The Sebring
"Sebring... to celebrate Maserati's
victory in the 12 hour race."

Photos courtesy of Harry W. Garschagen

When I received a request for information on the Maserati Sebring from Harry, I decided to devote a page to this stylish but very under-rated sports coupé. It was only then that I realised how little has been written on this car. One of the finest articles, outside of road tests, was written by Andy Heywood, the Maserati Guru, for Auto Italia magazine and appeared in the May 2000 edition.

Harry Garschagen's beautiful Series I Sebring

Following on the success of the 3500GT, in 1962, Maserati decided to offer an alternative 2+2 coupé, primarily aimed at the profitable American market, that was to be its logical successor. Designed by Alfredo Vignale, the man responsible for the design of the beautiful 3500GT Spyder, and it was on the same short-wheelbase chassis that he created the Sebring. Officially designated Tipo 101/10, the 3500GTIS (S for Sebring), was a steel-bodied (the bonnet and bootlid were made of aluminium) spacious two-seater with two smaller seats in the rear for 'legless', and I don't mean through the excesses of alcohol, passengers.

The Sebring, Series I, was presented in prototype form at the Geneva Motor Show in early 1962 and was later shown in its definitive form at the Turin Motor Show in 1963. The design was slightly more angular than the 3500 and gave the car a more compact and aggresive look.

The classic Maserati 3½ litre six cylinder engine

Earlier models of the Sebring were powered by the same well-proven 3485cc six cylinder engine as the 3500GT but engine capacity was later increased to 3694cc by lengthening the stroke from 100 to 106 mm. The benefits in torque and performance experienced with the later 3500GTs meant that the Lucas indirect fuel injection system became standard equipment.

In testing (Autocar 1963), the Sebring achieved 137 mph and accomplished zero to sixty miles an hour in eight and a half seconds. All Sebrings were fitted with five-speed ZF gearbox.

The engine in Harry's car is now fitted with three Weber carburettors. Although the Lucas fuel injection system enhanced performance, some owners, especially in America, experienced reliability problems and replaced the fuel injection with the more reliable Weber carburettors. Harry tells me that with the Lucas fuel injection system there was also a problem with fuel contaminating the engine oil.

The troublesome Lucas fuel injection system

Although the standard Sebring was well equipped, Maserati offered many optional extras including automatic transmission, Pirelli Cinturato tyres on Borrani wire wheels, air conditioning, tinted glass, special paintwork and a radio.

The stylish yet aggressive Series I Sebring

In 1965 a Series II was introduced with several changes to its external appearance. In Andy Heywood's article he mentions the 'influence' of Frua's Quattroporte in the design changes made to the Series II. On closer inspection these changes are more significant than I realised. The front wings have been re-designed to accommodate the chrome twin headlamp surround, similar to the Quattroporte, and other similarities include the re-designed radiator grille and the wrap around side/indicator lights.

Other changes included a slimmer bonnet air vent, added air intake vents ahead of the windscreen and re-designed louvred side vents, this time mounted just behind the top of the front wheel arches.

The overall appearance of rear of the car received more 'Quattroporte' attention with its re-designed boot lid and horizontally shaped rear light cluster. Two seperate exhaust pipes exiting on either side replacing the twin tail pipes of the Series I. Internally the main changes were to the design of the dashboard with anodised rimmed instruments replacing the chrome of its predecessor. The Series II Sebring was now offered with a 3.7-litre engine producing 245bhp and later a 4-litre engine 255bhp.

Behind the Nardi steering wheel lies a purposeful cockpit

Production of the first series totalled 348 between 1962 to 1965. Production of the second series was limited to 243 cars between 1965 and 1967. Alas production was ended in 1967.

The Sebring (series I)

The Sebring (series II)


Found your page on the Sebring with gorgeous photos and with joy remembered my own year with a bronze '67 Series II. As well as with sadness recalled my own experience with the accursed Lucas mechanical FI system. At purchase, having sat for some months the distribution rotor was frozen in its sleeve; and ignorant I took it to a non-Lucasite mechanic who of course honed the rotor which, being driven off the camshaft, of course proceeded to spew fuel into the crankcase and... $2,800 in 1974 dollars later, finally right, took me promptly to 131mph indicated on 6 year old Pirellis with cracked sidewalls. Couldn't help myself. Still remember the feeling.

Also still remember the Lucas-like Magneti Marelli dual point distributor and the two damnable fuel pumps which made the sweetest noise on the odd day they were both working. Absolutely the most beautiful evil sensual piece of machinery I ever inflicted on myself. Thanks for your efforts to preserve the Maser.


"Hi Enrico,

How do you like my new car?


Danny (The Netherlands)."

"Complimenti Danny, it looks very nice indeed!



Body type 2+2 Coupé
Production years From 1963 to 1969
Engine Front engined 6 cylinder in-line
Bore and stroke 86 mm X 100 mm (86 x 106 mm - 88 x 110 mm)
Engine capacity 3485.3 cc (3694.4 cc - 4012.2 cc)
Compression ratio 8.5:1
Maximum power 235-bhp @ 5500 rpm (245 - 255 bhp @ 5200 rpm)
Distribution Two overhead camshafts, two valves per cylinder
Induction system Lucas indirect fuel injection
Ignition Double with Marelli distributor
Lubrification Forced with pressure pump
Transmission Rear wheel drive
Differential Salisbury 'live' axle
Clutch Dry single plate
Gearbox 5 speed and reverse
Chassis Welded tubular trellis
Front suspension:- Independent wheels, coil-springs and telescopic shock-absorbers
Rear suspension:- Rigid axle, semi-elliptical leaf-springs and telescopic shock-absorbers
Brakes Hydraulically operated disc brakes on all four wheels
Wheelbase 2500 mm
Wheel tracks Front 1390 mm    Rear 1360 mm
Tyres Front:- 185 x 16 (205 x 15)    Rear:- 185 x 16 (205 x 15)
Dry weight 1200 kg
Overall length 4470 mm
Overall width 1650 mm
Overall height 1300 mm
Maximum speed 235 - 245 km/h
Models constructed 591

This rare Sebring Brochure courtesy of Marc Weijmans.

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