By on November 8, 2017

Image: 1972 Maserati MexicoOpen the wood paneled glove box lid to find familiar fine-grain Italian leather driving gloves. Fingers twist a small, delicate key to ignite 4.7 liters of displacement sitting under the long, gleaming hood. Eyes are met with a proud golden trident, embedded in navy inside the three-spoke wheel.

Select “drive” with the polished wooden gearshift; it’s time for a grand tour.

Our last Rare Ride was a little blue Lancia Scorpion. Suffering from an identity crisis and a recently regulated America, the Scorpion was inherently compromised from the showroom floor. The Scorpion’s tale was a bit depressing, so today we take a look at a different sort of Italian coupe. This one’s a Spanish market import, from a time before the sort of regulation that ruined the Scorpion.

It’s the Maserati Mexico.

Image: 1972 Maserati MexicoOf the more traditional grand touring style, the Mexico coupe foregoes mid-engine frippery for a no-nonsense V8 parked at the front (where it should be). Driving the rear wheels through an automatic transmission (even better), the Mexico ensures the driver has a smooth, comfortable ride for taking in all the sights of a grand tour. Seating for four regular-size passengers and space for their luggage is also on offer here. Let’s see a mid-engine Italian do that.

Image: 1972 Maserati MexicoProduced between 1966 and 1972, the Mexico featured a design by Vignale. During seven years of production, just 485 examples rolled off the factory floor. Two engines were available, both featuring eight cylinders and either 4.2 or 4.7 liters of displacement. 175 received the 4.7, while the other 385 Mexicos received the smaller-displacement V8. The Mexico you see here has the larger 4.7.

Image: 1972 Maserati MexicoThe grand scale of this coupe comes down to its roots — the Mexico was built on the same platform as Maserati’s largest contemporary offering, the Quattroporte sedan.

Image: 1972 Maserati MexicoBefitting its mission, the Mexico came standard with air conditioning, a leather interior, and wood covering the entire dash. The automatic on this example was an optional extra, as was the power steering (also fitted). Black on black, the best engine, both factory options — this isn’t an Italian for the budget-minded.

Image: 1972 Maserati MexicoThis one’s for sale on eBay right now in Santa Barbara, which lies south of the small town of Seattle, Washington. Asking price is just into the six figures, at $107,500. As we’ve seen before, this Maserati Mexico might be a case of, “Don’t like the price? Find another one.”


[Images via eBay]

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18 Comments on “Rare Rides: This 1972 Maserati Mexico Is Actually From Spain...”

  • avatar

    I wonder if this was the car Joe Walsh was singing about losing his license for doing one eighty five.

  • avatar

    Sure is a sexy beast.

    Odd name for a luxurious Italian-brand, Spanish-built GT.

  • avatar

    I think Maserati and BMW were peeking at each others’ notes…

    Then again, if you’re gonna riff, riff off something good.

  • avatar

    I remember when I lived in Copenhagen a few years ago there was dealer that seemed to specialize in selling/fixing old Maseratis in the city. They had a Mexico in the showroom, which was honestly the first time I had ever seen or heard of the Mexico (I admit that I am not that familiar with old Maseratis). Never knew they were so rare with less than 500 built.

    That concludes my Maserati Mexico story.

  • avatar

    It has a black California B plate on it. What are/were B plates for? It’s a stamped plate, so that makes me think it’s been on there awhile.

    • 0 avatar

      Duke-I believe this is a currently issued black plate. Black plates from the 60’s had 6 digits while this plate has 7.

      • 0 avatar

        “I believe this is a currently issued black plate. Black plates from the 60’s had 6 digits while this plate has 7.”


        B Plates look WRONG with 7 digits.

        I understand wanting to put B plates on this car, but why not pay extra to do a vanity plate? not for Vanity’s sake, but just to eliminate one digit.

  • avatar

    Anyone know what the large chunk of metal on the front of the engine is, just under the radiator hose? Can’t think of what it would be besides a comically large mounting bracket.

    • 0 avatar

      That’s exactly what it is. If you Google pictures of the Mexico, and look at pictures taken from the driver’s side of the engine, you’ll see a Borg-Warner York a/c compressor underneath that bracket. Lots of non-Big Three cars used York compressors (our ’66 Rambler American had factory air with one), along with Fords. They were also popular as part of aftermarket a/c systems, like A-R-A and FrigiKing systems.

  • avatar
    Kerry McMullen

    Nice write up on the Maserati Mexico but you may want to check your geography. Santa Barbara is a LOT south of the “small town of Seattle, WA”.

  • avatar

    What a beautiful car. It’s an injustice to leave the interior like it is though. I would immediately seek a upholsterer. I would love to drive the PCH in this.

  • avatar

    A beautiful car except for the hideously jacked up front suspension, which I suspect must have been done to meet US bumper height regulations.

    Either that or it’s a former Mafia staff car with a few bodies left in the trunk.

  • avatar

    I hate cutting and pasting, but the wikipedia entry clears up a lot of misunderstanding & misinformation. “ Maserati Mexico’s design derived from a 2+2 prototype bodywork shown on the Vignale stand at the October 1965 Salone di Torino[2] and built upon a 4.9-litre 5000 GT chassis,[3] rebodied after it had been damaged. As the car after the show was sold to Mexican president Adolfo López Mateos, the model became known as the Mexico.[4] By coincidence, John Surtees won the Mexican Grand Prix on a Cooper-Maserati T81 the following year”…per Wikipedia. These cars are exceedingly rare,

  • avatar

    Looks kind of like if a Jag and an Aston Martin had a baby.

    I like it though.

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