An Important Maserati Sale
A forthcoming auction of important and exciting Maseratis.



August 15-16, 2003 Monterey Sports Car Auction

DoubleTree Hotel at Fisherman's Wharf, Monterey, California, USA.



INCREDIBLE COACHBUILT MASERATI COLLECTION TO BE FEATURED AT RM AUCTIONS' ANNUAL MONTEREY SALE

Houston Businessman Alfredo Brener To Sell His Assemblage of Rare Grand Touring Maseratis, August 15-16, 2003

BLENHEIM, Ontario, Canada (July 17, 2003) - As part of its 2003 Monterey Sports and Classic Car Auction, August 15-16, 2003, RM AUCTIONS will offer discriminating buyers a selection of impeccably restored, coachbuilt Maseratis from the personal collection of businessman and avid Maserati enthusiast Alfredo Brener. Ten cars from the extensive Brener collection, all coachbuilt examples from Frua, Michelotti, Allemano, Moretti and Carrozzeria Touring will cross the block at the Doubletree Hotel at Fisherman's Wharf, during the two-day sale.


I would like to thank Terrance D. Lobzun of RM Auctions for his kind permission to reproduce the images and text from their fine catalogue.



LOT 442

1966 Maserati 3500GT Coupe
with coachwork by MORETTI.



CHASSIS No AM101.1858


220bhp 3,485cc. carbureted dual overhead camshaft inline six-cylinder engine, five-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs, live axle rear suspension with semi-elliptical leaf springs, four-wheel hydraulically actuated disc brakes. Wheelbase 2,600mm (102.3").

The Maserati 3500 GT provided the basis for many coachbuilders, both small and large, to demonstrate their skills and their inspiration. Maseratiís twin main tube chassis, which contained all the 3500 GTís functional mechanical systems, was ideal for coachbuilders. Simple and well built, with a strong and powerful engine and excellent handling, the 3500 GT had many positive attributes that commended it to coachbuilders, their clients and potential clients.

Lancia had long employed unit body construction and Fiat and Alfa Romeo were rapidly introducing new cars with unit bodies which made traditional custom coachbuilding impossible without major investments in tools, dies, jigs and fixtures. In effect it was necessary for a coachbuilder to tool up and build nearly a complete automobile capable of absorbing the loads and stresses which unit body construction imposed on the structure. This was effectively commercially impractical, and the early 1960s were a time of great change among the small specialist builders which had proliferated in postwar Italy.

The change was hardest to accept at firms like Moretti which had started in 1925 building motorcycles, later expanding to microcar production. Moretti enjoyed success and prosperity following World War II, like many others, modifying Fiats and building its own complete cars using Fiat mechanical components. The Moretti 750 was remarkably successful in racing and Morettiís cars, many designed by Vignale and Michelotti, were exceptionally pretty. The 1960s were a time of transition at Moretti but eventually it became an important supplement to Fiat production, building low and intermediate volume variations of Fiatís production cars before closing down in the 1980ís.



Signifying Morettiís fundamental change, in 1966, the firm displayed at the important Geneva motor show one of its few automobiles to be based on other than small and medium displacement production cars, this exceptionally pretty 2+2 coupť based on Maseratiís 3500 GT. Its fastback style with sloping tail, influenced by the aerodynamic work of Dr. Kamm, was handsome and sleek. The wide grille with quad headlights was imposing, an effect which was emphasized by the wide, flat air intake scoop on the hood. Its length was emphasized by ribbed sill moldings. In all, the effect was remarkably like that of the Iso Grifo which had made its appearance in 1965.

The subsequent history of Morettiís 1966 Geneva show car is unknown until, it was found in Germany and acquired for Mr. Alfredo Brenerís collection of singular Maseratis three years ago. Finished in red (its original color), the original interior has at some point been redone. This unique, mysterious and very attractive Maserati 3500 GT has not been restored. The engine is reported to be strong and the transmission and brakes are described as "okay." Opportunities to acquire one-off examples of attractive and sporting Italian coachwork on superb gran turismo chassis, like the Maserati 3500 GT, come along only rarely and offer collectors a fleeting opportunity to acquire an automobile that will be welcomed and the centre of attention at the most enjoyable shows, tours and concours. A challenging bit of sleuthing to further develop this carís history will be both rewarding in itself and add immeasurably to this Maseratiís enjoyment.

ESTIMATE: US $50,000 - $75,000  /  GB £32,200 - £48,400 (approx.)

HIGH BID: US $29,701 (including 10% buyer's premium)  /  GB £18,700 (approx.) - SOLD.




LOT 443

1957 Maserati 3500GT Coupe
with coachwork by CARROZZERIA TOURING.


CHASSIS No AM101.002


220bhp 3,485cc. carbureted dual overhead camshaft inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs, live axle rear suspension with semi-elliptical leaf springs, hydraulically actuated front disc, rear drum brakes. Wheelbase 2,600mm (102.3").

