Jay Leno takes you for a drive in his 240hp 1962 Maserati 3500 GTi

Maserati 3500 GTi

Jay Leno shows off a lot of cool cars in his “Jay Leno’s Garage” video series. But this is one that really caught our attention: the 1962 Maserati 3500 GTi.

Jay found this light blue beauty in a storage locker where it’d sat for 20 years. He paid $25,000 for the rare Italian 2+2 and proceeded to drop some big bucks into restoring it. He had the stock Lucas fuel injection reworked, replaced the stock A/C, had it painted, and much more.

 Take a look at the video:

When it originally sold, the 3500 GTi carried a $13,000 asking price, which is the equivalent of around $97,000 today when factoring inflation. To put that into perspective a Corvette from the same year went for only $5,200.

As Americans were putting V8s in nearly everything, the Europeans focused on inline six-cylinder engines. The inline six in the 3500 GTi produces 240 horsepower with the fuel injection and around 220 horses with carburetors.

As Jay points out, these were the days long before Maserati was purchased by Fiat so it didn’t have Ferrari parts bins to rummage through. Instead, Maserati had to turn to the best that Europe had to offer and buy the parts from the independent manufacturers. The then – luxurious 5-speed transmission is from ZF in Germany. The brakes were from Girling. And as we mentioned above, the fuel injection was from Lucas of England.

Jay urges viewers to pick up one of the rare 3500s, should they stumble upon one. We agree. Everyone and their brother has a restored American pony car or a Ferrari or old 911. But how many people are rolling a classic Maserati? We think part of the point of owning a classic is the pleasure of driving something distinctive and the 3500 GTi is just that.

If you had $25,000 to spend on a classic, what would you buy and why? Tell us in the comment section below.