During the late 1980s, Maserati faced a significant decline in its esteemed automotive reputation. While Lamborghini and Ferrari managed to maintain their exotic allure, Maserati, after accepting financial aid from Chrysler, produced unconventional models like Chrysler’s TC Maserati.
Once a celebrated marque in Formula 1, Maserati was now associated with producing vehicles that were essentially upscale versions of Chrysler’s K-cars. However, amidst this downturn, a beacon of hope emerged.
That beacon was the Maserati Shamal, showcased in this 1991 auction listing on Bring a Trailer, a platform under Hearst Autos, akin to Car and Driver.
For those unfamiliar with the Shamal, here’s a brief overview: it boasted a design by Marcello Gandini, renowned for his work on the Lamborghini Countach, sported box-flares reminiscent of the Lancia Delta Integrale.
Featured rear-wheel drive with an adaptable suspension system and was equipped with a six-speed manual transmission paired with a potent twin-turbocharged V-8 engine capable of propelling drivers down the road with the agility of Juan Manuel Fangio.
The Shamal embodied the true essence of Maserati’s heritage, albeit infused with the advanced performance technology of the 1980s. Introduced in December 1989, it served as a redeeming feature for Maserati amidst an otherwise challenging decade.
Although production numbers remained modest—only 369 units were built between 1990 and 1996—the Shamal stood proudly as the company’s flagship model.
Combining elements reminiscent of the most iconic supercars, the Shamal was crafted for grand touring. Its rear wheel arches, influenced by Gandini’s signature style, echoed the design of the Countach.
Under the hood, a twin-turbocharged four-cam V-8 engine, displacing 3.2 liters, delivered a robust 326 horsepower, akin to the heart found in the Ferrari F40 but with a more manageable stress level.
The inclusion of Koni adaptive dampers hinted at the future direction of adjustable suspensions in high-performance vehicles. Furthermore, the Shamal shared the same Getrag six-speed manual gearbox as BMW’s M-tuned, V–12–powered 850CSi.
This specific Shamal spent most of its life in central Italy before being transported to the United States two years ago.
Recent maintenance work, including a new steering rack, a timing belt service, and the replacement of the fuse box with a more reliable component, has been undertaken. Addressing the occasional Achilles’ heel of the Shamal, this meticulous upkeep enhances its appeal to potential buyers.
With just 32,000 miles on the odometer, this Shamal is primed for its next adventure. Its rarity makes it a coveted collectible and a showstopper at any car gathering, underscoring its status as one of Maserati’s hidden treasures.
Bidding for this auction concludes on February 14th.