Somehow I only have a few Maseratis. A couple of amazing 1/43 Birdcages, the Bond Biturbo from License to Kill and that’s it. As a matter of fact: I really know little of the Masers. But when I got a few casts “for free” with the Diopitlane Dioramas I hawled recently this blue tourer was recognized instantly. The Maserati Mistral.
And that mainly has to do with it’s designer, Pietro Frua. He designed many cars I adore, like the Glas V8, The Glas/BMW GT, the Lloyd Alexander Coupe and the Renault Floride/Caravelle. And lots of Maseratis actually. And if you feel this Mistral looks a bit like the AC 428 Fastback you’re probably not surprised he penned that down as well. That one is known as the AC Frua as well for a reason.
Pietro worked at Stabilimenti Farina before World War 2 but when the Germans (and Italians) started that big global fire he just had started his own studio. One can imagine that didn’t lead to much work so he designed all kinds of stuff, even kitchen units/appliances.
But already during the war he acquired a bombed factory for future use and after the war ended it all went pretty quick. And luckily Maserati was one of the early customers as Frua designed/built quite a few beauties for them. One of the best spiders of the ‘50's if you ask me. The A6G “2 litro” Spyder.
These however would only be built in very small numbers (19!) so you can imagine that to be not that commercially successful. But then the ‘60's came. And the market for Italian grand tourers booming. The Mistral sales literally exploded compared to the A6G with almost a 1000 units produced in almost 7 years (1963-1970).
It was the last of the Maseratis equipped with a straight 6 engine. It was derived from the Grand Prix winning Maserati 250F and featured a twin spark cylinder head, hemispherical combustion chambers and, hold on to your breath, Lucas fuel injection. A ZF 5-speed transmission was used to put all that power to the rear wheels. Power was between 235 and 255hp. The Grand Prix engine had to grow to 4000 cc to do just this fairly reliable.
As far as I know it was the first Maserati to be named after a wind. Way before Volkswagen started doing so. They were not that consistent with it (never heard of the Biturbo or the Quattroporte wind) but still.
Famous first owners were actors Laurence Harvey (The Manchurian Candidate and often rumored for playing a James Bond), Alberto Sordi (Un americano a Roma) and Ugo Tognazzi (La grande Bouffe). Well, famous back then.
It’s highly appreciated in the classic car market. Current values tend to go way over a 100 grand. In 2016 five were sold through auctions. Cheapest went for $75,797. Most expensive though was chassis AM109/SA1 657. A 4000cc Spyder, the most rare of all of ‘m. A staggering $990,528.
One thing that couldn’t have been expensive was this cast it self. It is a 1/43 by Grani & Partners. Never heard of that brand, I think it’s some sort of patchwork cast. It’s paint is bad, it has painted taillights and it feels cheap. Just look at those wipers. And I have no idea what the script below the trident is supposed to be saying here?
E questo è tutto. Maybe I should get a few other Maseratis. I really need that A6G 2000 Spyder, not sure if there is a 1/43 of that one. And after such a Grand Tourer I’m glad someone will post an epic Italian rally car driven by a Gallic Goddess today.