3500GT and 3500GTI
The 3500GT was a significant model for Maserati, as it was the first road car to be built in relatively large volume. In 1957, Maserati had officially withdrawn from motorsport, and full attention was now on the production of Gran Turismo automobiles. The elegant design of the 3500GT was the creation of Milanese coachbuilder Carrozzeria Touring, whose Superleggera (Superlight) patent used aluminum panels wrapped over a thin, tubular steel frame that described the body shape. The inline-6 engine, characterized by excellent torque output at low engine speed, came from the 350S racing car of 1956. In 1961, triple Weber carburetors were replaced by a Lucas mechanical fuel-injection system, boosting the power to 235 hp in the 3500GTI. ZF supplied the four-speed gearbox (five-speed from 1960 and three-speed automatic on request), with other components sourced from the best suppliers of the day. Front disc brakes became available as an option from 1959. The 3500 GT and GTI achieved great commercial success, establishing Maserati as one of the world’s most exclusive high-performance automotive marques.