18-19 August 2017

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Lot 155

1959 Maserati 3500 GT Spyder by Frua

  • Chassis no. AM101 268
  • Engine no. 101 268

Sold for $605,000

  • A one-off spyder fully custom designed by Pietro Frua
  • Intended as a prototype submission for the 3500 GT Spyder
  • Widely featured in period magazines and in film
  • Desirable five-speed transmission and disc brakes
  • A beautiful and truly unique 3500 GT

Torino coachbuilder Pietro Frua produced five custom bodies for the Maserati 3500 GT chassis, all designed with his usual exuberance and intricate detail. Of these, only the car shown here, chassis number AM101 268, was an open spyder. It was designed to one-of-a-kind lines featuring headlights set into subtly “scooped” fenders, delicate flanks with barely-there “coves” decorated in chrome strakes, and slightly flared tailfins.

This design, penned in 1958, was reportedly intended for Maserati to consider for the eventual production 3500 GT Spyder. While that contract would be awarded to Vignale, this unique automobile forecasts future Frua designs for the 5000 GT, and traces of the future production Maserati Sebring and Mexico can be seen in its profile view. One also has to wonder how many Ford designers had this car tacked up on their office wall, since the shape of the door “coves” is remarkably similar to the eventual Mustang! Few road-going custom Maseratis of its era had such far-reaching influence.

The unique spyder was completed in January 1959, after which it was test-driven by Maserati chief mechanic and test driver Guerino Bertocchi and German journalist Richard von Franckenberg on the Motodrom of Modena. It was then exported to France via Paris importer Simone et Thenpenier, and in 1960 was used by the actor Roger Pierre in a scene of the film La Francaise et l’amour, “Love and the French Woman,” before being registered to its first owner, Floret Remy, as RM 27 in Eure.

The next known owner, Bruno Bouvier of Evreux, purchased the car in 1981, and proceeded to have it fully restored, including a new 3500 GT engine acquired from the Maserati factory. Restoration work was continued by the next owner, Peter Garett of Kent, at Glendale Engineering of Oldham, including being finished in the present striking color scheme of pastel yellow with a turquoise and white leather interior, and installing the desirable factory-correct upgrades of a five-speed gearbox and disc brakes.

In December 1991, the completed restoration made an appearance in Classic and Sports Car, as part of a feature article by Martin Buckley. Subsequent caretakers were the noted collectors Philippe Olczyk and Ben Huisman, and the renowned coachbuilt Maserati enthusiast, Alfredo Brener. Mr. Brener had the restoration freshened between 1998 and 2000, with new cream paint, and it appeared at the 2000 Concorso Italiano and 2002 Los Angeles Auto Show. The current owner acquired the 3500 GT from the Brener collection in 2003.

Maserati 3500 GTs are numerous, but unique coachbuilt examples are few and far between. None have the passionate styling and European verve of this car, which is in the first rank of coachbuilt Italian designs of its period – in influence, in drama, and in sheer emotion. It is truly one of a kind.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

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California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

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California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more