1965 Maserati Mistral Spyder

VIN: AM109S049

This is one of 120 Mistral spyders built. According to the Maserati factory historian this was the 20th spyder built.

The car came to me as an unfinished restoration. The previous owner of 18 years lacked the skills to restore the car himself and the mechanic he depended on to do the work was taking too long. In all honesty I doubt he would have ever finished the job based on the amount of work that still needed to be done.

This is the car in the condition I got it:

The Car Nut

Fortunately the metal work was done before the previous owner purchased the car and 18 years later it is holding up well. The car has black lacquer that is cracking. The paint will need to be stripped to bare metal and a proper paint job done. The original color combination was Rosso Cordova (which is a deep red) with wild boar colored interior. Most of the interior has been redone in a color which was probably very close to the original. The leather quality is good (sourced from Bill Hirsch) but whomever did the work needs an upholstery remedial course. Luckily I know an upholsterer that recently did the seats on my other Mistral spyder and I am sure he can fix these. The trunk panels and hood lid pad were nicely redone.


The car originally came with a 3.5 liter fuel injected engine. The current engine is also a period correct 3.5 liter but it does not have a the VIN stamped on the block. Maserati sometimes did not stamp the VIN on the block but there is a second number (known as an internal number) which does not match the factory records making this engine most likely a factory replacement. The good news is that it still retains its Lucas fuel injection as many cars were converted to Weber carbs and finding all the parts to convert it back to injection is a challenge.

The engine sounds good and has good oil pressure. I have not been able to drive the car since the brakes were locking up; therefore the condition of the gearbox and differential are unknown at this time. I do know the clutch works and the gearbox engages since I was able to move the car a little under its own power. .

My initial plan was to fix the brakes so I could check the condition of the gearbox and differential. Once I started disassembling the brakes I decided that it would be best to go ahead and do everything in the undercarriage at the same time. Differentials on these cars seldom give any problems and if the gearbox needed to come out it is not that big of a job.

The trim pieces are coming back from Graves Plating this week. Graves does excellent show quality chrome; they did all the chrome on the Vignale spyder prototype I finished restoring last year.

These photos show the work in progress. Soon assembly of the undercarriage will begin. My goal is to have the undercarriage assembled and all the mechanical components tested by mid-November. At that time the car will be ready to go to the paint shop. Of course dates are fluids as much depends on my social calendar and October is a busy month for car events.

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