Introduced in 1962, the Sebring was one of the final manifestations of the landmark 3500GT, which had been the linchpin of Maserati's programme to establish itself as a manufacturer of road cars. Despite numerous racetrack successes that included Juan Manuel Fangio's fifth World Championship - at the wheel of a 250F - and runner-up spot in the World Sports Car Championship with the fabulous 450S - both in 1957, the marque's most successful season - Maserati was by that time facing a bleak future. Its parent company's financial difficulties forced a withdrawal from racing and Maserati's survival strategy for the 1960s centred on switching production from competition to road models.
Maserati's survival strategy for the 1960s centred on establishing the company as a producer of road cars. The Modena marque's new era began in 1957 with the launch of the Touring-bodied 3500GT. A luxury '2+2', the 3500GT drew on Maserati's competition experience, employing a tubular chassis frame and an engine derived from the Alfieri-designed 350S sports racing car unit of 1956. The suspension was independent at the front by wishbones and coil springs, while at the back there was a conventional live axle/semi-elliptic arrangement. The power output of the twin-cam six was around 220bhp initially; later examples produced 235bhp on fuel injection.
Built on the short-wheelbase but otherwise similar chassis of the Vignale-bodied 3500GT spyder, the Sebring 2+2 coupé arrived in 1962. By now a five-speed gearbox, four-wheel disc brakes and fuel injection were standard equipment, while automatic transmission, air conditioning, and a limited-slip differential were options.
Presented in 'barn find' condition and offered for restoration, this Sebring was sold new in Switzerland by the Swiss importers Martinelli & Sonvico. None of the latter's records exist and there are none from the Maserati Club of Switzerland for this period either. The current vendor purchased the Maserati in 1992 from Kestrel Motors, who believed it had been imported from the USA. The car was in barn-find condition at the time of writing and had been fitted with a replacement engine. In storage since the acquisition, this Sebring comes with a V5 registration document and is sold strictly as viewed.
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