Classic Cars (UK) - - The Hot 30 -

>Maserati 3500GT Spi­der by Vig­nale TIPPED BY STEPHEN HAL­STEAD

It’s good to see a fresh face com­ing to the £500k-plus end of our high-end party in the shape of Maserati’s 3500GT Spi­der by Vig­nale. ‘The gor­geous Maserati 3500 GT/GTI Spi­der may not have cap­tured hearts or wal­lets as much as its con­vert­ible peers such the As­ton Martin DB4, Fer­rari 250 GT or Mercedes-benz 300 SL Road­ster,’ says Stephen Hal­stead. ‘But thanks to the resur­gence of the Maserati brand there’s great potential for the 3500GT to in­crease in value and catch up with its coun­ter­parts.’

The ex­am­ple pic­tured here, for sale at Mcgrath Maserati in Hert­ford­shire, was built in 1960 when Maserati was in its pomp. Both the Tour­ing-styled Coupé and Vig­nale’s Gio­vanni Mich­e­lot­tipenned Spi­der have film-star looks but for sheer vis­ual drama the choice has to be the rarer soft-top car. It’s sleek in pro­file, with the steel body’s swage line kick­ing up el­e­gantly be­hind the door and mildly ag­gres­sive air in­takes set low into the front wing. The front end is sim­ple but im­pos­ing, with a huge grille adorned with the Tri­dent badge. The cabin is chic, with lux­u­ri­ous tan leather, a large-rimmed plas­tic steer­ing wheel and chrome-rimmed di­als.

The beauty of the Spi­der is that it will hap­pily glide along, but give it some pedal and the 3.5-litre straight-six, a dis­tant rel­a­tive of the 250F’s race unit, snarls throat­ily as it thrusts you for­ward and you hear Maserati’s racing pedi­gree in the rasp from the tailpipes. It’s aided by a short-throw gearshift that snicks won­der­fully be­tween ra­tios, and a good front-disc/rear-drum brake set-up. The ride is sup­ple and for­giv­ing and it’s not a car you would, or should, con­sider tip­ping it fiercely into cor­ners, al­though its cur­rent owner says it has the ca­pac­ity to sur­prise.

On pa­per there’s lit­tle to sep­a­rate the 3500GT Spi­der from its peers in terms of per­for­mance, how­ever the As­ton Martin and Fer­rari are rarer – with 70 and 200 exm­ples pro­duced re­spec­tively, com­pared to 242 of the Maserati.

‘That isn’t the only fac­tor hold­ing back the 3500GT’S price; Mercedes rolled out 1858 of its Road­ster,’ says Hal­stead. ‘Maserati has al­ways lagged be­hind its coun­ter­parts when viewed as a high­per­for­mance mar­que but the brand’s re­cent resur­gence should ig­nite interest in its clas­sic mod­els.’

Will the Maserati catch up with the As­ton, Fer­rari or Merc? ‘In short, no,’ replies Hal­stead. ‘But I see a huge amount of potential in the 3500GT to ap­pre­ci­ate in its own right. The non-vig­nale coupés are, nat­u­rally, val­ued lower than the Spi­der and of­fer a very tempt­ing en­try into clas­sic Maserati own­er­ship at around £250k. For a con­cours con­di­tion right-hand-drive Vig­nale Spi­der you can ex­pect to pay around £800k.’

It’s a lot of money un­til com­pared di­rectly to its sup­pos­edly more il­lus­tri­ous con­tem­po­raries, and then this stun­ning ‘new kid on the block’ seems like de­cid­edly good value.

‘Maserati’s resur­gence should ig­nite interest in its clas­sic mod­els’

De­spite its gor­geous Mich­e­lotti styling, the 3500GT Spi­der has never been as iconic as its Fer­rari, As­ton or Merc ri­vals – mak­ing it a rel­a­tive bar­gain

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