Well-Worn Grand Tourer: 1962 Maserati 3500GTi

This 1962 Maserati 3500 GTI is a claimed survivor that has just emerged from dry storage with many of its original details still intact. Still wearing its California black plates, the 3500 GTI may be rough cosmetically, but seemingly has solid bones to work with. The 3500 brings excellent money at auction when restored, so is now the time to check out a project-grade example? Find it here on eBay with a suggested opening bid of $30,000 (and a reserve) with no activity yet.

The 3500 GT causes me to wonder what the perception of Maserati was like in the 1960s. Nowadays, Maserati’s products often lose value rapidly upon reaching its second owner, and quality remains low compared to other luxury brands. They don’t command the same type of prestige that a car like this does; did Ferrari enthusiasts in the 1960s look down their noses at some guy revving his Maserati up?


My sense is no, because most Maserati models of this era were hugely sought after when close to new, similar to Ferrari. When you view an interior like this, it’s apparent that high-grade materials were used and creating an air of luxury was a must. My upholstery guy works on a fleet of these 3500s for one collector, and the quality of everything from the door panels to the dash to the carpets is readily apparent.

The inline-six is the original, numbers matching engine, and this model is fuel injected, which incorporates a Lucas mechanical fuel injection system. The seller correctly points out that many of these cars have been converted to carburetors, so find one with its FI still intact is a huge checkmark for originality. These gorgeous cruisers hail from the glory days of Maserati; buy one now, if you can.

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Comments

  1. Arthell64 Member

    I know very little about these cars but I do like the body style.

    8
  2. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Wow what a dash !

    4
  3. Rodney - GSM

    These are extremely interesting cars and are currently being “re-discovered”. This would be a great investment while having a lot of fun at the same time. Isn’t that the point of all of this?

    10
  4. ChasH

    Many cars were converted to carbs for a good reason. This might be a candidate for an aftermarket electronic fuel injection conversion.

    5
    • Joe - Sports Car Shop

      This Lucas mechanical injection works well and is really quite precise. It was the basis for Formula one systems and other race setups. Most of these cars were converted because who ever was working on them did not know how to set them up and didn’t want to mess with it. The biggest issue with it was that they essentially have no enrichment on acceleration ie (accelerator pump). The solution was to run them rich to compensate for the lost tip in. This resulted in premature cylinder wear. There are ways to deal with it and keep it original.

      5
      • Jeff

        If I can buy this car, I will.

  5. Dougie

    Guys that buy a Maserati don’t really give a f**k about resale. It’s all about being the only one on the block with a shiny new one. And by block I don’t mean Compton, probably somewhere in Orange County. lol

    5
    • CJinSD

      The guys who buy two Fiatsler Maseratis don’t care about resale. They sold plenty of them to people who didn’t realize they’d be underwater longer than the cars could be made to run.

      1
  6. John Holden

    Had a 5000 GT. Lucas fuel injection murdered it.

    3
  7. Mike

    Just get it running, detail the crap out of it and drive as a survivor.

    3
  8. Ken Tilly UK

    My 1964 Maserati Mistral was a fantastic motor car and I thought I knew how to drive it FAST! That was until I had it serviced due to a misfire and the Italian mechanic returned the car to my door. He insisted that he take me for a drive to show me that the misfire was indeed cured. Well, after casually drifting the car at subsonic speeds around the local Valley of 1000 Hills near where I lived, he dropped me back at the showroom with my heart pumping nineteen to the dozen. He showed me that I was still a learner driver and had a lot to learn about driving a classic sports car fast.

    12
  9. luke arnott

    Lucas fuel injection?Er,no.

    1
    • Martin Horrocks

      I was also doubting this, but seems it was Lucas on 60s Maseratis. They couldn´t get it to work on later Triumphs, so…..

  10. Freakinutz

    You could buy this for $100k, put $100k into it and double that money when you sell it. These are becoming rarer by the minute. My uncle had one. Cool car. No one mentioned that it has two spark plugs per cylinder. 6 cylinder, 12 plugs.

    3
  11. Del

    another non runner that someone cannot bother cleaning up.

