Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by Vignale
Giorgio Drago, Schio, Italy (ordered new via Ditta Orfeo Ferasin in March 1962)Guido Prosdocimo, Monastier di Trevisio, Italy (acquired from the above in July 1966)Unknown Owner, United Kingdom (acquired circa 1967)R. Wilson, Enid, Oklahoma (acquired circa 1975)Current Owner (acquired from the above)
Founded by five brothers in Bologna during December 1914, Maserati quickly established itself as a manufacturer of winning race cars characterized by advanced engineering and exquisite attention to detail.
Until WWII, Maserati continued to build only racing cars, with an occasional chassis converted for street use. Following the war, the first purpose-built Maserati road cars were developed and sold – in small numbers – to well-heeled enthusiasts, earning Maserati a new reputation as a builder of fine sports and GT cars.
It was not until the late 1950s, when the company began to withdraw from factory-supported racing efforts, that Maserati launched its first volume-production passenger car, the 3500 GT. Featuring elegant coachwork by Touring of Milan and a twin-cam, twin-plug inline six-cylinder engine – derived from the legendary 300S sports racing cars – the 3500 GT was a tremendous success, with more than 1,200 examples built between 1957 and 1964.
Built upon a 100 mm shorter wheelbase chassis, the 3500 GT Spider was introduced in 1959 and featured glamorous two-place coachwork, constructed by Vignale of Torino to a design by Giovanni Michelotti. As with their Touring-bodied counterparts, the Vignale Spiders evolved throughout production; early examples featured drum brakes, a four-speed gearbox, and Weber carburetors, while later chassis featured a ZF five-speed gearbox, four-wheel Girling disc brakes, and Lucas fuel injection. With Lucas injection, the Iniezione-badged 3500 GTi gained an additional 15 bhp and additional benefits in smoothness, flexibility, and fuel economy.
In total, Maserati built just 242 Vignale Spiders between 1960 and 1964 – a figure that accounts for just over 10% of the 3500 GT’s entire production.
According to factory records, the history of this Maserati, chassis AM101.1385, can be traced to March 17, 1962, when Ditta Orfeo Ferasin, the official dealer in Vicenza, placed an order for a new 3500 GTi Vignale Spider. The order was placed on behalf of Giorgio Drago, a banker living in Schio, who specified an attractive color scheme for his new Maserati – Grigio (code Fiat 671) with natural Connolly leather upholstery and cream carpets.
Completed in May 1962, this relatively late-production example was equipped with all of Maserati’s latest features, including Lucas Fuel Injection, a ZF five-speed gearbox, and four-wheel disc brakes. Additional extras included seatbelts, FIAMM two-tone horns, and, most notably, an optional factory hardtop, finished in body color.
According to Automobile Club d’Italia records, AM101.1385 was sold for Lire 5,595,000 and first registered by Sig. Drago in Vicenza as “VI 63620.” The Vignale Spider remained in the hands of its original owner until July 21, 1966, when it was sold to Guido Prosdocimo of Monastier di Treviso. It is believed that the Maserati was then exported to England in late 1966 or early 1967, where it was registered on the number plates it still wears today, “KMW 250F.” In the 1970s, the Maserati was exported to the US and, for at least 20 years, it has been parked in a garage near Enid, Oklahoma.
Presented as found, this unrestored Vignale Spider is a very rare find and an ideal candidate for a concours-quality restoration. Refinished in red and retaining much of its original upholstery, the Maserati appears to have been driven approximately 51,000 miles before being placed in long-term static storage.
Today, many rare original features, fittings, and accessories are present, though it should be noted that the original factory-supplied hardtop is no longer with the car and the engine currently installed (numbered 101.01725) originates from, according to marque authority Adolfo Orsi, a 1963 3500 GTi Sebring. Accompanying the sale is a history report compiled by Mr. Orsi, along with copies of the original build sheet, delivery record, and Automobile Club d’Italia registration records.
Rare, glamorous, and capable of world-class performance, the late-production 3500 GTi Vignale Spider is certainly among the most desirable open sports cars of the early 1960s and a worthy rival to contemporary offerings from Aston Martin, Ferrari, and Mercedes-Benz.
This unrestored example, hidden away for decades and presented at auction for the first time, is an absolutely thrilling discovery. We have no doubt that this important Maserati sports car will spark tremendous interest when it finally returns to the public eye.