Lot 359

Monterey 2023

1960 Maserati 3500 GT Spyder 'Pre-Production' by Vignale


$610,000 USD | Sold

United States | Monterey, California



Chassis No.
AM101 761
Engine No.
AM101 761
  • One of approximately 15 early pre-production examples with unusual coachwork features
  • Retains matching-numbers carbureted engine
  • Nicely presented driver’s example benefiting from 2018 engine rebuild
  • Finished in the original factory color combination of black over brown leather
  • Documented with Maserati Classiche build certificate; copies of the factory build sheet, certificate of origin, and delivery note; and service invoices

This fetching example of Maserati’s lauded 3500 GT Spyder is one of approximately 15 preproduction cars built from January to July 1960 that featured subtle coachwork differences from the regular production cars soon to follow. The purest initial expression of Vignale’s spyder coachwork, these cars are differentiated by a lower roof, narrower body width, a longer and sharper nose, and a longer bonnet that extended over the windscreen wipers, among other distinguishing cues. While these unusual cars were not originally sold under a “pre-production” designation, enthusiasts today have justifiably come to recognize their unique differences, and now refer to them as such.

As one of the earliest of these 15 pre-production cars built after approximately six prototypes, chassis number AM101 761 completed assembly in April 1960, finished in black paint over a brown leather interior. It was fitted with a pre-production instrument panel with three small gauges at the top and equipped with a ZF four-speed gearbox.

The Maserati was sold in May 1960 to Thomas Fowler Milbank, who took delivery in Rome under the auspices of the Auto Club d’Italia before exporting the car to the United States. Roughly five years later the 3500 GT passed to Benedict Whitman of San Diego, California, after which the coachwork was refinished in dark green. In 1976 the spyder found a lasting home with Terry Pryde of Richmond, Virginia, who went on to retain possession for a remarkable period of 32 years. Mr. Pryde conducted a restoration in 1982 that demonstrated his devotion to the fine car, which he regularly maintained for over three decades.

By 2008 the Maserati had been cosmetically restored in the current elegant color combination of black over a sumptuous brown leather interior. At that point the 3500 GT was sold to a collector residing in Austria, and it then proceeded through a short chain of European owners. During the mid-2010s, the last of these caretakers treated the car to a rebuild of the gearbox, rear axle, steering, and front disc brakes with correctly specified discs. In 2017, the well-regarded London-based specialist Joe Macari performed additional work that included a rebuild of the engine with new pistons, valves, bearings, and timing chain.

As clarified by a Maserati Classiche production certificate on file, this beautiful spyder retains its matching-numbers carbureted engine, which is preferred by many enthusiasts for its throaty symphonic sound. Also desirably finished in the original factory color scheme, AM101 761 is fitted with handsome Borrani wire wheels, and a long-legged five-speed gearbox (the factory-specification four-speed gearbox is separately included). This impressive 3500 GT “Pre-Production” would make a fabulous acquisition for any marque enthusiast or collector of open sports cars, offering timelessly elegant styling and race-bred performance.