The 3500GT, introduced in 1957, replaced the A6G54 in production and over the following few years radically increased the production volumes of Maserati. Both the chassis, still tubular with independent front suspension and a live rear axle, and the engine, still a dohc in-line six, were new. The latter showed more difference to its predecessors, being a derivative of the 250F GP car engine with a displacement of 3485cc, two spark plugs per cylinder and a power output of 220bhp.
As usual the bodies were built by various coachbuilders, the majority being aluminium bodied coupes by Touring or steel bodied convertibles (with a reduced wheelbase) by Vignale (although Bertone, Allemano and Frua also contributed some examples). One-offs were built by Moretti, Boneschi and Touring. The car continued to be developed, in 1959 front disc brakes were introduced and shortly afterwards a five-speed gearbox became available. Fuel injection followed in 1961, the car becoming the 3500GTI and the engine increasing in power to 235bhp. Several small changes were also made at this time, such as a re-routed exhaust system, disc brakes all round, deletion of the front fog lights, revised indicators and rear lights etc.
In 1963 Vignale introduced a completely new 2+2 coupe bodystyle (steel with alloy bonnet and bootlid) on the shorter spider chassis, which was initially called the 3500GTIS but then became known as the Sebring. This had disc brakes on all four wheels and a five speed transmission. The engine gradually increased in size, first to 3.7 litres with 245bhp and then to 4.0 litres with 255bhp. In 1965 a minor facelift was carried out which involved redesigned front and rear lights plus some other detail design changes. Air conditioning and automatic transmission were added to the options list.
About 1,980 3500GT and 3500GTI cars were produced until 1964, plus 245 Spiders, whilst 601 Sebrings were built (348 series I and 243 series II) with production ending in 1969.
Engine 3485cc (86x100mm) dohc twin-plug straight 6 with 220bhp @ 5,500rpm
later with 235bhp @ 5,800rpm when fitted with Lucas fuel injection
3692cc (86x106mm) dohc twin-plug straight 6 with 245bhp @ 5,500rpm
4012cc (88x110mm) dohc twin-plug straight 6 with 255bhp
Suspension front : Independent with wishbones and coil springs
rear : live axle with leaf springs
wheelbase : 2,600mm
track (front/rear) : 1390mm/1360mm
Brakes front : drums, discs from 1959
rear : drums, discs on Sebring
Transmission 4 speed manual (5 speed in Sebring and optional in others) ZF unit
automatic available as option
Steering Worm and sector Kerb weight 1300kg
1962 model : 1350kg
Sebring : 1200kg
See our Museo Bonfanti page for pictures of some more 3500GT cars.
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