In the world of classic cars, very few things can match a full-blooded Italian Grand Tourer. While I don’t want to come across snobbish, I don’t mean Bertone Giulias and Fulvias. No, we’re talking all-singing, all-dancing exotica sporting continent-smashing V8’s and V12’s. However, much to the disappointment of many enthusiasts, not much can match the price tag of these glorious GT’s either.
Yet, there are a few exceptions. Of course, you’re never going to gain access to the exclusive club of Ferrari’s, Lamborghini’s, Maserati’s, ISO’s, De Tomaso’s and the like for mere MGB money. That’s a given. But there are certain models which are still a steal compared to their nearest competitors. Sure, they still require a decent sized roll of big notes – certainly significantly more than what I’ve got tucked away under my pillow. The word “budget” should be seen in light of the company, but you might just be surprised…
The sleek Maserati Indy is one of those great Italian GT’s. It was introduced in 1969 as a proper 2+2 coupé based on the 2-seater Ghibli which debuted two years earlier. Bizarrely, the Ghibli exploded in value several years ago, where the Indy remained comparatively cheap. Granted, in recent years it’s begun to creep up in value, but it’s still your cheapest entry ticket into a classic V8 Maserati coupé by a fair margin. Why is this? Well, your guess is no doubt as good as mine.
After all, the Ghibli and the Indy largely share the same mechanical specifications, consisting of Maserati’s own fabulous all-alloy quad-cam V8 of either 4.2, 4.7 or 4.9-litres delivering drive through either a 5-speed manual or a 3-speed automatic transmission. But with the crème of Italian GT’s, it’s not just about power – there’s style to be considered too. It was Giugiaro who penned the 2-seater Ghibli during his time with Ghia. However, their 2+2 proposal, the Simun, was dismissed by Maserati management in favour of the light and flowing lines of the Indy proposed by Vignale and designed by the young Michelotti during his employment there. Compare the Simun with the Indy, and you’ll immediately understand why. The Simun, while not ugly in any manner, was certainly somewhat clumsy and awkward compared to the elegance of the Indy. In fact, I might even dare say that the Indy matches to oh-so coveted Ghibli in the looks department, for while the Ghibli certainly has serious presence, it’s also a little heavy and bulky when compared to the Indy’s airy simplicity. Admitted, money no object and given the choice between a Ghibli and an Indy, I too would opt for the Ghibli. But bear in mind that according to Hagerty’s Valuation Tool, a Ghibli 4.7 in good condition is three times the price of an Indy 4.7 in similar condition. Take that in to the account, and the more practical 2+2 suddenly looks awfully appealing!
I’m going to presume that you’ve already guessed that it was a Maserati Indy that got my juices flowing this week. In fact, that happens every time I think of the graceful 2+2 GT, but this time I actually stumbled over one which is for sale at what seems to be a very reasonable asking price. More specifically, it’s a 1972 car with the 4.7-litre engine – one of 1,104 Indy’s and one of only 364 with the 4.7-litre engine. Rarity guaranteed. It presents in a beautiful dark wine red metallic which I don’t believe I’ve ever seen in the flesh on an Indy before. It’s for sale in the UK and is thus a RHD car, which will no doubt compromise the appeal in mainland Europe and the US. Talking about compromise, it’s also an automatic, which to me at least seems a shame. But all I have to do is look at that design and listen to that V8, and all else is forgiven and forgotten.
The private vendor claims the Indy has been in the same family ownership for more than 10 years. He adds that it’s recently been through extensive restoration work including new sills, new floor pans and a complete respray. However, judging from the pictures, it’s clear to see that the engine bay was left unrestored. While I’m all for a driver quality classic, a bit of a clean-up around that lovely V8 wouldn’t go amiss. Luckily, it’s still equipped with stock Campagnolo magnesium wheels. The Indy has been back on the road since 2016, comes with 61,000 miles on the clock, extensive history and a MOT which is valid until March 2019. These are a few pictures borrowed from the advert:
So how much for this Italian exotica? Well, the vendor is asking £45,000 which to me seems like pretty good value for money when compared to many of the Indy’s contemporary competitors. It’s of course a complex car and you should expect even the smallest of repairs to be on the costly side. On that note, a budget Indy – perhaps more than any other classic car – truly requires a professional pre-purchase inspection before that roll of big notes leaves your pocket. But as long as there’s no rust and the engine is sound, this appears to be a whole lot of classic playboy GT at entry-level money. Here’s the link to the advert: 1972 Maserati Indy 4700 America RHD
With our Saturday instalment of Prime Find of the Week, we’re offering our services to the classic car community, by passing on our favourite classic car for sale from the week that passed. This top-tip might help a first-time-buyer to own his first classic, or it could even be the perfect motivation for a multiple-classic-car-owner to expand his garage with something different. We’ll let us inspire by anything from a cheap project to a stunning concours exotic, and hope that you will do the same.
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