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38k Original Miles: 1979 Maserati Merak SS

It is said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. That is undoubtedly true with classic cars. That is why some enthusiasts consider the Maserati Merak one of the most beautiful Italian supercars of all time, while others are unmoved by its appearance. Its styling captures the essence of cars of this genre produced in Italy during that period, and it has aged surprisingly well to remain fresh forty-four years after this 1979 Merak SS rolled out of the factory. This car isn’t perfect, but it is a genuine survivor with a known ownership history and 38,000 miles on its odometer. Its next journey could be to a new home, with the seller listing the Maserati here on eBay in Morristown, New Jersey. Bidding has crawled to $6,100, which is below the reserve.

The Merak broke cover at the 1972 Geneva Motor Show, with its lines penned by legendary designer Giorgetto Giugiaro. The company produced 1,830 examples between then and 1983, with this classic rolling out of the factory in 1979. Its presentation is quite acceptable for a survivor-grade car of this vintage, although a close-up shot reveals checking and deterioration in its stunning Red paint. The issue doesn’t require immediate attention, and the new owner could leave this classic untouched if they preferred preservation over restoration. It would undoubtedly benefit from a cosmetic refresh, but it is a decision that won’t need to be rushed. There are no visible panel defects, and the seller doesn’t mention any existing or previous rust problems. The trim and glass are in good order, and there are no signs of stains or physical damage on those beautifully crafted alloy wheels.

Maserati based the Merak on the Bora model, although the project aimed to create a less expensive vehicle with a more versatile interior. They achieved both goals, with the Merak produced as a 2+2. Rear seat space is limited but can accommodate children or small adults. The seller describes the inside of this classic as looking nearly new, and it is hard to argue with their assessment. The Black leather upholstered surfaces show no signs of wear, the carpet is spotless, and there is no evidence of UV damage or crumbling plastic. The seller is unsure whether the car ever featured air conditioning, but there was no evidence of system components when they purchased the Merak in 1987. Comfort and convenience features include power windows and a Blaupunkt AM/FM radio/cassette player with a power antenna.

One of the key features that allowed Maserati to squeeze four seats into a car that shared the same wheelbase and overall length as the Bora can be found when we lift the hood. While the Bora featured a mid-mounted V8, the Merak received a 3.0-liter V6 in the same location. It sends its power to the road via a five-speed manual transaxle. The company introduced the SS derivative to the range in 1976 after unveiling it at the previous year’s Geneva Motor Show. This new model offered better performance via a lower weight and increased engine power. European buyers had 217hp and 199 ft/lbs of torque at their disposal, although changes to comply with tighter emission laws saw American buyers receive 182hp and 180 ft/lbs. The weight reduction program still saw the SS tip the scales at 3,192 lbs, which is heavy for a vehicle of this type. It should despatch the ¼-mile in 16.1 seconds, with the V6 running out of breath at 140mph. The seller indicates this Merak is a turnkey proposition. It recently received a new clutch, a rebuilt Paris Rhone alternator, a NOS voltage regulator, and a custom-built starter. The car runs and drives perfectly, with the embedded video clip in their listing confirming the engine sounds as sweet as a nut.

Various sources quote different production totals for the Maserati Merak SS, but all agree that the number was below 1,000 cars. The seller states that 787 were produced, and some websites support that claim. The bidding has been restrained, but this could be because some potential buyers are contemplating what it might cost to address the existing paint issues. That shouldn’t prevent it from topping $30,000 before the hammer falls, although a higher figure is possible. Do you think it will get there, or will this seller need to lower their sights?


  1. Avatar photo LuckysDad

    All Meraks had A/C as standard.

    Like 2
  2. Avatar photo JudoJohn

    #3 is $57K and #4 is $43K. Looks like somewhere between the 2, but closer to 3. Nice car

    Like 0
  3. Avatar photo John

    The big advantage of the SS version of the Merak was changing the dash from the same one as used in the Citroen SM to the better looking dash from the more expensive Maserati Bora.

    Like 1
  4. Avatar photo Joe Elliott

    “…there was no evidence of [AC] system components.” Ummmmm, what about the AC compressor shown in the engine bay photo? (It’s too new to be ‘70s original, but it’s in the stock location, and I’m pretty sure AC was standard, at least on USA models.)

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo John

      Looks like a cobbled together non original AC unit. Maybe because original compressors were not available, or outrageously priced. The use of screw drive clamps instead of crimp connections on the hose on the far right is questionable.

      Like 0
  5. Avatar photo t-bone bob

    US $30,200.55
    48 bids
    Ended11/21, 09:00 PM
    Reserve not met

    Like 1

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