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Vehicle Overview

The Maserati Merak was introduced at the 1972 Paris Auto Show, over a year after the Bora. The Merak and shares the front part of its bodyshell with the Bora up to the doors. The front ends differ, mainly by the use of dual chrome bumpers on the Merak, in place of twin trapezoidal grilles on the Bora, but the similarities end at the B-pillar.

Giorgetto Giugiaro at Italdesign was commissioned to transform the Bora into the Merak. Unlike its bigger sister the Merak doesn’t have a full glass fastback, but rather a cabin ending abruptly with a vertical rear window and a flat, horizontal engine cover pierced by four series of ventilation slats. Giugiaro completed the vehicle’s silhouette by adding open flying buttresses, visually extending the roofline to the tail.

The main competitors of the Merak were the similarly Italian, mid-engine, 3-litre and 2+2 Dino 308 GT4 and Lamborghini Urraco.[2] However unlike its transverse V8-engined rivals the Merak used a more compact V6, that could therefore be mounted longitudinally.

Having been designed during the Citroën ownership of Maserati (1968–1975) certain Citroën hydropneumatic systems were used in the Merak and the early Merak SS. In these cars the braking system was hydraulically assisted and operated, and the pop-up headlights hydraulically actuated. The clutches on these cars used the same hydropneumatic system as the brakes, but only some cars included servo assistance on the clutch. After 1976, when the French manufacturer gave up control of Maserati, the Citroën-derived parts were gradually replaced by more conventional systems.

When Alejandro de Tomaso purchased Maserati in 1977; the Bora was discontinued after a production run of less than 600 cars, while the Merak remained on sale for six more years.

Technical Specifications

  • Body
  • Year
    1972
  • Make
    Maserati
  • Model
    Merak
  • Coachbuilder
    Italdesign
  • Length (mm)
    N/A
  • Width (mm)
    N/A
  • Height (mm)
    N/A
  • Photo credits
    bonhams.com
  • Engine Type
    N/A
  • Designer
    Giorgetto Giugiaro

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