Bearing chassis number 002, this is possibly the first 'production' Maserati 3500 GT.

Carrozzeria Touring was established in 1926 by Felice Bianchi Anderloni who had worked for Isotta-Fraschini since 1904 as a test driver, then a brief period at Peugeot Italiana. Anderloni and Gaetano Ponzoni acquired Carrozzeria Falco in 1926, shortly thereafter, adopting the Touring name. The two, both trained in law, had a long and mutually satisfying relationship and Ponzoni, despite outside interests, remained Touringís managing director until the company ceased operations 40 years later.

Anderloni came to Touring without specific knowledge of coachbuilding, learning as he went along and developing over time a unique style of design that blended his appreciation for lightweight construction with his experience as a driver to create a characteristic style. An early licensee of Charles Weymannís system for constructing lightweight flexible automobile bodies covered with fabric, Touringís first professional designer was Giuseppe Seregni who collaborated with Anderloni to create the 1927 Isotta-Fraschini 'Flying Star,' a landmark in the artful combination of aerodynamics and beauty. They continued to pursue the dual goal of lightweight construction and efficient aerodynamics and in the 1920s and 1930s created a succession of innovative and creative designs.

Touringís production capabilities in light alloy and fabric-covered tubing structures brought the firm commercial success in aircraft during the mid and late- 1930s, and this experience led Anderloni to develop and patent the 'Superleggera' construction system. Touringís 'Superleggera' (super lightweight) system employed a structure of small diameter tubes as the bodyís armature. Extremely thin alloy panels then covered the armature, taking their strength from the tubing. 'Superleggera' had other advantages aside from light weight, particularly its flexibility in design.



Pre-war 'Superleggera' coachwork for Alfa Romeo, particularly on the 8C 2900 chassis, and the aerodynamic full envelope bodies for BMWís 328, laid the groundwork for Touringís success following World War II. Felice Anderloniís death in 1948 during the companyís reconstruction, was untimely but not before he and Federico Formenti had created the Alfa Romeo Frecchia díOro and coupe and spider bodies for Ferrariís 166.

The postwar years were prolific for Touring and its 'Superleggera' construction system. Production work followed and the firm grew rapidly under the leadership of Anderloniís son Carlo and the guidance of the ever-present Ponzoni. The late 1950s were particularly productive as Touring undertook series production of bodies for Alfa Romeoís 1900 Super Sprint and 2600, Aston Martinís DB4, Lancia Flaminia GT, Lamborghini 350 and 400 GT and the Maserati 3500 GT. This rush of business, however, also sowed the seeds of the companyís demise. The expansion undertaken to meet demand was unsustainable when these projects ended and new ones were not forthcoming to replace them. Touring, which was known for and prided itself on the quality of its workmanship, struggled to reconcile the conflicting needs of volume production with its traditionally obsessive quality. Fortunately for later enthusiasts, the quality of Carrozzeria Touringís design and workmanship has been preserved in the exceptional automobiles it built, such as this example, Maserati 3500 GT coupť number 002.

Introduced at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1957, the 3500 GT was a major departure for Maserati, a luxurious high speed gran turismo intended from its inception to be built in quantities heretofore unprecedented at Maserati. Nearly 2,000 would be built during its nine yearsí production, a number that by all accounts is an order of magnitude greater than all the Maseratis built in the 30 years since Alfieri Maserati built and raced the Tipo 26. Powered by a dual overhead camshaft six-cylinder engine developed by Ing. Alfieri from Maseratiís experience with the A6 and 350S, the 3500 GT was an important competitor in the luxury gran turismo market. Its coachwork was crucially important to its success and Touringís selection by Omer Orsi was a critical endorsement of, and challenge for, the carrozziere, which Touring met with distinction.



Maserati 3500 GT 002 was first delivered to Texas and was subsequently sold to its second owner in Chicago where it remained for over 30 years. It was acquired from the second owner by Mr. Alfredo Brener for his important collection of significant Maseratis. With low miles and a known history, it has never been restored and still has its original paint and interior. The marque experts associated with Mr. Brenerís collection believe that it has never been disassembled and is, except for normal service parts replacement, exactly as it was completed in 1958 by Touring and Maserati. Both the paint and interior are in good, sound condition with the elegant patina which only continuous sympathetic care and attention can confer. It is reported to drive very well, and has been carefully checked and serviced. It is fitted with chromed wire wheels and the transmission is still the original four-speed with its characteristic crank-shaped lever. Significant differences from the Geneva Show car reveal the evolution that was underway from prototype to production. The vent windows and inset side marker lights of the prototype have been removed, but the batteries are still located in the engine compartment.

