Here's a Maserati up for auction that's so rare you've probably never heard of it.
With a twin-turbocharged V-8 and styling by the the designer of the Countach, the Shamal is an overlooked exotic GT.
This example has had extensive recent work and shows just 32,000 miles.
In the late 1980s, Maserati found itself a greatly diminished house of automotive nobility. While Lamborghini and Ferrari had managed to hold on to their exotic image, Maserati had accepted a lifeline from Chrysler in the form of a cash infusion for partial ownership, but that had resulted in oddballs like Chrysler's TC by Maserati. A former F1 world championship–winning marque was now reduced to building glorified K-cars. But there was still a glimmer of hope.
Here is that hope, the Maserati Shamal, and this 1991 example is today's auction pick over at Bring a Trailer (which, like Car and Driver, is part of Hearst Autos). Since you're probably not familiar with the Shamal, here are the highlights: a design penned by Marcello Gandini of Countach fame, box-flares like a Lancia Delta Integrale, rear-wheel drive with an adaptive suspension, and a six-speed manual tied to a torque-rich twin-turbocharged V-8 to hurl you down the road like you'd been taking driving lessons from Juan Manuel Fangio.
Now this is a true Maserati with old-school spirit, even if it is crammed with all the available go-fast technology of the 1980s. The Shamal debuted in December of 1989, so it just snuck in under the line to defend Maserati's otherwise woeful decade. It never sold in great numbers—just 369 were built between 1990 and 1996—but it was a flagship the company could be proud of.
The elements of the Shamal form a sort of greatest supercar hits in a package designed for grand touring. The rear wheel arches, for instance, have a slanted profile like those of the Countach—Gandini's signature. The twin-turbocharged four-cam V-8 displaces 3.2 liters, a similar heart to that found in the Ferrari F40, albeit far less stressed at a moderate 326 horsepower. The Koni adaptive dampers hinted at the future of adjustable suspensions for performance cars. And the six-speed manual is the same Getrag box found in BMW's M-tuned, V-12–powered 850CSi.
This example spent the bulk of its life in central Italy before being shipped to the U.S. two years ago. It's had a great deal of work recently completed, including a new steering rack, a timing belt service, even replacement of the fuse box with an updated and more reliable part. The latter is reportedly an occasional Achilles' heel in the Shamal, so it's a real boon to have it sorted out already.
With the equivalent of just 32,000 miles on the odometer, this Shamal is ready for its next driver. Given its rarity, it's both a collectible and a head turner at your next car meet, but it is also desirable as one of Maserati's forgotten gems.
The auction ends on February 14.
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