In the early nineties, Maserati had a serious image problem, and plenty of confused ideas regarding its future. Having saved it from liquidation, Alejandro De Tomaso has been running the books since 1979, and by 1991, he decided it was time to build something radical at his supercar factory in Modena.
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Designed by Carlo Gaino of Synthesis Design, the Maserati Barchetta was an extremely limited edition mid-engined racing prototype with a spyder body, powered by Maserati's 2.0 twin-turbo V6 connected to a six-speed ZF transaxle. Weighing just under 1700 lbs. and packing 315 horses, it was geared to do up to 180mph in the straights.
Between 1992 and 1993, Maserati ran a one-make series called Grantrofeo Barchetta for the thirteen Stradale versions they have built. The party included sixteen races in total, mostly on Italian tracks, but with detours to Holland and Denmark in 1993.
This particular car, 'LLF' was delivered to German Maserati collector Dr Thomas Bscher in 1992 and raced extensively in period. More recently, it got a $40,000 overhaul, as well as road legal status. for sale in London on the 5th of September. You have time to think it through and make the right decision.
Alejandro De Tomaso sold Maserati to Fiat, and asked his engineers to extend the Barchetta's frame, so that it could take a V8. Carlo Gaino came up with a design for the resulting De Tomaso Guarà, which became the last project de Tomaso put into the market.
Between 1994 and 1998, Guaràs were built around BMW M60 4.0 V8s. After that, the company switched to more powerful 4.6 Fords, which turned them into 170 mph cars. Meaning that a very late, 2004 Guarà is still slower than you're about to buy.