*This is a translation done by a machine.
The Orsi family, which had dominated Maserati since the prewar days, transferred their shares to Citroen a one year after the famous Ghibli was born.
With Maserati under its wing, Citroen will acquire the new V6 engine developed in Modena for the flagship SM.
On the other hand, Maserati, who received development funds under Citroen, launched the brand's first mid ship road car "Bora" (Debuted at the Geneva Show in 1971). The stylist is Georgette Giugiaro, who has just set up his own Italdesign.
The presence of expensive Gran Turismo including Bora, was an effective icon for Italian brands, but it doesn't make money because it doesn't sell in large numbers. That's why Maserati decided to focus on 2 + 2 seater sports car markets like the Porsche 911. The V6 engine for Citroen SM, which developed Bora's styling almost as it is, was souped up to 3 liters and mounted on Mid. Giugiaro redesigned the Merak with +2 seats using the space of minus 2 cylinders and presented it at the Paris Show in the fall of 1972.
The origin of the word is "al Mara_k.k. al Dubb al Akbar" (Star name of Ursa Major) Maraqq=Merak, which means waist in Arabic. Maserati's name is derived from the name of the wind, but they wanted to shine a light on a predicament that could not be blown away by there own wind with the expected nova.
However, bad luck once again hits Maserati and the entire Italian luxury brand. It was an oil shock. This caused the parent company, Citroen, to go bankrupt, and Maserati was absorbed by Peugeot. Citroen was forced to part with Maserati and in 1975 was transferred to the Italian De Tomaso. That said, Merak was the only model developed in the Citroen era that was able to enter the 1980s (Bora ends in 1978.), so it can be said that it played a role as a shining star.
Until the end of production in the model year of 1982 (Production in 1983), we released three types of models due to differences in engine specifications. The 190hp Merak (Citroen) produced until 1975, the 220hp Merak SS produced from 1976 to 1983, and the Merak GT (2000) designed for the Italian domestic market since 1977. As a method of distinguishing these, in addition to the emblem with the grade name on it, there are the Merak SS with a black plated bumper between the headlights, the Merak GT with black bumpers and black stripes on the sidelines, and the Merak in the Citroen era with no grille between the headlights.
There are also three types of dashboard designs. In the Citroen era, Merak has a round shape one-arm handle with the exact same design as SM, and it has a very luxurious look. The Merak SS and Merak GT are 4-spoke steering wheels with a circular meter on the horizontal dashboard in a Maserati design. All right hand drive models, US models from 1976 and onwards, and European models from 1980 and onwards share the same design as the big brother Bora, with a driver-oriented design and three spokes.
Since it's a supercar produced in collaboration with Citroen, Merak and Merak SS early models feature a clutch and brake system that uses the infamous hydro system. Under De Tomaso's control, parts supplied by Citroen were depleted and gradually replaced with original parts designed by Maserati.
Total production was 1,817 units (estimated). It is said that 647 units of the Merak, 970 units of the Merak SS and 200 units of the Merak GT were produced.
The end of Merak was also the end of Maserati's midship road car. With the exception of the special limited edition MC12 Stradare, Maserati hasn't dabbled in midship road cars until the modern era, but it's expected to appear in the fall of 2020 for the first time in a long time.
Bora and Merak in the 1970's are very rare mid ship road cars in the long history of Maserati. Also, it is not a Spartan pure sports car, but the fact that the appearance of a high-class GT car is strongly imbued in it is also a valuable existence for a mid car.
|Jun Nishikawa's Highlights!|
The horizontal dashboard design and the three-spoke steering wheel indicate that this is an early Merak SS manufactured around 1978-1979.
The body appears to be fully painted and overall is in good condition, but there are small cracks here and there (Around 15 places around the front desk). As far as I can see, there are no missing parts, and except for the paint, it seems to keep the original condition.
The interior is in excellent condition. Especially, the passenger seat has almost no feeling of use, and it shines like a new car. Compared to that, the driver's seat had a sense of use. The surface of the steering wheel shows commensurate wear. It's a good idea to get it repaired sooner rather than later.
Giugiaro's masterpiece, Bora and Merak. The beautiful midship style is eternal.
Originally written by Jun Nishikawa
Photo by Yoshitada Moro
Published on March 2020
|Year of Purchase||Jun 1978|