    Always amazing

    1
  12. Will Owen Member

    I have heard and read many times that a Maserati, at least through the Sixties and Seventies, was a more accessible, more pleasurable driver than any comparable Ferrari. Having driven none of either I have only the words of others to go on, but those were all people who had plenty of access to just about anything they wanted to drive. It would be easy to say the rot started setting in with the somewhat wretched Biturbo, but the original Quattroporte was an okay ride if you could stand the looks, and I remember parking valets “looking for spaces” very, very quickly up and down our street near some weekend high-ticket watering holes in the big, beefy Q’s they sold in the Eighties.

    1
    • Bruce

      Hello Will
      I was an owner of a Maserati Sebring Series II and I can assure you that they are wonderful cars to drive and the engine while it has its flaws like a Crazy Water Pump and head gaskets that are difficult to install. When done right they are amazing rides. My Sebring was a shorter wheelbase than this version but basically they are the same. The Lucas Fuel injection was installed on mine as well and it worked perfectly. Summer heat, Cold of winter the car started first time every time without fail and the only problem I ever had with the car was when I had a fan belt break after I first purchased the car.

      There are people that can rebuild the fuel injection system properly and I suggest the new buyer do that first, reinstall it and then LEAVE IT ALONE. Webber carbs will work but you lose both top power and some torque thru the range from idle to top end.

      These are not as sporting as the Ferraris of the same time even though they are based upon the F-1 Maseraties of the 1950’s. They were meant for the richest of the rich that needed dependability, durability as well as style and comfort. Mine had factory air-conditioning that was amazing and a manual transmission from ZF that was equally as good.

      I had to sell mine to cover medical expenses for my late wife or I would still be the owner. This car is not quiet as sporting as the Sebring series but has a quiet elegance that is hard to describe. If you think they look good in photos you should seen one in person and if you are lucky drive one. Then you will understand why those that own them keep them so long and are largely careful to whom they sell them to. I miss owning mine.

      8
  13. W8roller

    Lucas FI is well sorted now, at least on Triumphs. When new it was neither understood nor reliable, but that was then. The rebuilt system on my TR6 was fine from 2007 to 2016.
    I would imagine it’s the same with the Maser.
    At last year’s Goodwood Revival, in the Earls Court Motor Show, there was one of these 3500s alongside a new Maser. The new one was just an overweight blob. A hippo alongside a gazelle.

  14. CJinSD

    My understanding is that Maseratis were seriously desirable and respected cars until they got involved with Citroen and then De Tomaso.

  15. Gerard Frederick

    I owned a 1962 3500GT back in 1972. Much love and money was spent. I painted it bright red with a silver top; that color scheme plus its extraordinarily beautyful black interior made a stunning combination. So far, so good. Its electrics (Marinello) were utterly unreliable, what with the headlamps failing suddenly for no apparent reason. It leaked oil and noone was able to fix this (english) problem. Its oil pressure gauge was mechanically operated; an aircraft type flixable oil line led from the bottom of the engine to the pressure gauge. It ruptured while I was on the Harbor freeway in L.A.. Noone had a replacement and the factory in Italy did not reply. The watertubes between the engine and the radiator insanely had 2 different sized terminations! and noone had any replacements. I finally found one from an old Lancia. This car was a reliability disaster and ranks at the very bottom of all the numerous cars I have owned in my long life. My best BY FAR was a 1967 Glas 1700GT, a gem if there ever was one.

    1
  16. chris lawrence

    It absolutely baffles the mind at how bad Chrysler has destroyed the Maserati name. Just a god awful car now.

    1
    • AMCSTEVE

      Chrysler destroyed AMC also and many others. What comes around goes around however now they are being destroyed by FIAT which is quite ironic.

      1
  17. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    At first, I figured that this was a Gullwing Motors ad, but then I realized that the car isn’t in bad enough condition.