Highly original automobiles like this are avidly sought by collectors today, and only rarely do such important examples as this Maserati survive in untouched and original condition. An extremely important milestone in the history of one of the greatest marques in automobile history. This car was built in the year in which Juan Manuel Fangio won his historic fourth driverís championship in the Maserati 250F. Superbly original, this unique Maserati 3500 GT Touring coupť will be an outstanding addition to any collection, a welcome participant in the most important events and is a unique opportunity for a new owner to continue Mr. Alfredo Brenerís stewardship and preservation of this significant Maserati.

ESTIMATE US $30,000 - $40,000  /  GB £19,500 - £38,300 (approx.)

HIGH BID: US $48,401 (including 10% buyer's premium)  /  GB £42,200 (approx.) - SOLD.




LOT 444

1957 Maserati 3500GT Spyder
with coachwork by FRUA.


CHASSIS No AM101.268


220bhp 3,485cc carbureted dual overhead camshaft inline six-cylinder engine, five-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs, live axle rear suspension with semi-elliptical leaf springs, hydraulically actuated front disc, rear drum brakes. Wheelbase 2,600mm (102.3").

Maserati excelled at adapting its racing engines to high performance road cars, probably from necessity in order to generate revenue from which it could recover its development costs. That was surely the case in 1957 as Maseratiís campaigns in both Grand Prix and sports car racing were consuming resources and money that was not being replenished from either prizes or sponsors. Omer Orsi seized upon the success of the A6 and proposed that Ing. Alfieri take Maseratiís current generation racing six-cylinder engine and adapt it to series production.

The 3500 GT debuted at the Geneva show in March 1957 and it would be the first real series-produced Maserati, remaining in production through several generations and model names until 1970. Its twin-plug ignition immediately betrayed the racing origin of this high performance six although it was completely redesigned, in fact twice, to make it both more easily maintainable by non-racing mechanics and more economical to build. The dual overhead camshafts operated the valves through bucket followers with shim adjustment in preference to the screw-type adjustment favoured on the racing engines. Both the cylinder block and the head were cast in light alloy with iron cylinder sleeves. Seven main bearings ensured reliability.

Touring was selected to provide the standard coupť coachwork and Allemano eventually got the nod from Maserati to build the Spyder version which was available from 1959 on. This Frua Spyder is on an early chassis and may well be Fruaís prototype for the Spyder production contract. It is the only example known and has been widely featured in books and magazines on Maserati and the 3500 GT. Its style is unique and quite different from other work done by Frua on Maserati chassis. Many of the details foreshadow features seen later on other Frua work, such as the Renault Caravelle/Floride, particularly the meeting between the door and the rear fender, the tucked-under tail and the nose. While somewhat more embellished than the design ultimately put into production by Vignale, it is a dramatic and distinctive design that is as attractive with the top erected as with it stowed behind the seats.



In May 1961, Road & Track tested a Maserati 3500 GT Spyder, commenting extremely favourably on its performance, handling and comfort. They compared it favourably with the Ferrari 250 GT they had tested a year before, noting particularly that the Maseratiís acceleration was nearly as fast as the Ferrari which had the benefit of a 4.57 rear axle compared with the Maseratiís 3.54. R&Tís testers also noted that the Maseratiís brakes, even though still fitted with drums on all four wheels, were impressive in both their stopping power and their resistance to fade.

This 1957 Maserati Frua Spyder joined Mr. Alfredo Brenerís collection of exceptional Maseratis several years ago. It had been restored in Britain for a previous owner in its original color of light yellow and retains its original green interior. It benefits from being fitted with both a five-speed gearbox and front disc brakes which may have been added later in its life, as they were not available in 1957. The restoration is not to U.S. show car standards or the Pebble Beach-quality presentation of many of Mr. Brenerís Maseratis, but it has been displayed and received an award at Concorso Italiano and also at Wheels & Keels in Texas. In common with other Maseratis in Mr. Brenerís outstanding collection, it has been carefully maintained by specialists in sound, highly presentable and reliable running condition, ready to be taken out and enthusiastically driven on a momentís notice.

Many proponents of the Maserati margue firmly maintain that the products from Via Ciro Menotti are the best built, trimmed and most reliable of all the Italian elite sports cars. With its race-derived six cylinder engine and unique and distinctive coachwork this one-of-a-kind Maserati 3500 GT Spyder by Frua will be a highlight in any collection and a delightful and distinctive drive whether on tours or for pleasant weekend drives.

ESTIMATE US $75,000 - $100,000  /  GB £48,400 - £64,500 (approx.)

HIGH BID: US $106,701 (including 10% buyer's premium)  /  GB £67,200 (approx.) - SOLD.




NEXT PAGE: LOTS 445, 446 and 447, MORE FROM THE BRENER COLLECTION.
 



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