Maserati’s Flagship Mid-Engine Supercar. 4.9 Liter V8, Much Recent Work by Marque Specialist.
1975 Maserati Bora 4.9
s/n AM11749US898, engine no. AM107/11/49 898
Dark Red with White Leather Interior
The Bora was Maserati’s response to the Lamborghini Miura, which created a sensation when introduced in 1966 thanks to its stunning looks and mid-engined layout. Ferrari’s Daytona, introduced in 1968, proved to be disappointingly front-engined, but the Bora, launched in 1971, was not. Featuring Maserati’s fantastic quad cam alloy V8 directly descended from the 450S race car, the Bora was mid-engined with the appearance to match. The styling was striking and angular, with an intriguing combination of brutality and restraint, and was penned by Giorgetto Giugiaro at Italdesign. The engine compartment was uniquely covered in glass and both the roof and A-pillar were covered in brushed stainless steel.
The Bora was also technically innovative. The sophisticated V8 (available in either 4.7 or 4.9 liter displacements), was backed by ZF’s excellent 5-speed transaxle. Suspension was independent all around, addressing a long-standing criticism of the Bora’s predecessor, the Ghibli, which had a live rear axle. Maserati was then under Citroen’s ownership, and their unique hydraulic braking system was included in the Bora. The hydraulic system also powered the retractable headlamps and height adjustable driver’s seat. There was a strong focus on usability and refinement in the Bora, which was a departure from the typical Italian exotic ownership experience. The luggage compartment was usefully shaped and surprisingly large, while the pedal cluster was adjustable, as was the steering column, to ensure a comfortable fit for a wider variety of drivers. The bulkhead between the engine and the passenger’s compartment was well insulated, including the fitment of double paned glass. Performance of the car was suitably exciting, with an engine output exceeding 300hp even in USA cars, and a top speed of over 170mph. During the car’s 7 year production run, fewer than 600 Boras were built, of which approximately half were 4.9 liter cars such as this example.
This particular car spent many years in Northern California, in the area of Sacramento. It has recently emerged from many years of storage and has been sympathetically recommissioned but not restored. The previous owner reports that the motor was rebuilt by John’s Automotive Center, the well-regarded Italian car specialist in Sacramento. The mechanical recommissioning was performed in 2014 and into 2015 by Dino Motors in San Mateo and included rebuilt pedal/seat hydraulic switch, new tires, new battery, new spark plugs, new hydraulic accumulators, new fuel pump, cleaned fuel tank, tuned carburetors, recharged air conditioning, rebuilt brake calipers, new hydraulic pump, new struts for the front and rear deck lids, and miscellaneous new fuel and hydraulic lines.
Cosmetically, the car is a driver level example with dark red paint, which was done to very good standards and remains glossy and attractive overall, although close inspection reveals a few superficial cracks, some chips, and light scuffing. There is also a small amount of bubbling present at the bottom of the front windscreen. The bright trim and stainless steel roof are very good to excellent throughout, with only light scratches. The wheels are similarly nice. The glass and lights are generally excellent, although there is one star in the windscreen.
The interior is original and honest, but shows some aging in certain areas such as the driver’s seat, which is intact and supple, but shows cracking. The remaining leather is in very nice original condition, as are the dashboard, switches, and instruments. The carpets are intact but not particularly crisp in their presentation. The shift boot shows age and is ready for replacement.
The engine compartment is honest and unmodified in its presentation, although it shows plenty of dust and dirt. The carpeted cover is in good shape and the spare tire is missing. The trunk is original and in very good condition. It is surprisingly spacious and the car very well packaged.
The driving experience extremely impressive for anyone who has spent time driving Italian thoroughbreds of this period. The combination of usability and performance is shocking compared to anything else available at the time, including the Daytona, Miura, and Countach. The truly remarkable part is that the car does not feel cantankerous or temperamental. The control efforts are uniformly manageable, including the clutch, steering, and gearchange, and even rearward visibility is good. The car is easy to place on the road, and the handling confidence-inspiring. The engine is well-tuned and makes an unmistakable V8 noise, with ample power and tractability. The muffler is failing and should be replaced. The gearshift is effortless from the ZF dogleg gearbox, and the clutch progressive and easy to use. The brakes have the characteristically non-linear Citroën operation, which is at first unsettling but they are extremely effective. All in all, the car impresses because it still maintains the tremendous character and performance of an Italian thoroughbred, yet it is comfortable and immediately usable in a way that few mid-engined cars from this period are.
This is an excellent opportunity to acquire a fundamentally sound Bora that was recently revived and drives great. A wonderfully sound and unmolested example, this car can be driven and enjoyed as-is, or would respond well to cosmetic restorative work, should the new owner so desire. Although these cars have enjoyed recent appreciation, they still represent exceptional values. They are mid-engined top of the line performance cars with technical sophistication (a racing-derived alloy quad cam engine with lots of Weber carburetors), and thoroughbred Italian design by Giugiaro/Italdesign. Additionally, they are just weird enough to be interesting (the hydraulic braking, seating, and pedal adjustment, as well as the stainless roof), and surprisingly usable and practical, with great visibility, low-effort driving experience, and plenty of space for luggage.
The above vehicle information is complete and accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time it is posted to this website. Corrections or additional information is always appreciated. All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, and any emission testing charge. Vehicles are subject to prior sale. All advertised to be true but not guaranteed. We assume no liability for errors or omissions.
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