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Robb Design Portfolio: Grand Tour for Two

Robert Ross

1962 Maserati 3500 GT Spyder
The convertible version of Maserati’s first real series production automobile, the 3500 GT Touring, is rare among Italian exotics of its time. This topless gran turismo dazzled auto enthusiasts when it debuted in 1959, two years after its hardtop stablemate first appeared. Carrozzeria Touring designed the coupe, but Giovanni Michelotti penned the Spyder, which was built by Alfredo Vignale and never offered as a production hardtop. Unlike performance-driven Ferraris of the era, the reserved and elegant Spyder was conceived to furnish a grand touring experience for two in unbridled luxury and style.

Maserati made nearly 2,000 examples of the coupe but produced only 245 Spyders. The heart of both models was a racing-derived, DOHC inline 6-cylinder engine that made a healthy 220 bhp at 5,500 rpm. Lucas fuel injection replaced Weber carburetion in 1961. Wonderful to drive, the Spyder is a testament to the timelessness of superlative Italian automobile design and engineering.

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