Saturday, July 26, 2014

20k: Eggplant Camembert: 1975 Maserati Merak

This Maserati Merak dates from a time when Citroën owned Maserati -- say what??  From 1968 through 1975, Maserati was owned and operated by Citroën resulting in the ultimate combination of Italian style with French flair for the dramatic.  The result is a healthy serving of Eggplant Camembert...which sounds equally wonderful and horrific at the same time....but I'd take a bite.  Find this 1975 Maserati Merak offered for $23,800 in Marina del Ray, CA via craigslist.

The French ownership of Maserati lasted until Citroën itself went bankrupt and everybody was subsequently bailed out by his respective (and protective) regional government.  Merak production continued after Citroën bowed out via funds provided from GEPI (Societa di Gestioni e Partecipazioni Industriali dello Stato Italiano) and subsequently went under the control of Alejandro de Tomaso.  The initial design (and this 1975 example) used a slightly modified Bora bodyshell, but mechanically was heavily influenced by the Gauls, and it shares parts like the engine/dashboard with the Citroën SM.

Behind the small rear seats (yeah, a 4 passenger mid-engined sports car) is a 3.0 liter V6 borrowed from the Citroën SM that puts out 190 horsepower.  The Citroënification didn't end with the engine, as the clutch hydraulics, brake hydraulics and headlamp pods were also shared with the French car that looked like it came from outer space.

The interior of this Merak is going to need significant restoration, but I'm sure there are all kinds of aftermarket places that make Merak, you say?  Well, I'm sure junk yards are full on that too?  You are going to have to either be very good at building stuff from scratch or be wealthy enough to pay someone else to do it for you. 

See a cheaper mid-engine Italian for less?


  1. Be Still, My Throbbing....HeartJuly 26, 2014 at 11:10 AM

    One of my all-time favorite sports cars from my two favorite marques.

  2. Just a quibble: the engine was not borrowed from the Citroën SM, it was the other way around. However, suspension and interior are indeed from the Citroën parts bin.

    I noticed that in the CL ad, the headline reads: Maserati Merak 1975 rare - $23800 (Mdr)

    Not sure what Mdr means here, but in French SMS, it stands for "Mort de rire", which is the equivalent of LOL. Do you think it is an inside joke?

    1. while your surmise has way more savoir faire or whatever, dull reality is: mdr = marina del rey

  3. Zut alor, mon ami! Do not think Mdr is LOL here. Anyone who can out a Pep Boys steering wheel cover on a Merak is not up on French slang! Also, beware the owner who wraps the steering wheel in Les Pep Garcons, who knows what else has been "Pepified".

  4. When peeling that rude looking steering wheel cover off, would it be an unacceptable faux-pas to remove those gaud-awful rubber bumpers? And is that oil absorbent "enviromat" in the driver's floor well?
    As much as my alter ego would love to tighten & tune the drive train, gut the interior and go out to behave badly on the road, even he is saying "run away!"

  5. Be Still My Throbbing....HeartJuly 27, 2014 at 4:52 AM

    This is such a beautiful design, more purposeful-looking than the Bora and without the Bora's aerodynamic and cooling issues. Never liked this butterscotch interior color the Italians seem to employ at every opportunity, though.


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