1969 Maserati Indy 4900: Sporty and luxurious

1969 Maserati Indy 4900: Sporty and luxurious

1969 Maserati Indy 4900: Sporty and luxurious

Engine V 8Horsepower 260 HP (191.36 KW) @ 5500 RPMTorque 373 Nm at 3800 RPMEngine Location FrontDrive Type RWDWeight 3470 lbs | 1573.966 kgF/R breaks DiscTransmission 5-speed manual, 3-speed automatic      

The 1960s and 1970s were the most challenging period for the Maserati brand, marked by repeated ownership changes and product updates. However, in this period, the brand created one of the most beautiful lines: a series of luxury coupes with a front-mounted V8, including a four-seater Indy.

Source: Conceptcarz

When the time for replacing the outdated Sebring came, Maserati management had to choose between two designs presented at the 1968 Turin Motor Show: the Simun and the Indy. The first concept car belonged to Giorgetto Giugiaro from Ghia, and the second was by Giovanni Michelotti of Vignale. Both vehicles were 2 + 2 seaters with a sloping roof and pop-up headlights. However, Michelotti’s prototype had a decisive advantage: a large trunk with a glazed hatch won the race, and the vehicle was chosen as the next to-be-released model. Thus, the Maserati Indy went into production. In 1969, the brand line, which previously consisted of the Ghibli, Mexico, Mistral, Quattroporte, and Sebring models, was completed with another legendary sports vehicle – Indy. 

The origins

Source: LotSearch

In 1968, the Orsi family, who had owned the brand since the 1950s, sold its stake to the French  Citroen company. Adolfo Orsi retained the post of honorary president of the brand, but the French replaced the management. During this turbulent period, which coincided with the global economic crisis, Maserati was incredibly creative, introducing genuinely iconic vehicles. In 1966, the brand released the four-seater version of the Sebring – the Mexico coupe and the Ghibli, named after the Libyan desert wind. This model’s body, designed by Giugiaro studio, became a benchmark of the brand’s sports cars in subsequent years and, until today, remains one of the most beautiful sports vehicles from the workshops of this automaker. Two years later, Citroen and Carrozzeria Vignale, one of the most famous Italian coachbuilders of the time, collaborated with Maserati, presenting at the Turin Motor Show the prototype of an elegant four-seater Ghibli-based 4.2-liter V8 front-engined coupe. By then, Vignale had already built Sebring and Mexico models for the brand and was engaged in producing Quattroporte, developed, like Mistra. The Vignale approach was accepted by the brand, whereas Mexico and Sebring were considered outdated in terms of design. The prototype from the Turin Motor Show turned into a production vehicle, which was subsequently presented at the 1969 Geneva Motor Show.

The 1969 model year

Source: Hagerty

The new roadster was more practical than the Ghibli and sportier than Mexico, at the same time, sharing most of the parts with these automobiles: independent front and dependent rear suspension, power disc brakes, power steering, and a ZF 5-speed manual transmission (also a 3- step automatic Borg Warner) were borrowed from them. The body of the Indy was load-bearing, with a wheelbase of 2600 mm. It was equipped with an aluminum V8 DOHC engine with a wet sump and four Weber carburetors, with a volume of 4136 cm3 and a power of 260 hp. As for the exterior design, it shared a lot of elements with Ghibli. Still, it was less proportioned, as it was a four-seat car that could comfortably accommodate four adults, compared with the classic 2+2 with rear seats reserved for little passengers only. The traditional radiator grille was replaced by an air intake under the bumper, making its front very elegant. 

The logo of the brand was fixed on the stamping on the hood. Also, retractable headlights were located on both sides of it, which was typical for Italian sports coupes of major brands of that time. The hood turned out long, the windshield received a substantial slope, and the roof was flat. Starting from 1970, it was possible to order a 4.7-liter version with 290 hp, and from 1971 a 4.9-liter version with 320 hp. These engines were mainly used on modifications for the American market (Indy America). From 1969 to 1974, 1136 automobiles were sold.

Did you know?

Source: AutoData

The car got its name in memory of the 30th anniversary of the first of two consecutive victories of the Maserati single-seat car in the Indianapolis 500 in 1939.    

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1969 Maserati Indy 4900: Sporty and luxurious

Engine V 8Horsepower 260 HP (191.36 KW) @ 5500 RPMTorque 373 Nm at 3800 RPMEngine Location FrontDrive Type RWDWeight 3470 lbs | 1573.966 kgF/R breaks DiscTransmission 5-speed manual, 3-speed automatic      

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