1972 Maserati Bora
8-cyl. 4719cc/310hp 4x2bbl Weber
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
One of the products of the Citroen-Maserati marriage on the 1970s was Maserati's first mid-engined road car, the Bora. After its debut at the 1971 Geneva Auto Show, production of this replacement for the Ghibli ran from 1971 to 1979 with just over 500 examples produced and roughly half of them coming to the U.S.
The Bora's construction, unlike its contemporaries from Ferrari and Lamborghini, was of a monococque type. The car exhibited a soft wedge shape penned by Guigaro, which featured a stainless steel roof panel that provided a dramatic contrast to the rest of the painted body. Maserati's familiar 4.7-liter, aluminum four-cam V-8 was coupled to a ZF transaxle and mounted amidships in a subframe behind the cockpit that isolated vibration in order to provide for a higher degree of passenger comfort. This emphasis on comfort was what served to separate the Bora from the Muira, Countach, and Boxer at the time; while the Bora's 310 hp propelled it from 0-60 in 6.5 seconds and on to a top speed well above 170 mph, it nonetheless accomplished this with less noise and vibration than the previously mentioned competitors. Drivers were coddled in a cockpit that to this day is seen by many as the most comfortable of any mid-engine exotic, then or now.
As a result of Maserati's association with Citroen, the Bora incorporated that company's familiar hydraulics for brake boost for its four-wheel discs, headlight operation, pedal adjustment, and the unique rolling adjustment of its two seats. While this system contributed to the Bora being heavier than other mid-engined sports cars, its four-wheel independent suspension and unassisted steering feel made for very predictable handling. U.S. deliveries started in 1973, and these cars arrived in America with an enlarged 4.9-liter motor in order to offset the inevitable loss in power due to emissions equipment. U.S. cars ultimately were rated at 300 hp. By 1977, European cars were being delivered with this motor as well.
The Maserati Bora is a great car for the enthusiast who wants to experience mid-engined Italian motoring while simultaneously enjoying a level of comfort that's not duplicated by any period Italian contemporaries.