Introduced at the November 1963 Turin Salon, the Maserati Quattroporte was arguably the world's first 'super saloon'. A bold move on the part of the Casa del Tridente-owning Orsi family, the newcomer was part high-performance GT and part luxury limousine. Taking inspiration from the Maserati 5000GT he had penned for Prince Karim Aga Khan in 1961, Pietro Frua imbued the handsome Quattroporte with a low belt line, slim-pillared glasshouse and neatly defined yet spacious boot. Based around a unique sheet steel box-section chassis equipped with independent front suspension, a de Dion rear axle and four-wheel disc brakes, the four- / five-seater was powered by a race-bred 4136cc 'quad-cam' V8 engine allied to either five-speed ZF manual or three-speed Borg Warner automatic transmission. Credited with developing some 260bhp and 267lbft, the Maserati was reputedly capable of 0-60mph in around 8 seconds and over 140mph (depending upon the final drive ratio chosen).
After the first few cars had been made, Quattroporte production was transferred from Carrozzeria Frua to Carrozzeria Vignale (though, Maggiora of Turin was responsible for fabricating the bodywork). Arriving in 1966, the updated Series II version (or Tipo 107A as it was known by the factory) sported a new quad-headlamp visage and revamped interior complete with lustrous wood cappings, electric windows and standard fit air-conditioning. While, under the skin a revised leaf-sprung Salisbury back axle resulted in a quieter, smoother ride. For 1968 the Quattroporte could be had with an enlarged 4719cc powerplant and by the time production ceased the following year some 770 cars had been completed (circa Series I: 260, Series II: 510). Stylish, fast and exclusive, the big Maser was driven by the likes of Marcello Mastroianni, Alberto Sordi, Stewart Granger, Anthony Quinn, Peter Ustinov, Leonid Breznev, Prince Rainier of Monaco and Conte Volpi di Misurata.
Finished in its original colour scheme of Grigio Florida with Rosso leather upholstery, this particular example is apparently 1 of 230 left-hand drive five-speed manual Series IIA cars made. Supplied new to Ing Luciano Rizzi of Vercelli, Italy in August 1966, the Maserati is understood to have migrated to the American state of New Mexico thereafter before re-crossing the Atlantic during 1989 to form part of a large private UK collection. Reportedly spared the need for any structural chassis / underbody repairs by the amount of time it spent in dry climes, the Quattroporte has nevertheless been treated to much recent work including: a complete repaint, interior retrim and brightwork refurbishment. Further benefiting from a thorough brake system overhaul, stainless steel exhaust, re-cored radiator, new coolant hoses and fresh rubber suspension bushes not to mention the renovation of its air-conditioning (new pump / matrix), the saloon rides on rejuvenated Borrani wire wheels shod with fresh Michelin 205/70/15 tyres.
Detail touches such as replacing the underbonnet and boot sound deadening with the correct-type diamond pattern material, renewing the lights / lenses and installing a modern CD stereo are indicative of the lengths gone to during the restoration. Boasting a recent £1,300 service / tune-up by R&D Automotive (Ferrari and Porsche specialists), this stunning Maserati is offered for sale with history file and MOT certificate valid until July 2010
Image and description kindly supplied by H&H Classic Auctions