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Sold for: £66,000
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Maserati followed-up its first mid-engined supercar - the Bora - with the similar Merak. Launched in 1972, the latter was intended as competition for Ferrari’s top-selling Dino 246 and used a stretched, 3.0-litre, 190bhp version of the four-cam V6 that had debuted in the Citroën SM (the French firm owned Maserati at the time). The unitary construction chassis, all-independent suspension and impeccable handling remained basically as the V8-engined Bora’s, though the Merak offered the convenience of ‘+2’ seating in the rear and superior all-round vision thanks to its distinctive rear ‘flying buttresses’.
Competition from Ferrari’s new Dino V8 prompted the introduction of a more powerful and lightweight version - the Merak SS (Tipo AM122/A) with 220bhp engine and revised interior - for 1975, ZF transmission being adopted shortly after. The SS was distinguished by a black grille between the pop-up headlights. A Maserati-designed upper fascia with round instruments and a four-spoke steering wheel replaced the previous SM-derived interior. Later cars (and RHD examples) were bestowed with the full driver-oriented dashboard and three-spoke padded steering wheel from the Bora.
Changes made to the SS suspension greatly improved ride comfort over that of the original Merak and the phasing out of the Citroen brakes in favour of a more conventional system addressed some of the criticisms levelled at the earlier version. Widely recognised as one of the finest, if not the finest, of contemporary V6s, the Merak SS engine proved smooth, powerful, and capable of delivering its urge over a surprisingly wide range for such a high-performance engine. Like any true thoroughbred, the Merak possessed handling commensurate with its breath-taking acceleration and 150mph maximum speed. "Performance and handling are the raison d’être of a mid-engined sports car, and the Merak’s astounding cornering power is a match for its straight-line punch," observed Motor magazine.
The most successful Maserati of its day, the Merak ceased production in 1983 after 1,817 examples had been built, with just 312 of them being the later 'Bora dashboard' SS version.
The car presented here is a RHD (denoted by its odd, not even, chassis number) 1984 Maserati Merak SS, a very late ('Bora dashboard') example that was originally supplied new to the UK and first registered here on 18th May 1984. In its original and striking colours of Blu Celeste over Blu Sera, this ‘time-warp’ example has covered just 16,000 documented miles (26,000 kms) with only four owners.
Considered wholly unrestored and in an original state, the panel gaps and bodywork still appear factory-finished, with no signs of corrosion. Likewise, the stylish interior (in an extremely rare cloth type, supposedly only used for a run of 2 weeks due to supply reasons) and engine bay both present in superb unmolested condition and wholly commensurate with the low mileage. It has a full service history (documented in the original service book), as well as a separate file containing a huge number of detailed invoices for work carried out, virtual every MOT Certificate from new and factory supplied equipment and material, including the owner’s operating handbook, Maserati parts catalogue, the original duplicate set of keys, original spare wheel (unused) still with factory stickers, jack and original tool kit. Recent work includes the fitting of a new clutch (c£2,000), a complete stainless-steel exhaust system (c£1,500) and c£2,500 spent with renowned Maserati specialists Emblem Sports Cars.
A rare opportunity to acquire a low mileage Merak SS possessing impeccable history.