1975 Maserati Merak goes to auction in the United Kingdom

Francesco Armenio
A 1975 Maserati Merak is going to auction in the UK. This version with such a striking color is not easy to find on the market.
Maserati Merak

Bonhams Cars will soon auction off a right-hand drive 1975 Maserati Merak, which has been in the United Kingdom. The car features a striking Fly Yellow body with green leather interiors, creating a successful color combination. The estimated value ranges between 40,000 to 50,000 pounds, but auction sales can exceed predictions, either way. Much depends on the competition among potential buyers, which could be lively given the car’s low mileage: only 10,000 miles, just over 16,000 kilometers. Currently, there is limited information about the lot, expected as the sale date approaches.

1975 Maserati Merak to be auctioned in the UK: a look at its features

For those unaware, the Merak was born following the commercial success of the 1971 Bora, Maserati’s first mid-rear engine road car. It was conceived with a different cabin configuration and a 3-liter engine, positioning it in a highly competitive market segment at that time. The project’s setup (code AM122) shared several aspects with the Bora and more than just a resemblance.

The new car utilized the Bora’s platform up to the doors, the same bodywork, and with minor modifications, even the suspension and steering. Unique features appeared in the rear, influenced by the engine’s extraordinary compactness, allowing for two additional makeshift seats in the cabin.

1975 Maserati Merak

The Maserati Merak was built in 1972, the year it was also presented at the Paris Auto Show. It’s a 2+2 coupe with a mid-rear engine, viewed as the Bora’s smaller sibling. Mechanical design was managed by engineer Alfieri, while the style, as with the Bora, was the work of Giorgetto Giugiaro for Italdesign. For industrial reasons, the decision was made not to drastically change the look from its sibling, which is almost faithfully replicated in the Merak’s front half.

A small vertical rear window is flanked by two slender fins, sealing the completely flat engine hood. The design is visually pleasing and helps distinguish the four-wheeled siblings we’ve discussed. The chassis choice was a steel monocoque with an auxiliary engine support structure.

The heart of the Maserati Merak was a 3-liter V6 engine, replacing the Bora’s 4.7-liter V8, to accommodate the two rear jump seats, suitable mainly for children or small items. This power unit, related to the Citroën SM’s, had a maximum output of 190 horsepower, weighing 1552 kilograms, and could reach a top speed of 245 km/h. Its road behavior was lively, though not as powerful as the most high-performing road beasts of the time.

The cabin’s layout was very pleasing, with extensive leather and ‘dialectical’ choices that resonate with sports car enthusiasts. The Maserati Merak aimed to be a versatile and relatively accessible grand tourer in its specific market segment. Even fuel consumption was not too high for its class. The attention to practical aspects of the ‘Trident’ brand was evident, perhaps less so in more fiery models.

1975 Maserati Merak

The car’s name isn’t linked to the wind, unlike other models from the Modena brand, but instead celebrates a star in the Ursa Major constellation. In 1975, the Merak SS made its debut at the Geneva Show, still equipped with the 3-liter type C114 engine, but revised and improved. Engineers managed to make it lighter, offering a more favorable power-to-weight ratio. The subtle restyling added a large air intake on the front hood, improving the cooling system.

In 1977, a 2.0-liter Merak, mainly for the domestic market, was introduced to avoid higher VAT set by legislators for cars above this displacement threshold. By the end of 1979, the last version, the Merak 80, emerged. Essentially an SS with some modifications, the most significant being the replacement of the Citroën-type brake system (the relationship with the French had ended almost five years prior) with a latest-generation power brake. The model offered by Bonhams Cars belongs to the first series, with the 190 horsepower 3-liter engine.

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