20k: Panterak: 1975 Maserati Merak, Chevy V8

The Maserati Merak was a V6 powered version of the Maserati Bora, sort of Maserati’s version of the Ferrari Dino…built with sports car handling and super car looks, just a smaller/cheaper engine than its big brother.  The Merak dates from when Maserati was run by Citroën and was powered by V6 also used in the strange looking and kooky Citroën SM.  The Merak doesn’t have the panache or following of the Dino so you could pick one up for cheap and swap a Chevy V8 into it without raising too many eyebrows.  Find this 1975 Maserati Merak with Chevy V8 currently bidding for $18,000 on ebay (reserve-not-met) in Tempe, AZ with 2 days to go.

The Merak is oddly equipped with a number of bits from the Citroën parts bin, including brake parts, clutch and even some interior parts.  This beauty with Franco-Italian roots may not have had the impact of someone like Napoleone Buonaparte, but it sold in much greater numbers than the Bora and is fairly reasonable on the market today.

The original V6 has been replaced with a Chevy 350 cubic inch (5.7 liter) V8 from an undisclosed donor – it may even be a crate engine specifically built for aftermarket consumption.  The seller claims to not know much of the history of the car or the components in the build, but 300 horsepower is peanuts for a SBC and anything above 400 horsepower will start to become un-streetable.

Recognize the dash?  Yeah, it is taken straight from the Citroën SM and doesn’t look out of place in a 70s sports car.  It is a relief to not see some kind of Chevy 700R automatic shifter sticking up from the console as this Merak retains its original 5-speed transaxle, complete with spindly shifter intact.

See a better way to cruise the in mid-engine V8 style?  tips@dailyturismo.com