Vintage R&T Driving Impressions: 1968 Maserati Mistral; And A Feature On How It’s Built

Maserati struggled in the sixties while Ferrari thrived. It was one of the storied Italian brands with a racing heritage, but with only six or eight cylinders, its mystique just couldn’t rival Ferrari’s V12s. The Mistral was the essentially the successor to the 3500 GT, and was very traditional Italian GT in its mechanical elements: a DOHC inline six dating back some years, a 5-speed ZF transmission, and a lice rear axle suspended on leaf springs. In reality, these cars were not all that different than the classic Italian sports/racing/GT cars from the mid-late thirties and forties.

So although a bit out of date, the Mistral still had a lot of charms, as R&T discovered in this test. And in addition to driving it, they also did a story on just how it was built, very much in the classic Italian tradition too. Both are good reading to have a better understanding of what made (and still makes) classic hand-built Italian sports cars so attractive.