Following the lead of other prestige and luxury manufacturers, like Ferrari, Porsche and Lamborghini, Maserati has launched a new department devoted to the authentication and preservation of classic Maserati automobiles.
Launched this past December, the ‘Maserati Classiche’ programme was actually announced back in 2020 as part of the Italian carmaker’s “MMXX: Time to be Audacious” event that laid out a pathway for the brand’s second century.
As with other such classic certification programmes, Maserati Classiche aims to clarify the provenance of historic Maseratis by confirming the car’s original specification. Repair, maintenance and detailing services are part of the programme, too.
Available for all pre-2002 Maserati cars, along with a selected number of post-2002 ‘special series’ models, the Maserati Classiche certification process is thorough, conducted by a committee of experts and comprising over 300 checks of the vehicle against documents in Maserati’s historical archives, which hold the records of every Maserati built since the late 1950s.
Once the process is complete and the vehicle’s provenance is confirmed, it receives a Maserati Classiche Certificate of Authenticity, with this factory-backed confirmation of the car’s pedigree having obvious advantages when it comes time to sell.
The first car to go through Maserati Classiche certification was a Mistral 3700, finished in Auteuil Silver and built in March, 1969.
Mistral production ran from 1964 to 1970, and while it used the same running gear as the 3500GT, the new car wrapped those components in a two-door fastback body designed by Pietro Frua, while a two-door Spyder convertible with different styling was penned by Giovanni Michelotti.
Along with new styling, the Mistral adopted a new naming convention, inspired by famous winds. Following the Mistral, the likes of the Ghibli, Khamsin, Bora, Shamal and, most recently, the Levante, have continued that tradition.
Across its seven-year lifespan, the Mistral was available in 3.5, 3.7 and 4.0-litre DOHC six-cylinder form, all with fuel injection at a time when carburation was still the norm. In its hottest 4.0-litre form, a Mistral coupe produced 265hp (198kW), was capable of 0-100km/h in under 7.0 seconds and could reach a top speed of 255km/h. A five-speed manual was the only transmission offered and four-wheel disc brakes were standard.
Drivetrain, performance, acceleration and top speed for the Spyder were the same as the coupe.
Of the total 844 Mistral coupes built, the majority were fitted with the 3.7- or 4.0-litre engine, with only three receiving the 3.5-litre version, according to Maserati’s own records. Mistral Spyder production was far less, with only 124 built, but the mix of engines was more even.
Following the launch of the certification service in December, a planned expansion of Maserati Classiche in 2022 will see “major assistance services” added in the form of restoration and preservation, along with the remanufacture and distribution of spare parts no longer available. Like the certification service, these operations will be conducted in-house at Maserati.
Further details on the services available under the Maserati Classiche programme can be found HERE.