Type Vignale Spyder
Chassis No AM101*1449*
Engine No AM101*1449* (Original)
Engine No AM101*103* (Current)
Production Sequence No 231 of 250
Vignale Body No 233
Final Drive Ratio 11 x 45 / 4:09:1
Wheels Borrani 72-Spoke, 6.0 x 16 Wire Wheels
Tires Pirelli Cinturato 185VR-16
Exterior Color Bianco Le Touquet (White – Max Meyer Code 13.470)
Interior Color Black (Full Connolly Leather, Code PAC.1560)
Ordering Date December 15th, 1962
Shipping Arranged December 17th, 1962
Completed December 22nd, 1962
Ordering Dealer Hoffman Motors Corporation
9130 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, California
Mileage 37,906 Kilometers
-Five Borrani 72-Spoke, 6.0 x 16 Wire Wheels
-Five Pirelli Cinturato 185VR-16 Tires
-Optional 11 x 45 / 4:09:1 Final Drive Ratio
-Ocean Shipping in Special Prepared Packaging
This Maserati is one of 252 examples completed. Their were two prototypes and 250 production examples. All of these Maseratis were completed in a relatively long production run that began in March of 1959 and ended in June of 1964. The Vignale body-production and job number for this Maserati is No. 233. This number is grease-penciled in a variety of places on the vehicle and the two digit number “33” and three digit number “233” is stamped on numerous panels and trim pieces throughout the vehicle. The original Vignale Body tag is also stamped “233.”
The original order for this Maserati came from Hoffman Motors Corporation located at 9130 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, California. This was one of eight similar Vignale Spyders painted “Bianco Le Touquet” (White – Max Meyer Code 13.470) with a Black Full Connolly Leather (Code PAC.1560 interior.
According to Maserati’s internal records, this Maserati was formally identified on December 15th, 1962. A request for shipping was initiated two-days later on December 17th, via the Port of Genoa, Italy. The vehicle was completed on December 22nd, 1962 and shipped shortly thereafter by ocean vessel to the Port of Los Angeles, California. This vehicle was fitted with optional power windows and five optional Boranni wire wheels and Pirelli Cinturato Tires and a special “short” 4.09:1” final drive ratio. Special floor mats were also fitted.
After the sale of this Maserati by Hoffman Motors, almost nothing is know regarding this particular vehicle over the next near fifty years until it was purchased sometime in 1985 by MIE (Maserati Information Exchange) in Auburn, Washington. At the time of the sale, the car was still on an original California “old-style / Pink-Slip” type “110” title which indicates that this would have been issued to the first original registered owner. Unfortunately the current and former folks at MIE do not recall any of the specifics of the transaction or from whom they actually purchased the vehicle from. They have however confirmed that the car was quite derelict and had been off the road for some time. At the time it was acquired, values were still relatively low.
Not long after their purchase, a client of MIE was in need of a replacement engine for his 3500GT Touring Coupé and MIE removed and sold the original engine from AM101*1449 to him. MIE continued for several years to treat this Maserati as a source of parts until 1987/1988 when prices and interest started to rise dramatically. MIE then made a wise decision and began a comprehensive restoration of the vehicle. In addition to the original engine being removed and sold, the front grill was removed and both the left and rear tail-light housings also removed and sold.
On May 9th, 1988 MIE surrendered the original California title and received a new Washington, State Title which remains with this Maserati even today. Work to restore this Vignale Spydert then commenced at a rapid pace. To replace the original missing engine, they sourced a freshly rebuilt engine they had in stock. This was engine number AM101*103*, a rare early external-oil filter, external oil-pump engine that was originally fitted to a 3500GT Touring Coupé that was completed in the Spring of 1958. This particular 3500GT Touring Coupé has been missing and presumed lost or broken up for spares for many years.
To replace the missing front grill and rear taillight housing assemblies, MIE sourced all three items from another 3500GT Spyder in their possession. All three of these parts are stamped with the Vignale body number “65.” This body number corresponds to an early 3500 Vignale Spyder with the chassis number “AM101.999.”
The original engine for “1449” had been fitted in the late 1980s to AM101*916*, another 3500GT which was now on the East Coast. Then presumably sold to a German collector where it remains currently at this time.
MIE completed the restoration of this Maserati early in 1989 and then extensively photographed it for sales and marketing purposes. During the restoration the car had been color changed from the original special order white with black interior to red with a tan interior. Total mileage at that time the restoration was completed was 37,489 kilometers. It was offered for sale shortly thereafter and then sold formally on March 2nd, 1989 to Hiroaki Fukushima of Beppu, Japan. The day before the car was sold, on March 1st, 1989, MIE took a series of photos of the new owner test-driving this Maserati in the parking lot of their company facility in Auburn, Washington. Total mileage at that time was 37,881 kilometers. The sales documents indicate the vehicle was corporately purchased on behalf of Mr. Fukushima and invoiced as follows:
Beppu Gas Engineering Inc.
5-25 Kita Motogahama
Beppu City, Oita Prefecture
The car was then shipped to the new owner in Japan. After arrival, rather than registering his his new Maserati for the road, Mr. Fukushima instead placed it into storage from which it would not move again for 28 years until our recent purchase in July of 2017. At the time of our purchase total mileage was 37,906 kilometers. During Mr. Fukushima’s ownership the car was never road-registered and from the time of his purchase until our purchase 28 years later, this Maserati had been driven only 25 kilometers. It is believed the 25 additional kilometers added was done likely prior to the car shipping to Japan given that it was never road-registerd while in Japan. Total mileage on this Maserati since the completion of the restoration in 1989 is therefor just 417 kilometers. Sadly, while this vehicle covered virtually no mileage for almost 30 years after a complete and comprehensive restoration, it was stored poorly and at the time of our purchase in need of significant services and refurbishment.
After arrival in our workshop in early August of 2017, AM101.1449 was inspected and then began a thorough disassembly in order to strip and repaint the body back to the original special order white exterior with a correct black leather interior. All of the original assembly and sales records were acquired from the Maserati Factory and they are being utilized to bring the car as close as possible back to the original delivery configuration. During the disassembly of the vehicle, the original and very rare Vignale Body Tag was located. As expected it was stamped “233.” In addition to being stamped with the original body number, the mounting holes for the tag also showed the original exterior paint of the vehicle was white which matches the Maserati internal records. The full body number 233 and the shorted number “33” are stamped or written on nearly ever part of the car the can be removed.
In addition to the stripping, repainting, re-trimming of this vehicle, all of the chrome and bright work is being restored and new Boranni wire wheels fitted. Per the Maserati records, we will be going back to the original rare color combination of “Bianco Le Touquet” (White) with an all new and correct black full Connolly leather interior. A complete and comprehensive set of services, safety checks and additional refurbishment and attention to the vehicle’s cosmetics is now being undertaken as well. Work is expected to be completed sometime in early January.
Interested buyers are welcome to contact me and I will keep everyone updated on the progress of the ongoing work.