It’s hard not to stop for this sensuous Merak at the Cohort, posted by Yohai Rodin, despite all the other cars there too. It’s another exquisite design by Giorgetto Giugiaro during his golden era, when he was cranking out the hits. The Merak is a bit unusual, as it was an adaptation of the earlier V8 Bora, to utilize the Citroën SM’s V6 engine and some of its hydropneumatic systems, during the time that Maserati was under control of Citroën.
The 1971 Bora (above) and 1972 Merak shared much of their bodies up through the B-Pillar, and then diverged. TheBora had a glassed-in fastback, while the Merak’s was open, with flying buttresses.
Obviously, the Merak was substantially less expensive than the genuine supercar Bora, which meant that it outsold it by 3:1. The Bora only lasted until 1977, and something less than 600 were made. The Merak survived into the DeTomaso era at Maserati, and was built until 1983.
There were a few Meraks to be seen in Los Angeles when I moved there in 1977. My Encyclopedia says that in 1974, the Merak was listed at $21,700 ($102k adjusted), and the Bora at $30,900 ($144k adjusted). That’s a substantial discount, and for puttering around LA, the Merak was more suitable anyway.