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Merak vs Merak SS

Discussion in 'Maserati' started by tdskip, Aug 25, 2012.

  1. tdskip

    tdskip Rookie

    Aug 25, 2012
    21
    Hi guys - newbie here considering a Merak. I have a fair number of MG and TRs that I am considering rolling into a Merak. Clearly the Merak is a different class of car and I wanted to ask for some coaching rather than just diving in.

    Is there a big difference on base and SS entry points? Are there significant running cost differences for her base vs SS cars?

    I'm thinking the Merak service item parts commonality with the SM and other cars could be a plus since the mechanical bits are readily available. Is that accurate or wishful thinking?

    Other been there, owned that considerations and experience to pass along?

    Thanks for the help

    Tom
     
  2. Maserati Blue

    Maserati Blue Formula Junior

    Dec 13, 2010
    947
    Europe
    There are no differences in running costs between the normal Merak and the SS variant.

    The Merak is cheap to buy but it is still a Maserati and original spare parts cost a fortune, the overall maintenance cost depends on the condition of the car.

    The cheapest Merak is the early model with the SM dashboard. If you are buying a car to sell in the future for profit then you are definitely looking at the wrong car.
     
  3. Merak1974

    Merak1974 Formula 3

    Aug 31, 2009
    1,630
    Oslo, Norway
    Full Name:
    Gabriel R.G. Benito
    As indicated by Maserati Blue, the condition of the car - mechanically, body, and in terms of originality - is what matters most. As usual, go for the best car available :)

    The Merak is probably the best looking junior supercar ever - especially in Euro spec - and they are great cars when sorted out and cared for properly!

    There is no such thing as a "base" model versus a "SS" model, but rather an early model (1972 to 1975) and the upgraded SS model (from 1976 to 1983). They were never sold concurrently. In Italy, however, a 2.0 liter version was also offered from 1977 for tax reasons.

    The most desirable version is clearly the euro specification SS model. The least desirable version, from a market perspective, is an early US specification car. It stands to see whether early Euro specification cars with their arguably cleaner and purer design will catch up with the SS at some point.

    Gabriel
     
  4. tdskip

    tdskip Rookie

    Aug 25, 2012
    21
    Good morning, and thanks for the responses. I wanted to keep the model year 1975 or older, no SMOG in CA and most of the touring events I do have that year as a cut off, so that would be any early car then.

    I would be buying to use her, she'll be driven rather than viewed as an investment. That said, I am not looking to vaporize money unneccesarily.

    What would you suggest budgeting for running costs?

    Where do decent cars, driver+, trade.

    I would expect trim and bits like that to be scary expensive, but how about service items like spheres, bushings, pads, rotors etc?

    Thanks!
     
  5. tdskip

    tdskip Rookie

    Aug 25, 2012
    21
  6. Maserati Blue

    Maserati Blue Formula Junior

    Dec 13, 2010
    947
    Europe
    Beautiful car!

    I see that it has the Vitaloni mirror in the car color (drivers side only). You can easily find the same one for the passengers side (for the price of your left kidney).

    Nice color combination, looks like it has been well taken care of. It has custom carpets, the optional extra passenger footrest (barely visible in the pics), nice interior.

    Looks like the car has been repainted and some things are not very original, like the placement of the badges, but thats minor thing and personally I wouldn't care.


    Now some bad things about the car:

    1) You understand that the car is a turtle right? it can barely move compared to similar cars or even a small car of todays technology. You should definitely do a test drive before you buy it. The reason is this: the early Merak had only 190hp and the US version had even less due to exhaust restrictions. If you need to convert to EU spec then prepare for an expensive conversion.

    2) The ugly bumpers are... ugly :) if you don't mind the ugliness then no problem. Otherwise it will be an expensive conversion to EU.

    3) It has citroen brakes. Not a bad thing (they work amazingly well), but the mechanic who services your car must REALLY know what he is doing. It requires the special green stuff and not regular oil, if you put regular oil you will cause so much damage its not even funny.

    4) The awful moment when people ask you why you got a maserati-citroen hybrid and how you managed to fit a citroen dashboard in a maserati ;) heh just joking...
     
  7. tdskip

    tdskip Rookie

    Aug 25, 2012
    21
    Thanks for the response.

    That slow, eh? I was looking at her as a touring car, and I have a more than slightly fast older 911 for when I need to blur the scenery.

    So is conventional wisdom on these that the combination of their being slow-ish and bumpers and dash etc make them (relatively speaking) less desirable?
     
