Half a century ago the first stylish Maserati Indy left the Trident Brand’s historic headquarters at Via Ciro Menotti 322 in Modena headed for its first customer in Switzerland – a wealthy Swiss businessman.
Dressed in ‘oro metalizzato’ (Metalic Gold) and imported by Maserati’s chosen merchant, ‘Martinelli e Sonvico’ in Chiasso, the stealth-like Indy made its way to first of many affluent Italian aficionados.
Turin Motor Show
The illustrious Maserati Indy was presented at the Turin Motor Show in 1968, on the Carrozzeria Vignale stand. The following year, the car officially debuted on the Maserati stand at the Geneva Motor Show. In 1968, Maserati built about 700 cars, the best result it had ever recorded since the opening of the Modena production plant. The Maserati range in 1968 was composed of Ghibli, Mexico, Mistral, Quattroporte and Sebring models.
In response to demand from customers who were looking for a comfortable, habitable and sporting car, Maserati decided to develop a new model. This led to the start of the AM116 (Alfieri Maserati 116) project: Carrozzeria Vignale was commissioned to design a four-seater coupé that would deliver comfort, sporty performances and innovative looks. The outcome was the Indy, named in honour of the 8CTF’s impressive wins at the Indianapolis 500 in 1939 and 1940.
The innovative Indy was designed to improve visibility and safety without compromising on the Italian styling of the car, which was successful and even pacified the sports car purist by fitting those often malfunctioning ‘pop-up’ headlights we all love to hate now. Another distinctive characteristic was the truncated rear, reflecting the strong focus on aerodynamic efficiency in the design phase.
Prosperous clientele included Abdorreza Pahlavi, the Shah of Persia’s brother, who had the car delivered to his company headquarters in February 1975 with many optional extras including a sunroof that opened. The car apparently still exists in a private collection somewhere in Europe.
Tech Spec – Maserati Indy
Production dates: 1969 – 1975
Chassis: Semi-monocoque with a front subframe
Engine: 90° V8
Displacement: 4,136 – 4,930cc
Power:260 – 300hp
Transmission: Mechanical five-speed; Borg-Warner three-speed automatic on request
Braking system: Servo assisted ventilated discs
Weight: 1,500 – 1,650kg
Top speed: 250 – 280Km/h (175mph)