This is the first Swiss delivered Shamal making it a very rare example. Originally registered in April 1991, this handsome Dazing Black over Pelle Grigia Maserati is in excellent condition and has been used only sparingly of late.
Factory records show Chassis-number ZAM339B00LA300014 and Engine-number 700009 to be the 7th Maserati Shamal on the road not including the Campana and OPAC prototypes.
This extraordinarily clean Shamal has never had any accidents. It has covered only 22.015 kilometres from new and is offered recording a major engine service carried out three months ago.
The Koni adjustable shock absorbers work in all four settings, the re-gassed air conditioning is functioning correctly and both turbochargers run identical pressure.
This Maserati comes with a full service history as well as a Swiss Carte Grise registration document, along with a 11.04.2016 Controle Technique and Emission Control certificate.
The Shamal or Tipo 339 was introduced on 14 December 1989 in Modena, when Maserati president and owner Alejandro de Tomaso showed it to the press. Sales began in 1990.
It was the last model announced under the De Tomaso ownership: in January 1990 half of Maserati was acquired by Fiat S.p.A.
In keeping with an established Maserati tradition, the Shamal is named after a wind: the Shamal or North in Arabic is a hot summer wind blowing through Mesopotamia and funneling into the Persian Gulf.
To be fair, large chunks of the Shamal were already in the Maserati parts bin: Starting with the truncated, 2400 mm wheelbase of the Biturbo Spyder, the doors, basic body structure, and interior largely carried over from the Biturbo.
You could be excused for thinking that the Shamal was another incremental improvement, a half-measure standing in for fresh thinking and engineering. But for a company hemorrhaging cash as Maserati was, there was a surprising amount about the Shamal that was brand new.
First and foremost was the AM 479 engine: There were claims that it was all new, though it took the existing Biturbo engine architecture and grafted on a pair of cylinders. The result was an all-alloy, wet-liner 3.2-liter DOHC four-valve twin-turbo V-8 fed by Weber/Marelli electronic fuel injection.
The two liquid-cooled turbochargers, by Japanese concern IHI, are quicker to spool up than a single turbo; this minimizes lag in the low revs. Each turbo also has its own air-to-air intercooler to dissipate heat. The only other twin-turbo V-8 production cars up to that time were a pair of limited-run Ferraris: the 1984 288 GTO and the 1987 F40.
The four-valve heads are trick, too: Intake and exhaust valves are canted 20 degrees from each other, which minimizes fuel consumption and ensures efficient combustion for maximum power.
326 hp at 6.000 rpm, and 430 Nm of torque at just 3.000 rpm. Low peak-torque revs for a small-cube Italian V-8, much less one that has to exhale through a three-way catalytic converter. The red-crackle-finish valve covers stand out in a black-and-silver engine bay, visual sizzle atop the high-tech steak.
The AM 479 V-8 is backed by a Getrag 560G six-speed manual, identical in specification to what was available in '90s-era BMW 8-series coupes, and the first six-speed in a production Maserati.
The Ranger differential needs no electronics to sense slip and distribute torque between the rear wheels in whatever ratio is required. It consists of a series of central gears surrounded by six satellite helical gears. All the gears work on a common axle, to minimize component wear and boost durability.
Performance numbers are healthy for its day: 0-100 times of 5.2 seconds, and top speed approaching 270 km/h numbers that topped those of sporting Maserati GTs past, like the Ghibli and Bora.
The suspension includes MacPherson struts and an anti-roll bar in front, trailing arms and coil springs in the back. This setup was given an electronic, active, intelligent, driver-controlled dimension, in joint collaboration between Maserati and shock absorber giant Koni.
The shocks register with the electronic control unit and adjust themselves to the road condition within 300 milliseconds. The driver can select one of four modes in the cabin, from low-speed comfort to full-on race mode.
Also included is a system engineered to keep all four wheels squarely on the road surface, and to keep the lower suspension arm and steering arm constantly parallel. This interactive lever system, known as Mechanic Attiva, is designed to give instant response with a minimum of effort.
It is not unfair to call Marcello Gandini's styling controversial, but it is equally unfair to ask for an all-new shape that discarded the established understructure. Aesthetics are always a judgment call, and Gandini's stated goal of making a car with a strong visual break from its predecessors, despite the genetic similarities, was successful. Clearly it's of the Biturbo generation, a modern Maserati in its time, but with its own aggressive character, too.
The forward-jutting nose defied aerodynamic convention, and sported no fewer than three headlamps per side in individual housings, the light clusters including then-new projector-beam lamps. The windscreen wipers had their own air deflector, mounted at the base of the windshield, so that the blades wouldn't lift off the glass during high-speed derring-do in rainy weather.
Sixteen-inch rolling stock was standard, though, there's room for more within the confines of those blistered fenders and quarters. Set against the stock Biturbo doors, the flares, in combination with the ground effects on either side, give a wasp-waisted look that is more easily seen in three-quarter views and, it must be said, lighter colors. The palette initially included only black and red, though other hues came on board later in production.
The rear quarter wheel openings bear Gandini's signature touch, aggressively angled in the mold of his 1970 Lancia Stratos concept, the original flare-free Lamborghini LP500 Countach, the Bravo and 1976 Ferrari Rainbow concepts, the 1988 Cizeta V16T and the De Tomaso/Qvale Mangusta from the turn of the century. That this signature styling element appears here should not be a surprise.
All Shamals also came with a dark gray targa band with a delicate chrome Shamal script on the B-pillar. It's nearly invisible on the black cars, but is far more readily apparent on the red ones. You could argue that it visually thins out the B-pillar, except the stock Biturbo body didn't lack for rear-quarter glass.
Yet the targa band courts its share of controversy. Because the roof doesn't lift off the Shamal, the band might seem to be superfluous, but it serves as a structural component, adding to the old floorpan's torsional rigidity. The short wheelbase, wide track and dramatic details result in a machine that looks hunkered down, ready for a fight.
The two plus two seat interior of the Shamal features extended leather seat cushions, temperature control and the famous Maserati oval clock, which is situated in the centre of the dashboard. The gear lever is finished in elm. While built for comfort as well as performance, the Shamal was not as luxuriously appointed as the similar Maserati Ghibli II.
The Shamal sold new in 1991 for 125 million lira. Model year 1996 was the end of the line for the Shamal, with just 369 units sold over the course of six model years. That's about 62 examples a year over the course of its life, or a little more than five Shamals per month.
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