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30 May 2011, Good Evening
Online Slots Guide - CasinoMan

Classic Cars 1968 Maserati Mistral

casino blog
01 April 2011

Classic Cars 1968 Maserati MistralCars named after winds aren't always overly exciting, think of the Golf (named after the Gulf winds in the Middle East) and the Jetta (named after the Jet stream).  However in the sixties, Maserati launched a car named after a gust of wind from the south of France, the Mistral.

Turin's Pietro Frua gave the car its sleek looks and upon its launch in 1963 it was a sensation.  The bodywork featured a mix of aluminium and steel panels; this gave the car a light overall weight whilst still providing good torsional stiffness.  Under the skin a semi-monocoque chassis, featuring box sections of various lengths and thicknesses, was employed instead of Maserati's traditional elliptic tubular frames.

The Mistral was strictly a two-seater sports car.  The driving position was excellent; giving the driver good views and a well finished leather interior ensured both occupants were comfortable.  The long sloping bonnet was in keeping with the styling trends of the early sixties (think Jaguar E-Type) and the large glass tailgate gave access to plenty of baggage space and preceded the looks of the Jensen Interceptor and Porsche 924/944

Under the bonnet was an engine derived from that used by Juan Manuel Fangio in a Maserati 250F to secure his final Formula one World Championship in 1957.  This meant hemispherical combustion chambers in the cylinder heads, two spark plugs per cylinder giving twice the ignition and a Lucas mechanical fuel injection system.  The 1963 cars had a 3.3 litre engine, this increased to 3.7 litres the following year and by 1968 this had reached 4.0 litres - and these are the ones to have!

With the 4.0 litre engine the Mistral a top speed of nearly 160 mph was on hand.  The 4.0 litre engine also provided 1 bhp per cu in, a figure important for the American market at the time.

All of this was sent via a ZF 5-speed gearbox to a rigid rear mounted Salisbury type axle suspended by leaf springs turning the rear wheels.  A Limited Slip Differential was an option, although no one is actually sure how many cars left the factory with this fitted.  Disc brakes were fitted on all four wheels to bring this monster to a stop.

From then on development of the Mistral slowed, as the company worked on bringing its V8 engined cars into the market.  Sales of the Mistral also suffered, when British company AC launched a version of the 428 sports car styled by Frua, which looked almost identical to the Mistral (there are reports that some of the panels are even shared) but cost much less and was more powerful!
As the last of Maserati's straight six-cylinder cars, prices have remained high over the last few years, but the driving experience is something to behold.  Cars like this will never be made again.

Tags: formula one, golf, maserati, cars, mistral, maserati mistral, pietro frua,
Posted In: Classic Cars, Cars,
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