have the proper equipment to set it up properly as Triumph used the same setup on their sports cars for years) and you can enjoy this car largely troublefree for years.

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    • Mark S

      It’s true that if you end up at the Maserati parts counter your going to need a fat wallet. But if you can afford to buy this car your better be in a place that you can afford the parts. A freind once told me that ( you gotta pay to play. ) I sure hope someone takes it on and gets it back on the road.

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  23. Mark-A

    What about using a BMW M Series 6 cylinder? That way you keep the character of the car??? Just my tuppence worth

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