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Car Tales: The Maserati Mexico, A Presidential Winner

‘The Maserati Mexico was a sparkling, sophisticated example of an archetypal ‘Gran Turismo’ motoring car, sporting extremely elegant and refined coachwork and packing a huge punch under the hood, the automotive equivalent of a finely tailored Italian suit. But the origins of the name of the Maserati Mexico spark some debate.
1969 Maserati Mexico for sale
‘Contrary to other Maserati four-seat coupés, it was not named after a race track: although there was a suggestion that it had been named in honor of Cooper-Maserati’s victory by driver John Surtees in the 1966 Mexican Grand Prix.

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‘(Although it was truly fitting, it was also pure coincidence that the great Surtees would close that year’s Formula 1 season with a convincing win in the Mexican Grand Prix at the wheel of a Cooper-Maserati T81.)
1969 Maserati Mexico for sale side view
‘Or was it because the Mexican president of the day, Adolfo López Mateos, had bought the prototype car exhibited by Carrozzeria Vignale, Maserati’s preferred coachbuilder, on their show stand at the Salone di Torino in October 1965?
‘The sleek Maserati Mexico coupe actually derived from this one-off prototype 2+2 body constructed by Vignale for that show. A Maserati 4.9-liter 5000 GT – the flagship model built specifically for the Shah of Persia – had been damaged and was stripped down to the chassis to serve as the mechanical basis for that new build. The finished car was extremely stylish, and was accordingly snapped up by President Mateos.
‘So the Maserati Mexico’s name tells an entire story – or perhaps two in this particular case…
‘Effectively the Maserati Mexico replaced the Maserati Sebring, which was a two-door 2+2 coupe manufactured from 1962 until 1968. The Sebring was based on the Maserati 3500, and aimed at the American Gran Turismo market; it was named after Maserati’s 1957 racing victory at the 12 Hours of Sebring.
‘With a 4.7 liter V8 engine, the Maserati Mexico had a top speed of 155 mph. Useful for parading extremely rapidly along the Italian autostrade and German autobahns. And this Gran Turismo classic could easily accommodate two or three adults and their luggage.
‘In 1969, however, replicating an option offered for the Maserati Quattroporte, the Mexico started to be made available with a smaller, 4.2-liter V8 engine. Of the 485 Mexicos manufactured 175 came equipped with the larger 4.7-liter engine.
1969 Maserati Mexico engine
‘At Beverly Hills Car Club right now we have a 1969 4.2-liter Maserati Mexico Coupe with matching numbers in red with a stunning black interior. It comes equipped with a manual transmission, wood steering wheel, toggle switches and wire wheels. This is certainly an opportunity not to be missed.
‘(By the way, the Maserati Quattroporte, from which the Mexico philosophically and mechanically was born, has a name that sounds far less sophisticated and sexy when you realise that ‘quattroporte’ only translates from the Italian as ‘four-door’. A Maserati Four-Door as a car’s branding moniker? Doesn’t really pop, does it?)
‘After the 5000GT and the Quattroporte, the Mexico was Maserati’s third road car that used a civilised four-cam version of the firm’s V8 race engine from the 450S sport prototype race car. It shared its general construction with the original Quattroporte; in fact, the Mexico was positioned as a two-door companion to the Quattroporte super-saloon, built on the chassis of the first generation of the Quattroporte, with its wheelbase shortened by 11 centimeters.
True to Maserati form, the Mexico offers an intriguing blend of race-bred performance and innovation complimented by luxurious practicality.
-Alex Manos, Owner
Maserati Mexico buyer Alex Manos

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