Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by Vignale
Francesco Oliva, Genoa, Italy (acquired new via Automar Srl. in January 1963)Howard Gibson, Mountain View, California (acquired in 1979)Eugene O’Gorman, Fremont, California (acquired from the above in 1983)Vince Vanelli, Lafayette, California (acquired from the above in 2005)Current Owner (acquired from the above)
The Sebring could well be called “Michelotti’s Masterpiece” for the manner in which designer Giovanni Michelotti successfully married a stylish new body to Maserati’s proven 3500 GT chassis. The Sebring’s high beltline and slender C-pillars are synonymous with bespoke Vignale coachwork, and the design endures as one of the most beautiful gran turismos of the era. Maserati produced only 348 Series I Sebrings, making it one of the most exclusive of the many production road cars Maserati built during the 1960s.
The example offered here is exclusive even among Sebrings, as it offers full factory documentation, a known history, and a handsome original color scheme that highlights the subtlety of Michelotti’s genius.
Chassis AM101.01563 was delivered new to Genoa, Italy, on January 14, 1963, to Sig. Oliva. Records indicate it left the Modena factory in Grigio Montebello paint with black leather seats. Borrani 16" wire wheels were specified, along with a ZF five-speed manual gearbox - much to the envy of 3500 GT owners, the majority of whose cars came with four-speed gearboxes.
The first known American ownership of 01563 can be traced back to 1979 with Howard Gibson of Mountain View, California, where it first wore the blue-plate registration “896 NFL” that is included with the car today.
In 1983, the Sebring passed to Eugene O’Gorman of Fremont, California, a longtime member and officer of the Maserati Club International. Mr. O’Gorman is a club advisor on the inline-six cars and became a parts resource for many 101 and 109 Series owners. Mr. O’Gorman kept the car for 22 years before selling to Vince Vanelli of Lafayette, California, who sold it to the current owner.
The car retains its original matching-numbers 3.5-liter motor, with the internal block stamping corresponding to factory records. The current owner made the change from the stock Lucas mechanical fuel injection to the more serviceable three Weber carburetors the car now features. The original fuel injection system accompanies the sale should the new owner wish to refit it.
In 2015, the car was treated to a cosmetic detailing of the exterior paint and new interior trim by Maserati specialist Martin Logé of JML Restorations in Santa Barbara, California. The consignor states that the car received a high-quality, bare-metal repaint by the previous owner.
An expensive and exotic continent-crosser when new, this Maserati Sebring represents tremendous value when compared to its period competitors. With its elegant Vignale coachwork and lovely Maserati straight-six derived from the 250F, it’s not difficult to imagine oneself in the place of Sir Stirling Moss or Juan Manuel Fangio.