1961 Maserati 3500 G.T. (Carrozzeria Touring)
Chassis no. AM101*1714*-engine type AM 101
- Juan Manuel Fangio’s daily driver in Italy.
- Unofficially test driven by Fangio to discover possible bugs.
- Barn find: for many years in a state of neglect at the Maserati plants.
- Still enrolled with Black Como plates.
- The model that led Maserati from semi-handicraft to industrial production.
- Fast and comfortable.
The Maserati 3500 G.T., internally signed Type 101, is the first Maserati built on a large scale. The premises: the new car had to combine the typical Maserati sportiness with the need for luxury and comfort, allowing long journeys at high speed without staining driver and passengers. Road holding had to be safe and “easy” for all customers, without having to be skilled drivers. The interiors had to be of high quality. The mechanics had to be reliable as well as sporty. And all this had to be replicated in several units. The ambitious goal for Maserati, used to produce smaller cars and roughly 2-3 units per month, was to produce 2 cars a day. In 1956 the chief designer of the Casa del Tridente, Giulio Alfieri, began to work on the engine that was derived from the 6-cylinder twin shaft of the racing 350S. The final engine was a 3.5-liter (3485 cc long-stroke) with aluminum crankcase and cylinder head, hemispherical combustion chambers, twin-shaft overhead distribution. The ignition was twin-spark and the power was supplied by 3 double-barrel Weber 42 DCOE carburettors. The engine thus had 220 hp at 5500 rpm for a maximum speed of about 230 km/h. The frame was tubular, the front suspensions were independent with double wishbones and rear live axle with transverse bar and inclined shock absorbers, to increase lateral grip. The car featured with parts from external suppliers, for cost/quality reasons: ZF 4-speed gearbox and steering, Borg & Beck single-plate dry clutch, Salisbury differential, Girling drum brakes. The car was presented at the 1957 Geneva Motor Show, where a proposal by the Turin-based Allemano was also exhibited, but the design of the Milan-based Carrozzeria Touring was chosen for the production of the coupe. With aluminum doors and bonnets, but with a final weight of 1420 kg, Carrozzeria Touring created a sporty and elegant “dress”, according to its “Superleggera” system, with a comfortable passenger compartment (2+2) and space for luggage. The cars were fitted with leather interiors and Jaeger instruments as standard. It was the first Italian car designed to be fitted with air conditioning and electric windows were offered as an option, a first for the time. In 1959 the front disc brakes and the limited slip differential were offered as an option, standard the following year, plus the wire-wheels with centre-lock knockoff hubs. In the same year the engine was redesigned to get 230 hp with a smoother behavior at the same time. In the second half of 1961 the carburettors were flanked, as a choice, by the 235 hp Lucas injection and a 5-speed gearbox was fitted as standard. The bodywork was updated: the slightly lowered roof line and other changes concerned the grille, lights and doors. Disc brakes at the rear and the brake booster arrived in 1962. Production ended in 1964, however the chassis survived on the Sebring and the Mistral. The best year for sales of the 3500 G.T. was 1961, with about 500 units. A total of 2226 units were built, including 1972 coupe by Carrozzeria Touring.
1961 Maserati 3500 G.T. (Touring) chassis no. AM101*1714*. This car was formally registered to industrialists who had relations both with the Maserati and with Juan Manuel Fangio. The racing driver resided in Argentina, but he was often in Italy for his commitments. Considered one of the greatest racing drivers in history, he had a precise but spectacular driving style and a deep knowledge of mechanics having been involved in the repair industry since he was a kid. Having completed his racing career, he remained very active in the sector and had maintained excellent relations with Maserati, with whom he had competed in the last competitive seasons. The chassis no. AM101*1714* was used by the champion during his stays in Italy, for his travels and, finally, as a daily driver. According to the testimony of Ermanno Cozza, historical memory of Maserati, Fangio would have had, at the same time, the unofficial task of testing the car with the aim of verifying its strengths and weaknesses, thanks to its sensitivity and experience. The history of the car is evidenced by documents and written contacts with the company. In the communications also appears the entrepreneur Carlo Geronimi, president of Agudio, an important manufacturer of cableway installations all over the world but, above all, former gentleman drivers. In 1966 the car was sent to Maserati, but only in 1969, through an intermediary (Geronimi), Fangio apologized for having left the car at the factory and expressed his intention to recover it. However, another 10 years pass; the car remains in Maserati, guarded, but in a state of almost abandonment. In July 1979, the Argentine champion, in an autograph letter, writes that he authorizes two of his good friends to collect the Maserati 3500 G.T. (chassis no. 1714), instructing the two to restore the car, register it and authorize them to use it at their discretion; he would use the car during his stays in Italy, sharing the ownership of the car in equal parts with the two. The Maserati initially does not accept the request, it is presumed by the management of Alejandro De Tomaso, always attentive to his steps and aware of the value of a machine driven by Fangio. Maserati, however, finally delivered the car two years later, in 1981, to only one of Fangio's two friends, the current owner; that same year, in fact, the other good friend had died: the well-known pilot and historical test driver Maserati, Guerino Bertocchi. The car is currently in the same conditions in which it was recovered: almost complete, but in need of total restoration. Many new and original spare parts still in their packaging, have been gathered over time, in view of a restoration and are delivered with the car. The chassis AM101*1714* is still registered and has 1967 Italian black plates (Como). A page of history to bring back to its original beauty.
State of the Art
In need of a complete restoration.
- Luigi Orsini, Franco Zagari, Maserati, una storia nella storia, dal 1945 ad oggi, Libreria dell’Automobile, Milano 1980
- Gianni Cancellieri, Bruno Alfieri, Maserati Catalogue Raisonné 1926-2003, Automobilia, Milano 2003
- Ermanno Cozza, Con la Maserati nel cuore, Giorgio Nada, Milano 2017
- Maurizio Tabucchi, Maserati, The Grand Prix, Sports and GT cars model by model, 1926-2003, Giorgio Nada, Milano 2003
Certifications and Statements
ASI registration in 1983.
Italian registration in order.
- Giro di Sicilia. Eligible.
- Targa Florio. Eligible.
- Goodwood Revival. Eligible
- Coppa d’Oro delle Dolomiti. Eligible.
- Coppa delle Alpi by 1000 Miglia. Eligible.
- Winter Marathon. Eligible
- Vernasca Silver Flag. Eligible.
- Nürburgring Classic. Eligible.
- Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Eligible.
- Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. Eligible.
- Chantilly Arts & Elegance Richard Mille. Eligible.
- Concorso d’eleganza Villa D’Este. Eligible.