    5
  18. KEVIN L HARPER

    I own a few vintage maserati’s and I have owned a few and driven many vintage Ferrari’s. The maserati’s are definitely built better than the contemporary Ferrari. They are a bit softer and more comfortable. I think Maserati knew their target audience back in the day.
    The 3500 is a grand tourer and is a sister to the Sebring. I am more familiar with the Sebring and it is the more sporting of the pair.
    The fuel injection is Lucas and is similar to the Trumph system. It actually works pretty well, but can be costly to keep running. It is easy and relatively cheap to bolt on a set of webers if the FI system gives you an issue. I am not saying this is right but it is what happens. I have seen one which used a modern electronic system mated to the Lucas system. Yes you could tell but it didn’t look bad and probably performed better than the original or webers.
    These are lovely cars and can easily keep up with modern traffic. Steering is a little heavy but other than that they are good drivers.
    I have stated this before but vintage maserati parts are dear, they are actually pricier than Ferrari’s.
    Oh for me Maserati died with the Biturbo era. The biturdos were horrible and I don’t much care for the moderns.

    3
  19. Gaspumpchas

    Neat car. Hope someone gets the bugs out of it and drives the snot out of it.
    Lucas electrical products= Prince of darkness.
    The reason the british like their beer warm is because their refrigerators are made by Lucas.
    Cheers
    GPC

    1
  20. Sam Dibitonto

    If I wasn’t so old (90+) I would buy this one in a heartbeat.. I have owned 4 3500’s and once you get the combination right they are bulletproof and a GREAT daily driver,,my Ferraris were a whole different ballgame, except for the Dino they require constant adjustment and care.,,

    4
  21. Francisco

    The seller states that they do not wish to be contacted with any questions. My answer to him is I wouldn’t want to do business with him if this were the last Maserati in the world. No matter how much I wanted it.

    3
    • Mike D

      Because of the odd wording, I suspect they meant to write “Please do not hesitate to call…” but instead they wrote “Please do not contact to call or message us with any questions or inquiries!”

  22. TimM

    It resembles a first generation T-bird to me!! I like the car like the motor and drive train but I’m really not to crazy about the price!!!

  23. V8roller

    As I previously posted but the post vanished, the Lucas system was not well understood when new, but that was then.
    Now, at least on Triumphs, it’s perfectly sorted. My TR6 with its rebuilt Lucas FI was perfect from 2008/16. The system is punchy and gives good power, with no pesky electronics to go wrong.
    Was at the Goodwood Revival last year where Maserati had a stand in the Earls Court Motor Show, with the latest Maser and a 3500. A sad contrast, the modern overweight blob alongside the 3500. A hippo next to a gazelle.

  24. Will Owen Member

    Once again all the “Prince of Darkness” tropes replay, and the stories of neglected cars that act like neglected cars, thus cementing our prejudices, are repeated over and over. My own experience with “fussy” British and/or Italian cars is that their makers for the most part knew what they were doing, especially with Alfas (because those and Fiats are the extent of said experience). A properly set-up AND MAINTAINED Spica system gives a more useable car than Webers do, and the only example of my improving any system on an Alfa by switching brands was when I ditched the Bosch wiper motor on my Berlina for a better-built Marelli. I will wait for some Popular-Myth juggler to figure that one out.

    The first Maseratis I ever met were owned and run be a guy who DID have the money to do that, but who did nearly all the work on the cars himself. He knew how to act like a spoiled rich kid, but under the hood, or the car, he knew what the heck he was doing and did it … and while he was a member of our AROC chapter his core was made of Maseratis. Those are the people whose opinions I’ll prefer to hear.

    4
  25. ken tilly UK

    @Will Owen. I totally agree with you. I would hazard a guess that most of the negative comments that revolve around British and Italian cars, are offered by people that have never owned one of either.

    • dougie

      Ken you are probably right. I have driven them all, and each have their pluse’s and minus’s. Granted, some worse than others. But in the end, it’s really not about picking every little flaw apart, i.e. Lucas, ad infinitum. It’s about the personality that each car brings to the table. Like anything in life. We’ll have identical robotic driverless cars soon enough. Let’s enjoy this while we can, warts and all. I still can’t figure out how anyone could like a Chrysler, though. Bahahaha

  26. JGeezer

    LOVE that exhaust system, never seen anything like it. I quickly started fantasizing about just how beautiful this could be.

  27. BTG88

    Here’s Jay Leno’s restored 3500 GTi –

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQ_6qk1aFnQ

    1
  28. Geoff A

    As Donald Healy once said nothing wrong with British Cars , insert Italian here, it’s just American mechanics

    3
  29. t-BONE BOB

    currently at $68,100 with 4 days to go. Reserve not met.

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