  8. Maserati Blue

    Maserati Blue Formula Junior

    Dec 13, 2010
    947
    Europe
    well, that is exactly what the "market" says. So the most desirable are always the EU variants of the Merak SS, the late models with the Bora dashboard.

    but if you are not interested in resale, or raw performance, but you love the fine Italian curves and amazing styling, then even the US Merak with the ugly bumpers is good enough (and you can always convert them to EU spec!).

    also, because you are not looking at an investment, then just buy a car that moves your heart, it doesn't really matter if it is the market leader or not.
     
  9. tdskip

    tdskip Rookie

    Aug 25, 2012
    21
    After many failed attempts, I'm finally learning not to argue with the market. Call me Captain Obvious.

    I am assuming converting to Euro body spec will be big dollars, +/- $10k? At that point why not buy an SS, and so it goes right?

    Thanks for the input.
     
  10. Merak1974

    Merak1974 Formula 3

    Aug 31, 2009
    1,630
    Oslo, Norway
    Full Name:
    Gabriel R.G. Benito
    Conversion to Euro spec would apply to any US spec car, SS or not, in order to improve looks and performance.
     
  11. Maserati Blue

    Maserati Blue Formula Junior

    Dec 13, 2010
    947
    Europe
    Actually, it shouldn't cost that much. There are some people who have done this conversion on their own. The easy first step is to convert the bumpers only and not the exhaust, so you may not even complete the whole conversion.

    I do agree with you, I don't understand why people buy a car they don't really like in the first place, only to chop it up later on, instead of buying an EU car right away? Maybe they inherited the car or it was too cheap to ignore? I don't know.

    I still think you should go look at cars in person, instead of looking at internet photos, no matter what the "market" says (or some random person over an internet forum :) ), you should still decide by looking at things up close and personal.
     
  12. tdskip

    tdskip Rookie

    Aug 25, 2012
    21
    Good advice. I think for many, and what I am trying to avoid, it is the siren call of a low entry price as opposed to value or a realistic undersdtanding of total cost done if done properly. Even if done properly it is still a bitsa car then.

    I think I'm looking for later cars now, but than means SMOG testing.
     
  13. staatsof

    staatsof Six Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Mar 13, 2005
    66,157
    Fuggetaboutitland
    Full Name:
    Bob
  14. tdskip

    tdskip Rookie

    Aug 25, 2012
    21
    Well that explains a lot - ha. Doing this on my BB, so didn't actually know that.
     
  15. c20500

    c20500 Karting

    Aug 12, 2010
    147
    Redondo Beach, CA
    Full Name:
    Charles
    Getting a Merak to pass smog in CA is not terribly difficult. Original parts just have to be intact with an engine in good tune. That's about it. I have seen cats added to help but it's not necessary.
    Charles
     
  16. c20500

    c20500 Karting

    Aug 12, 2010
    147
    Redondo Beach, CA
    Full Name:
    Charles
    #16 c20500, Aug 26, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Here are test results from a 1980 Merak SS
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
  17. tdskip

    tdskip Rookie

    Aug 25, 2012
    21
    Thanks - I manage to get my TR8 through every two years so while not desirable as shown not a big deal. I was looking for a '75 or older due to event cut off still.

    Are the California cars different in SMOG equipement?

    Where do good SS trade in the US?

    Thanks
     
  18. JulianMerak

    JulianMerak Formula 3

    Make sure you remove the carpets behind the front seats and see if the floor is rusted. The rear seat pads are removed very easily and allow you to see if the floors exist under them! The fuel tanks are sitting behind this area and this whole area can rot out from the inside when the fibreglass like heat insulation becomes waterlogged. I made a short youtube video showing some other rust hotspots too. Google Maserati Merak bodywork.
    Good luck and the despite all this, the cars are magnificent!


    Julian
     
  19. ferraripete

    ferraripete F1 World Champ

    i would not get anything but an ss version. too bad mine has long since sold. it was a very good all original example. i really loved the car but it needed some more grunt.

    my bora was just right!!!!
     
  20. tdskip

    tdskip Rookie

    Aug 25, 2012
    21
    That was an outstanding video Julian, thanks for making and posting it.

    Does you car have paint on her at this point?
     
  21. JulianMerak

    JulianMerak Formula 3

    #21 JulianMerak, Aug 26, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  22. JulianMerak

    JulianMerak Formula 3

    #22 JulianMerak, Aug 26, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  23. tdskip

    tdskip Rookie

    Aug 25, 2012
    21
    Looking good, what is the color you are going to go with?
     
  24. JulianMerak

    JulianMerak Formula 3

    silver or celeste chiaro [ the cars original colour ]

    Still deciding at this point.

    I love the sound these cars make. Have a look at this one.

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqBaKK5nS2I[/ame]
     
  25. tdskip

    tdskip Rookie

    Aug 25, 2012
    21
    Hard to co wrong with either of those.

    Does the Maserati crowd care much about originality?
     

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