Lot 138

London 2022

1958 Maserati 3500 GT Spyder By Frua


£488,750 GBP | Sold

United Kingdom | London, United Kingdom



Chassis No.
AM101 268
Engine No.
101 268
  • A unique Maserati custom-designed by Pietro Frua
  • Built as a prototype submission for the 3500 GT Spyder
  • Featured in period film and magazines
  • Upgraded with desirable five-speed transmission and front disc brakes
Please note if this vehicle is exported outside of the UK an export license will be required.

Ahead of Maserati’s official unveiling of the 3500 GT, the Italian manufacturer instructed a small cluster of trusted carrozzeria to design bodywork to clothe the newly designed rolling chassis. Five unbodied chassis were sent to the Turin-based coachbuilder, Pietro Frua, who returned with completed cars with his usual exuberance and attention to detail. Of these, only the car shown here, chassis number AM101 268, was styled as an open spyder. Fascinating design features, such as the headlights set into gently rising wings, cleverly disguised side-mounted air intakes dressed in chrome, and flared tail fins punctuated a truly unique shape.

The styling of chassis AM101 268, envisioned in 1958, was reportedly a pitch for the 3500 GT Spyder. While that contract would eventually be awarded to Vignale, this unique car laid the foundations for future Frua designs that dressed the later 5000 GT. Few road-going concept Maseratis had such far-reaching influence, and the legacy would live on with hints of future models, such as the Mexico and Sebring, evident in this car’s appearance.

Factory records state that this car was completed on 20 December 1958, after which it was test-driven by Maserati chief mechanic and test driver, Guerino Bertocchi, and German journalist, Richard von Frankenberg, on the Autodromo di Modena. It was then exported to France via Parisian importer Simone et Thenpenier, and first registered by a private company on 18 November 1959. The car was used by the actor Roger Pierre in a scene of the film La Francaise et l’Amour (or “Love and the French Woman”), released in December 1960.

After filming, this 3500 GT was sold and registered by its first private owner, Françis Lopez, a famous composer and keen Maserati collector, in November of the same year. Mr. Lopez part exchanged the Maserati with the French importer, Simone et Thenpenier, for a new 3500 GT in November 1962. The car was retained by this owner for a number of years, until it was sold to the fourth keeper in 1979.

The fifth owner, Bruno Bouvier of Evreux, bought the car in 1981 and commissioned a full restoration, which would include a new 3500 GT engine acquired from the Maserati factory. Restoration work was continued by the next owner, Peter Garett of Kent, at Glendale Engineering of Oldham. The Maserati was finished in the striking colour scheme of pastel yellow with a turquoise and white leather interior, and included the desirable factory upgrades of a five-speed gearbox and disc brakes.

In December 1991, the completed restoration made an appearance in Classic & Sports Car, as part of a feature article by Martin Buckley. Subsequent caretakers included the noted collector, Ben Huisman, and the renowned Maserati enthusiast, Alfredo Brener. Mr Brener is said to have renewed some of the restoration work between 1998 and 2000, with new cream paint, and it appeared at the 2000 Concorso Italiano and 2002 Los Angeles Auto Show. The consigning owner acquired this Maserati via auction in 2020.

This striking and storied Maserati 3500 GT Spyder presents an unmissable opportunity to own a creation from one of Italy’s great design houses—a car that is not just rare, but totally unique.