Fresh Out Of Storage: 1974 Maserati Merak

Holy cow, what an incredible find! Maserati has built some pretty amazing sports cars over the years, but the Merak is one of my personal favorites. The styling is fantastic, the lightweight Campagnolo wheels just look amazing and the V6 sounds great. This example was found in the previous owner’s garage where it has spent the past 27 or so years. It was apparently parked due to a failed master cylinder and considering the seller was able to get the engine running without much work seems to back that up! You can find this bright red beauty here on eBay in Wylie, Texas with a BIN of $38k and the option to make an offer.

The Merak received a 3.0L V6 that put them in direct competition with the Dino 308 and the Lamborghini Urraco. At the time of its development, Maserati was owned by Citroën, so this same V6 found its way into the Citroën SM. And some of the SM’s hydropneumatic systems ended up in the Merak, Khamsin, and Bora. This Merak appears to be complete inside and out and the seller provides a video of the engine running. It appears to run alright and sounds decent, although the seller notes that there is an exhaust leak.

The interior appears to have suffered from long term storage the worst. The driver’s seat features what I would assume is it’s factory original leather, while the passenger’s seat looks to be from a different vehicle. Restoring the driver’s seat and replacing the passenger’s side is likely to get expensive. Personally, I’d find a pair of vintage Recaros to install, while not cheap they would look great and keep you planted. Thankfully, the dash and gauges all appear to be in good shape, although the hacked in stereo is a bit of a bummer.

Getting this car back up to speed could prove to be an expensive proposition, but boy will it be sweet when it’s done! If the paint can be cleaned up, the chassis is rust free and the engine doesn’t need a rebuild, you might be able to fix brakes and replace the consumables and actually have a really fun Italian 4-seater. There are definitely faster Maseratis out there, but few are as great to look at as the Merak.

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Comments

  1. RayT Member

    Josh, I think you’re getting your Meraks mixed up with your Boras: no production-line Merak ever had the Maserati V8; all had Citroen-Maserati V6es.

    Interior looks pretty scrubby. My guess is the driver’s seat is the well-worn original. The passenger seat shape looks familiar, but I’m not sure where I’ve seen on like it. Might have been recovered by someone in a hurry.

    Maserati didn’t use all that many Citroen bits in these cars, so as a former Cit owner, they don’t really worry me. I’ve heard the engines can be spendy, though.

    Good luck to the next owner. These are beautiful cars when in good shape, but this one definitely looks like it could use some help. They are beautiful cruisers; for speed, you’d need a Bora. With the V8 engine….

    4
    • Josh Mortensen Josh Mortensen Staff

      Your RayT, I did get that messed up! Thanks for the correction!

      1
  2. Newport Pagnell

    Josh,this is a 2 seater.

    2
    • Newport Pagnell

      See t-bone post below.

  3. t-bone Bob

    nice, but I sure don’t like those ’74 specific rubber baby buggy bumpers. Still better than what they came up with in 1975

    1
    • JMB#7

      This car is so good looking that even those big rubber bumper thingies cannot ruin it. Awesome car, and better mid-engined value than a 2020 Corvette.

      4
  4. t-bone Bob

    No. It actually does have rear seats. Usable only for passengers that have no legs. Or like in the Fiat 124 Spider, more like an upholstered parcel shelf. If you look at the ebay listing and scroll about halfway through the pictures at the bottom, you can see them in the pictures of the close-ups of the front seats

    5
    • Newport Pagnell

      Ok.Maybe for insurance purposes. Looks more like a padded bulkhead. I stand corrected.

      3
      • t-bone Bob

        You’re forgiven. I thought they were two-seaters, too. Until I saw the pics.

        1
      • SubGothius

        To clarify: The Bora was a 2-seater; the Merak is (barely) a 2+2, thanks to its shorter V6 vs. the Bora’s V8.

        2
  5. t-bone Bob

    I prefer the Campangolos in the plain silver-grey

    2
  6. Indy-Joe

    My only question: Will it do 185 ?

    2
  7. healeydays

    This looks to be another Dennis Collins find. Where does he find these cars?

    4
  8. healeydays

    He’s not that far off on his asking price. Hagerty price guide puts it at:
    #1 Concours$66,000
    #2 Excellent$50,000
    #3 Good$39,000
    #4 Fair$30,000

    Problem is to get it to even excellent would cost more than it’s value.

    5
  9. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Someone here at BF must have Dennis Collins’ cars for sale website as their homepage.

    This is a bit better than most of his muscle car junk.

  10. Kevin Harper

    @t-bone
    This one has the gawd awful hump that the last one didn’t have. Though this one is in much better shape. Buy the rear deck lid off the other one paint it and install on this one and it is a much better looking car

  11. Larry Brantingham

    Well, well, I wondered what had happened to it. This was “our” Merak seven or eight years ago. Not really, because we never bought it, but we agreed to keep it at our shop after the owner of the shop it had been stored at died. Ultimately, we decided not to buy it and a friend called the owner and got it for a lot, lot less than is being asked now. We kicked ourselves for not even asking the price. This is an interesting mongrel. It has an SS engine, as can be seen by the engine number and in person by the six bolt cam covers. It would have been perfect for us because it combines the most horsepower with the earlier, easier to change bumpers. All true SS cars in the US have the diving board rubber bumpers that are expensive to swap. I am just now completing the rear swap on my Bora. Different understructure, but similar problems.

    The friend kept telling us we’d never get around to it, and he was probably right, but still….

    2

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