Full Bodywork Restoration of a 1977 Maserati Merak SS
In the current market, these cars are highly sought after due to their exceptional performance, designed to rival renowned models like the Porsche 911 and Ferrari Dino 308 GT4. The Merak offers a distinctive alternative from that era, as Maserati models are considerably less common.
Styled by the renowned Giorgetto Giugiaro and powered by a long-lived V6 engine designed by the legendary Giulio Alfieri, this vehicle stands out. After being kept for years in a private Hong Kong collection, this car has remarkably survived in rust-free condition, retaining its original leather interior. With only 28,000 miles covered, this car is likely the best and most authentic example available. Although already in superb condition, this car underwent a bare metal respray to refresh its appearance.
The high-performing Merak SS (Tipo AM122/A) was unveiled at the 41st Geneva Motor Show in March 1975, although its actual production did not commence until the following year. Distinguished by its remarkable blend of lightness and enhanced power, the SS model boasted a reduction in weight by 50 kg (110 lbs) and a notable power boost of 30 PS, resulting in a total output of 220 PS (162 kW; 217 hp). These improvements were achieved through the incorporation of three larger 44 DCNF 44 carburettors and a raised compression ratio of 9:1.
Notably, the SS variant could be identified by its black grille positioned between the pop-up headlights. The interior received a makeover as well, featuring an upper fascia crafted by Maserati, adorned with circular instruments and a four-spoke steering wheel. This departure from the previous SM-derived interior design added a touch of sophistication.
Subsequent iterations of the Merak SS benefited from a fully driver-centric dashboard and a three-spoke padded steering wheel reminiscent of the Maserati Bora. Noteworthy also is the US-spec Merak SS, which reverted to traditional hydraulics, marking the departure from the Citroën high-pressure system.
Production of the SS model continued, culminating in a total of 1000 units manufactured by 1983, at which point the Merak model line was phased out.
What we did
The vehicle initially arrived at Blackline in a Gunmetal Grey and displayed signs of its age. Having been stored alongside an array of other classic cars within a private collection, its appearance had diminished over time. At the behest of the current owner, Blackline was entrusted with the task of conducting a comprehensive full bodywork restoration.
The full bodywork restoration process commenced by meticulously disassembling the vehicle, leaving the body shell prepared for the forthcoming bodywork stages. The existing paint layers, bearing evidence of several subpar paint jobs, were painstakingly stripped away, revealing the bare metal beneath. A thorough assessment of the vehicle’s structural integrity ensued, yielding the discovery of only minimal areas necessitating welding attention. This was unsurprising, given the vehicle’s low mileage. Ultimately, only two small sections necessitated welding intervention.
Upon finishing the welding tasks, the focus shifted to the bodywork phase. Throughout this meticulous phase, the Maserati underwent a series of intricate stages to guarantee an impeccable show-worthy finish, characterised by a deep blue metallic colour.
Following the completion of the bodywork stage, the restoration process transitioned into the rebuilding phase. The chrome components underwent meticulous refurbishment, resulting in an exceptional lustre. Similarly, any aluminium elements were scrupulously polished to achieve an exceedingly high standard of appearance. Given the vehicle’s relatively low mileage and it’s already commendable condition, the interior was preserved and treated to maintain its originality to the greatest extent possible.
Following its transformation from Blackline, the vehicle has found a new owner who is maximising its potential. The current owner is actively enjoying the vehicle and has been showcasing it at numerous car shows throughout the north of the UK.
If you are interested in this particular project and have any questions about our full restoration service, please contact us today to learn more!