All photographs by Dennis Noten for Bonhams

Why is this Mistral Coupé stamped with a Spyder chassis number!?

The Maserati Mistral stands as a shining beacon of Italian heritage, reflecting its dedication to craftsmanship, design, and performance. As we approach November, it marks 60 years since unveiling the Mistral model, a masterpiece crafted by Pietro Frua, at the Salone Internazionale dell’Automobile di Torino in November 1963. Over the decades, countless Mistrals have graced the roads, with some leaving a more memorable mark than others.

This Mistral Coupé has a Spyder chassis number AM109 S1 *629*. We explain this anomaly and why it is the real deal.

Explaining the codes of the chassis number

Every so often, a piece emerges from the shadows that challenges even our deep-seated knowledge of this classic model. Such is the story of this 1966 Maserati Mistral 4000 Coupé, which has sparked intrigue due to its chassis number. To truly appreciate this puzzle, one must first understand the code of the Maserati Mistral Chassis number:

- **AM109**: This signifies the homologation number of the model.

- **A1**: This tells us that a 4000 cc engine powers the car. In its absence, it would mean a 3.7-litre engine.

- **S1**: This points to the Spyder variant of the Mistral.

A fascinating aspect of Mistral’s production is that the cars weren’t built and numbered in a straightforward sequence. Instead:

- Coupé chassis numbers always end with an even number.

- Spyder chassis numbers always finish with an uneven/odd number.

- The chassis numbering increased by two. So, for instance, the tenth car produced would bear the number *20*.

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Confirming this car's chassis number

Now, let’s unravel the enigma of this specific 1966 Maserati Mistral 4000 Coupé with chassis no. AM109 S1 *629*. A glance at its photographs reveals a chassis number with the “S1” tag and an uneven or odd last digit, which would typically signify a Mistral Spyder. However, this car is undeniably a Coupé.

Such discrepancies would naturally lead to scepticism regarding the car’s legitimacy. Yet, after an exhaustive search by the Classiche Masters team and in collaboration with Maserati Classiche, we can affirm the car’s authenticity. Remarkably, this Coupé possesses all the identifiers one would usually associate with a Spyder. The internal engine number of this vehicle aligns perfectly with the factory records, affirming it as a “matching numbers car.”

The lingering question is: Why does this Coupé bear Spyder-specific identifiers? The company in Modena has informed us that this happened “for reasons unknown.”

This 1966 Maserati Mistral 4000 Coupé is not merely a Gran Turismo; it is a rare jewel in the realm of classic automobiles. As we near the 60th anniversary of the Mistral, this particular Coupé serves as a reminder of Maserati’s illustrious legacy and the enigmas that continue to envelop this legendary marque.

This Coupé is listed on the Bonhams website



a) The chassis number that Maserati stamped in this Coupé in July 1968 was used in July 1966 on a Mistral Spyder, destined for delivery in Rwanda. However, that delivery never happened; the car was probably never built, and in 1966, the Spyder chassis number was cancelled, only to reappear two years later on this Coupé.

b) The internal engine number is confirmed as correct by Maserati Classiche. This means the car is matching in numbers. The colours of the paint and interior are also per original specifications.


Discover the Legacy with Classiche Masters

In the world of classic Maseratis, understanding a car’s history is as crucial as appreciating its design. At Classiche Masters, our dedication extends beyond mere admiration. We offer our time and expertise to research the provenance and authenticity of classic Maseratis in conjunction with Maserati Classiche.

Especially when considering a purchase, doing one’s homework is paramount. That’s why we also offer pre-purchase inspections, ensuring potential buyers are well-informed and confident in their decisions. Whether you’re a collector, an enthusiast, or a prospective buyer, Classiche Masters is your partner.

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