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1973 Maserati Bora

Attractive Matching-Numbers 4.9 Litre Bora in Great Colors

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VIN AM117/49-US700
Exterior Color Silver
Interior Color Red Leather
Mileage 25780 Miles
Engine 4.9 Litre 8-Cylinder no. AM107/11/49*700*
Transmission ZF 5-Speed
Status Sold
Stock FJ1813


1973 Maserati Bora 4.9
s/n AM117/49-US700, engine no. AM107/11/49*700*
Silver with Red Leather Interior

The Bora was Maserati's response to the Lamborghini Miura, which created a sensation when introduced in 1966 thanks to its stunning looks and mid-engined layout. Ferrari's Daytona, introduced in 1968, proved to be disappointingly front-engined, but the Bora, launched in 1971, was not. Featuring Maserati's fantastic quad cam alloy V8 directly descended from the 450S race car, theBora was mid-engined with the appearance to match. The styling was striking and angular, with an intriguing combination of brutality and restraint, and was penned by Giorgetto Giugiaro at Italdesign. The rear clamshell was uniquely covered in glass and both the roof and A-pillar were covered in brushed stainless steel.

The Bora was also technically innovative. The sophisticated V8 (available in either 4.7 or 4.9 liter displacements), was backed by ZF's excellent 5-speed transaxle. Suspension was independent all around, addressing a long-standing criticism of the Bora's predecessor, the Ghibli, which had a live rear axle. Maserati was then under Citroen's ownership, and their unique hydraulic braking system was included in the Bora. The hydraulic system also powered the retractable headlamps and height adjustable driver's seat. There was a strong focus on usability and refinement in the Bora, which was a departure from the typical Italian exotic ownership experience. The luggage compartment was usefully shaped and surprisingly large, while the pedal cluster was adjustable, as was the steering column, to ensure a comfortable fit for a wider variety of drivers. The bulkhead between the engine and the passenger's compartment was well insulated, including the fitment of double paned glass. Performance of the car was suitably exciting, with an engine output exceeding 300hp even in USA cars, and a top speed of over 170mph. During the car's 7 year production run, fewer than 600 Boras were built, of which approximately half were 4.9 liter cars such as this example.

This car is a US specification example, that was owned by a Gregory Hopkins in New York from at least 1983 to 1990. Prior to that, it was in Washington state and was well known to MIE founder Frank Mandarano. The car has been in California for the last 15 years or so, and underwent a service and got new Michelin XWX tires in 2014 by Johannes Huwyler of Dino Motors in San Mateo, California. The car comes with a handful of recent service records, reprinted owner’s manual, various period magazine articles about the Bora, and extra keys.

The car is cosmetically attractive with nice paint over a straight and solid body. There are a few small blemishes to the paint, some minor orange peel, and a handful of superficial bubbles on the rear clamshell outboard of the rear lights. There are also a few chips and scrapes on the right wheel arch lips that have been touched up. The trim is in very nice shape, including the brightwork, which has some superficial swirls but is very nice overall. The lights and glass are excellent, as are the wheels.

The interior appears to be original and is very nice considering this. The leather has some patina but is very nice overall, as is the vinyl upholstery on the center console. The dashboard top shows some aging but is free of warping or shrinkage. The instruments and switches appear to be original and are excellent considering this, which also holds true of the carpet. The headliner is in excellent shape and the car is fitted with a pinstripe Becker Mexico cassette player.

The engine compartment is clean and attractive, but not freshly restored. Its appearance is consistent with a well-maintained and honest car, with original air box decals and spare tire with cover. The trunk is surprisingly spacious and retails its original carpet, which is generally intact but does have some discoloration.

The car runs and drives well, and represents a stark difference compared to other Italian thoroughbreds of the period. The combination of usability and performance is remarkable compared to anything else available at the time, including the Daytona, Miura, and Countach. The car does not feel cantankerous or temperamental but is instead surprisingly refined and easy to use. The control efforts are uniformly manageable, including the clutch, steering, and gearchange, and even rearward visibility is good for a mid engined car. The car is easy to place on the road, and the handling confidence-inspiring. The engine is well-tuned and makes an unmistakable V8 noise and is very tractable. The gearshift is effortless from the ZF dogleg gearbox, and the clutch progressive and easy to use. The brakes have the characteristically non-linear Citroën operation, which is at first unsettling but they are extremely effective, although there is a pull to the right. All in all, the car impresses because it still maintains the tremendous character and performance of an Italian thoroughbred, yet it is comfortable and immediately usable in a way that few mid-engined cars from this period are.

Although these cars have enjoyed recent appreciation, the Bora still represents exceptional value. It is a car that has all the important characteristics for a collectible car: they are rare, mid-engined top of the line performance cars with technical sophistication (a racing-derived alloy quad cam engine with lots of Weber carburetors), and have thoroughbred Italian design by Giugiaro/Italdesign. Additionally, they are just weird enough to be interesting (the hydraulic braking, seating, and pedal adjustment, as well as the stainless roof), and surprisingly usable and practical, with great visibility, low-effort driving experience, and plenty of space for luggage. This particular car is an honest and well-preserved, being essentially an unrestored car aside from a respray. It runs and drives well and is finished in an excellent color combination.


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