Unique and Beautiful Maserati 3500 GT Spyder Vignale Prototipo Joins The Concours of Elegance 2024

1959 Maserati 3500 GT Spyder Vignale

The Concours of Elegance has confirmed yet another unique and beautiful car for its line-up of 70 of the world’s rarest automobiles: the pioneering Maserati 3500 GT Spyder Vignale Prototipo.

Introduced in 1957, Maserati’s 3500 GT Coupe heralded a new chapter of design and engineering, with a graceful body designed by Touring Superleggera. But the allure of an open top Spyder variant lingered. After prototypes from design-houses Frua and Touring were reportedly a little too conservative in design, Turin-based Vignale took up the challenge with its chief designer Michelotti. Based on a shortened 3500 GT Coupe chassis, Vignale built a car that had its own graceful personality, without simply looking like a coupe with the roof removed. Nearly two years after this prototype was completed, Maserati awarded Vignale the contract to build the 3500 GT Spyder, which would look almost identical – save for a few special touches that weren’t suitable for production.

1959 Maserati 3500 GT Spyder Vignale Car Logo

This model boasted myriad bespoke details. For instance, the design of the bumpers differs, as does the front grille shape, the size and plating of the trident, the placement and design of turn-signals and surrounds. The dainty headlight trim rings were also new, while the wipers were neatly tucked under the trailing edge of the hood. The rake of the windscreen was also changed, and the body was capped off with a more complicated and ornate taillight design. All body trim on this Spyder was hand made to such a close tolerance that there is no need for a gasket or gromet between the trim and body, and in mass production this couldn’t be cost-effectively replicated.

This Spyder Prototipo’s condition and authenticity are unparalleled, having benefited from a meticulous restoration that prioritised authenticity. All materials are original, from the aluminium and steel sheet metal, to the matching numbers engine, transmission, and chassis. These elements have been preserved or restored to their initial grandeur, offering a window into its storied past.

Some elements have been renewed: the soft-top material was replaced as well as the missing front carpets, additionally the centre consoles’ leather covering, and front leather covers on front seats. However, the steering wheel, as well as all gauges, switches and knobs are original, and all retained. The rear seats and backs of front seats, as well as door panels were all preserved, as was the original boot floor, tools and spare.

1959 Maserati 3500 GT Spyder Vignale Car Front

With a provenance as storied as its design, #101504’s first owner was none other than Joe Lubin of Los Angeles—a notable figure in the racing world, patron of a private Maserati team, and a “friend of the factory.” This Spyder’s creation was paired with technological advancements such as front disc brakes and a competition engine, setting it apart from its peers.

This Maserati represents one of 70 cars that will sit at the heart of the Concours of Elegance, gathered from all corners of the globe and generously displayed by their owners. Outside of the main Concours display sits a number of special features, including the Levitt Concours – dedicated to the most passionate female owners – the 30UNDER30, which celebrates enthusiastic owners under 30 years of age and the Club Trophy, which gathers the very best examples of models from the nation’s best car clubs.

Away from the automotive displays, Concours of Elegance 2024 will again be an occasion of pure luxury, with champagne provided by Charles Heidsieck, picnics by Fortnum & Mason, and a collection of art, jewellery and fashion displays. Presenting Partner A. Lange & Söhne will once again showcase some of its most intricate timepieces.

Tickets to the Concours of Elegance are available now from www.concoursofelegance.co.uk/tickets –  Early Bird prices are applied until 1 May.

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