Maserati Merak SS

My old neighbour, Guy Garrubo, owned the Porsche Dealership in Nyack, NY.  He commiserated with me about the loss of my Ferrari, and tried to tell me that I should leave the old  cars alone, and stay with the cool technologies of the new vehicles.  I knew he was just a car salesman, but one day he drove by my house in a red Maserati Merak SS. It was a really cute car.  He invited me out for a drink and suggested I drive the Maz.  I should never have agreed to drive it, because by the end of the evening I had bought it.   Guy was an incredible salesman. 

The Merak reminded me of the Maserati Bora, a 4.7 L V8 that I really liked and was very popular. The younger sister, the Merak had a 3.0 L V6 with 3 twin choke Webbers, that put out 217 HP and weighed 3,150 lbs.  I really liked the way it looked, especially the look from the front.  But even more, I liked the fact that you never saw any Maz’s on the highway, unlike the 308 Ferraris, which were starting to appear everywhere thanks to Magnum PI.

One weekend I drove up to Boston to see some friends.  One way up I hit a patch of gravel and spun out onto a grassy field.  When I say spun out, I mean 2-3 turns.  When we stopped, I was dizzy.  I got out, checked the car and it looked fine, so I started it and got back on the road; a little slower this time.

When I returned after the weekend I mentioned the incident to Guy, and he insisted on taking the car in to inspect to see if I had done damage somewhere.  A couple of days later Guy brings back the car and he gives me a bill for over $2,000. 

“I had to replace all the tires.  By the way, we found a handful of grass inside the two right tires.  How you get grass inside the tires when they were on the wheels?”

“$2,000?!  For what? There was nothing wrong.” I said.

“When we took the wheels off we noticed one of them had a cut in it.  Probably did it in your spin out.  It would be a weak point in the tire. So I had to replace all the tires.”

“Maybe one tire, why all 4?  I only had a couple of thousand miles on the car.”

“This is a very high level performance sports car, and all your tires have to be of equal tread, or you could have a serious accident.” Guy said.

Did I mention that Guy was a great salesman?  I thought so.  One night we were having a drink and he started telling me about this guy in Nyack that was carving Nardi style wooden steering wheels to order (this was before air-bags), and gearshift knobs with secret compartments, that you could store quarters for tolls or something.  It sounded cool and I started designing a steering wheel and knob.  Fortunately we never completed the order, because I always had second thoughts about the Merak. There was a design flaw, in my opinion, with the Merak.  It was the flying buttresses  that went from the roof to the rear of the hood.  I thought they were ugly. It looked like they were leftover from something else, added on as an afterthought.butress

One day I drove by the Ferrari dealer in Spring Valley after coming from Guy’s shop.  I stopped to ask what they would give me for the Merak in exchange for a new 308 GTSi.

Next: BMW K100RS