The 1960s ushered in a new era where cars became more than just modes of transport. They represented a persons status in society and became objects of adoration. Car designs rapidly changed. They started to look more pleasing to the eye and became statement pieces. The pioneers of this revolution were the Italian carmakers. They had a simple idea, a car should not just carry you, but should also carry your stature.
This radical shift in philosophy meant that cars started to look aesthetic and beautiful as time went on. Cars these days are a continuation of that evolution. Yet a lot of cars today feel stale and lack the bold look of cars from the 1960s.
One of the brands responsible for the rapid advancement of car design is Maserati. By 1964 Maserati’s line of cars had matured to become talking points and mainstays in the automotive world. Let’s learn more about these iconic cars and why they were so coveted.
Jump ahead to..
The Age of Classics
The 1950s and 60s were a time when cars were becoming more than just transport. At the forefront of this revolution was Maserati. They had a stellar line-up of coupes, two-seaters, and even had a four-seater to appeal to the masses. Cars such as the 1964 Maserati 3500 GT were so widely loved they became the company’s first car to be built in huge numbers. The 3500GT was so pure and refined that the Shah of Iran had requested a special model of the Maserati 3500 GT. That model came to be known as the Maserati 5000 GT.
Today we shall take a look at some of the Maserati’s that were on the roads during this time and find out what made them so special.
The 1964 Maserati 3500 GT
The Maserati 3500 GT was the first Maserati to be introduced after the company withdrew from competitive racing. They wanted to build the best Gran Turismo cars on earth and the 3500 GT was their first attempt. It was designed by Carrozeria Touring and was constructed almost entirely out of aluminum. It came with a tubular steel frame for rigidity. The sleek lines and the curved hood were the reasons why the car drew so many admirers. It was elegantly shaped and beautifully sculpted, the 1964 Maserati 3500 GT was a car for the enthusiast and it was not afraid to show it.
On the engine front, it was powered by a V6 engine that produced 220 bhp. It was characterized by its ability to produce excellent torque at low engine speeds. It was no slouch either, the 1964 Maserati 3500 GT top speed was around 145 mph. The model got a few minor upgrades over the years. These included a fuel injection system in the new GTi model, a five-speed manual and a three-speed automatic transmission system, and front disc brakes. It was the car that helped Maserati get past financial hurdles and helped them remain in the auto industry.
The 1964 Maserati 5000 GT – The Special One
The Maserati 3500 GT was a mesmerizing car, however, it was also a standard production model. This meant that you could not get a customized version of the car. While for a lot of people, it wasn’t a deal-breaker, the Shah of Iran had other ideas. He wanted to combine the masterful design of the 3500 GT with a 4.5-liter V8 engine from the Maserati 450s sports car. It instantly became the best Gran Tourer in the market.
The Maserati 5000 GT was a combination of power and design. It attracted many buyers and was also purchased by King Saud of Saudi Arabia. The idea behind the 5000 GT was power, the Shah of Iran wanted the fastest GT in the world. The 5000 GT had a top speed of 184.6 mph. The car was so popular and widely in demand, it became only the second car after the 3500 GT to be a production car. A total of 34 units were made by Maserati.
The 1964 Maserati Quattroporte
The Maserati 3500 GT and the 5000 GT opened the doors for the company to start building more consumer cars. Naturally, this led to the inception of a four-door, the first from an Italian manufacturer. The 1964 Maserati Quattroporte, which is Italian for “Four-doors” was a supercar wearing the guise of a sedan.
It was powered by a 4.1-liter four-cam V8 engine. Styled by the legendary Pietro Frua, the Quattroporte instantly became an icon of the automotive world. There were only 759 Quattroporte’s built and marked the first time Maserati made these many cars for consumers.
Today it is a rare classic, coveted by collectors and auctioneers throughout the world.
The 1964 Maserati Sebring
By now, we are aware of Maserati’s influential Grand Tourers in the American market. The 3500 GT was one of the most popular cars of the decade and set the tone for the manufacturer to establish its dominance. Once the 3500 GT series had matured, Maserati decided to launch the Maserati Sebring Coupe. It was launched in 1963 and was set to be the final iteration of the 3500 series.
It came in some dazzling paint schemes and is one of the most iconic cars of all time. It was styled by Carrozziera Vignale and it came with a host of class-leading features. Five-speed gearbox, disc brakes, and air conditioning came as standard. The beautiful coupe design, the bold colors, and the chrome wire wheels added to its appeal. Today the 1964 Maserati Sebring is a collector’s item.
An Old Fashioned Conclusion
The 1960s were the time for Maserati to finally embrace its new identity. It became the legendary car maker it is today through these iconic models. The GT concept reached the shores of America and firmly settled in. You can see a lot of its influence in cars today and it is a testament to the power of the Gran Tourer. In 1964 Maserati had the most impeccable car line-up on the road. Each vehicle was a stunner and today’s carmakers dream to have such an all-star line-up.