Saturday, July 2, 2011

Maserati 3500 Vignale Hardtop

Spyder became the official designation for foreign markets as of 1961. Master coachbuilder Alfredo Vignale of Turin won the contract to produce the open-top version of Maserati´s first full-production GT car. The car’s styling – penned by Giovanni Michelotti – differed from that of the Touring coupé with a slightly more angular and muscular design language. Touring had also proposed a drop-top version of its coupé, of which just three were produced; while Vignale built several pre-production prototypes showing differences in various details before the final production design was settled. In six years, some 243 spyders were sold.
Mechanically, the car shared its design with the coupé but its wheelbase was shortened by 10 cm. Lucas direct injection and 5-speed-gearbox available for both the spyder and the coupé from 1961 onwards, all round disc brakes from 1962. The body was made of steel, but the doors, bonnet and boot lid were in light alloy, as was the optional hardtop. Electric windows came as standard. Performance was perfectly suited to open air motoring with a top speed of 220 kph (138 mph) for the 3500 GTi version.).

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