Monterey

Portola Hotel & Spa
19 - 20 August 2016
Lot 206

1961 Maserati 3500 GT Coupe by Touring

The Riverside International Automotive Museum Collection

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$253,000 USD | Sold

United States | Monterey, California

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Chassis No.
AM101 1802
Engine No.
AM101 1802
Body No.
12143
  • Offered from the Riverside International Automotive Collection
  • Purchased new by actor Dan Blocker
  • Allegedly optioned with a five-speed manual transmission and disc brakes from the factory
  • Retains its original engine
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220 bhp, 3,485 cc DOHC inline six-cylinder engine, five-speed manual transmission, coil-spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with coil springs and radius arms, and four wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 102.3 in.

The launch of the new 3500 GT at the Geneva Motor Show in 1957 further emphasized Maserati’s commitment toward strengthening its line of GT cars. Stretched thin due to participation in a trio of different sports car classes as well as Formula One racing, the company needed a commercial success to stay on its feet and continue its success in racing. The 3500 GT was intended to provide just that.

Utilizing the company’s proven inline six-cylinder motor that now had 3.5 liters of displacement, the car delivered at a time when it was needed most and proved to be the success Maserati was looking for. Nearly 2,000 examples were produced over the course of eight years, a massive number for a company previously known for its hand-built, low-production sports cars.

Originally finished in Beige over a black interior according to information provided by Maserati Classiche, this particular 3500 GT coupe was completed by the factory on 4 September 1961 and specified as a U.S. model. Delivered new to Beverly Hills, the car’s first owner was actor Dan Blocker, who played the role of Eric “Hoss” Cartwright on NBC’s long-running television show Bonanza. Other than acting, Blocker’s other love was racing, and he campaigned his racing cars under the banner of the “Vinegaroon” racing team.

Purchased two years into his role on Bonanza, Blocker’s 3500 GT was allegedly highly optioned from the factory when new and was fitted with a five-speed manual transmission and four-wheel disc brakes. It is believed that Blocker kept the car for four years, and it was listed for sale in the 27 February 1965 issue of Competition Press. It is believed that the car remained in the United States for the next two decades before being purchased by Tom Mee Jr. The car was allegedly restored just prior to his acquisition and remained with his family for over two decades before being purchased by Doug Magnon for the Riverside International Automotive Museum.

A favorite of Mr. Magnon’s, he reportedly drove the 3500 GT frequently, often with friends and family members in the passenger seat. Boasting Hollywood provenance, this beloved member of the museum will surely make a compelling addition to any collection of Maseratis or 1960s European grand tourers.