Expensive classic cars lead to expensive spare parts; very expensive classic cars lead to VERY expensive spare parts. This seems to be the rule which all classic car enthusaists must accept. Today’s example is no exception – rather, it is perhaps the embodiment of this rule.
During the 1950’s Maserati enjoyed huge success in motorsport with its many variants of the A6 model. The marque was at its very peak in 1957, which they of course wished to cash in on: By selling more road cars. So that same year, Maserati introduced a brand new model in the very upper end of the elusive Gran Turismo class. The 3500GT was immediately received with joy and accolades. There quickly appeared a demand for an open version too – unsurprisingly stemming from their American customers.
In 1959 they duly introduced the Spyder (Convertible) version, which had been designed at Carozzeria Vignale by the talented Michelotti. The design was so beautiful that they had no quires adding the slogan: “… a design symbolizing elegance, sophistication and speed.”
Only 242 examples were built and during the few years it was in production, constant small changes and tweaks were introduced. Different shapes of floor panels, outriggers and sills, A-posts and lower B-posts, and even the general layout of the boot. The main reason for this was that neither Maserati or Vignale were satisfied with the lack of torsional rigidity in the body. Furthermore, early versions had a longer bonnet and a lower windscreen too. And then there was the option of a factory hardtop.
There were also continuous variations to the interior, bumpers, lights and instruments. All of which makes almost every single car unique, with every chassis number incorporating its own little piece of history.
But let’s get back to that infamous hardtop. Roughly 50 of the 3500GT Vignale Spyders were delivered with a factory hardtop. Needless to say, in the pursuit of originality and the ultimate spec, these hardtops have become a “must-have” for any 3500GT Spyder owner. Nowadays, the cars trade at up towards US $ 850.000, so it’s probably fair to presume that owners of these exquisite Maserati’s have a reasonable amount of equity, which can be utilised for the required spare parts for their unique cars
Recently on eBay, one such hardtop for a Maserati 3500GT Spyder was up for grabs. It was somewhat secondhand though. The advert tells us that the hardtop was found in a barn in Germany. The rear window glass is missing and so is all the hardware required to attach the hardtop to a car. Oh, and there is some rust along the lower edge of the hardtop too. Price: US $ 25,995, which currently equates to Euro 21,000.
Would you regard that as value for money or sheer insanity? Share your thoughts…