There have been successful reinvention of cars that went down in the past few years. A good example is the BMW’s Mini Cooper, Volkswagen’s New Beetle and Fiat’s 500. There are thousands of car models that have been created while at the same time there are many opportunities to build more. However, because of the originality, obscurity or emotional attachments, some cars deserve to be recreated. I have always loved the Maserati Merak, and I think its remaking would be a great idea.
The Maserati Merak is sports vehicle that was made by Italian company Maserati that was established on December 1, 1914, in Bologna. Heading to the end of 1960’s, Citroen, which by then was the majority shareholder of Maserati came up with an idea. It was decided that for ‘Casa del Tridente’ to introduce a mid-engined GT. They had planned on two models. One was a luxury model in the traditional mode. The other one was a cheaper version that was meant to run against the likes of Ferrari 308/GT4 and the Lamborghini Urraco. They went ahead and launched the Maserati Bora in the year 1971
In the following year, 1972, Maserati came up with what would be known as ‘Junior,’ the Maserati Merak. The Maserati Merak is sports vehicle that is mid-engined and was in production between the years 1972 and 1983. Yes, it was not named after the wind as previous versions but after a star from the constellation Ursa Major. It had a small engine and a marginally different appearance in the exterior. In other aspects, the Maserati Merak was similar to the popular Maserati Bora.
However, apart from the normal shape and proportions of the Bora, it had a fastback shape. It was also cut vertically right behind the seats. Flying buttresses above the rear boot lid maintained a continuous silhouette. This innovative masterpiece was the work of Giotto Giugiaro.
The Merak which was designed Tipo 122 by the factory, was officially introduced to the world at the Paris motor show in October 1972.
2. Merak SS
The more powerful and light Merak SS was introduced at the Geneva motor show in March 1875.
Lastly, the Merak 2000 GT was first seen at the Turin motor show in November 1976.
The Maserati Merak is closely related to the Maserati Bora in that they share the parts of their structure and body panels. However, it was powered by a 3.0 L V6 in the place of the latter’s 4.7 L V8. The bigger cabin space was gained by fitting a smaller and compressed power train was used to carve out an extra row of car seats. This was very much suitable for children and not so big adults. This made the Merak not just less expensive alternative to the Maserati Bora but also a 4-seater and aimed at a larger market.
The interior of a Maserati is spacious with enough leg space and head room. The car could hold up to three or four people at a time. It should, however, be kept in mind that the back seats are distinctively smaller unlike most cars. The extra space was squuezed out only by opting for a lesser engine than the Maserati Bora. It also has good user-friendly aspcets like, automatically operated windows and height adjustable seats for the driver. The music system was also installed in some of the Meraks. In addition to this, it had a great air conditioner.
In its recorded production run that spun from 1972 to 1983, 1830 Merak’s were built. 1000 of which were Merak SSs and only 200 were 2000 GTs. The most successful year was 1973.
The (Catalogue Raisonne, 1990) indicates that 17 Merak’s were built in 1972, 430 in 1973, 334 in 1974, 102 in 1975, 139 in 1976, 142 in 1977, 153 in 1978, 194 in 1979, 150 in 1980, 101 in 1981 and only 4 in 1982.
The Merak like the Bora was affected greatly at first from the fall out of the energy crisis. In addition to this, managerial difficulties in Maserati also contributed greatly. At that time, the Casa del Tridente was making the hard transition from the old owners Citroen to the new owner who was Alejandro De Tomaso.
I would pretty much like to have the Maserati Merak back because it was a unique car.