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Maserati Bora: Buying guide and review (1971-1978)

Maserati Bora Maserati Bora Maserati Bora
While Maserati had a fantastic history of creating some of the finest luxurious and beautiful performance cars, we have Citroen to thank for the beautiful Bora. To ensure continued growth and future success, the innovative French company took a controlling interest in Maserati in 1968, and with this new injection of cash along came a decision to launch a new two-seater mid-engined sports car.
Maserati took the Bora to the Geneva motor show in 1971, and it was undoubtedly the star of the show. With a 4.7-litre development of the Ghibli’s V8 engine mounted behind the front seats, the Bora followed other manufacturers into the era of the mid-engined supercar, also creating what is arguably one of the most gorgeous cars to come out of the 1970s.
Producing a healthy 310bhp @ 6000rpm, the Bora transmitted its power to the road through a five-speed ZF gearbox, pushing the Giorgetto Giugiaro-penned coupe to a top speed of 170mph. 
By the end of 1971 the new Bora was flying out of showrooms, and thanks to effective new suspension layouts, as well as an advanced (albeit controversial) Citroen-derived steering and brake set-up, this is the car that finally helped shed Maserati’s outdated image. 
While the coupe body was designed to be stunning above all else – with a striking stainless steel roof section and large glass rear cover – it was actually a practical and surprisingly comfortable GT, with a decent-sized luggage compartment in the front end and a carpeted engine cover. To help find the perfect driving position, Maserati fitted an adjustable pedal box, making use of Citroen hydraulics to power the sliding mechanism.
It remains a sought after collector's car today, and while it might not carry the huge prices of an equivalent Ferrari, the eclectic mix of Italian and French engineering makes a very desirable machine.

Which one to buy?

All cars came equipped with a five–speed ZF gearbox and there was only one body style, the two-door coupe. The Bora was left pretty much unchanged throughout its production run, save for some modifications that were required for it to be sold in the US market and an engine upgrade across the whole range in 1975 it received only minor styling updates.
US-spec cars came with a variety of safety compliant bumper designs, but a lot of these cars have been converted back to European specification bumpers over time. All American-spec cars came with a 4.9 litre engine derived from the Ghibli as it had been homologated for US smog emission requirements. European models had the 4.7 litre engine until 1975, after which all Bora models were equipped with the larger engine. In reality, there’s not a huge difference between the two engines, and you should buy on condition rather than spec. 
One of the key things to look out for on these cars is the Citroen hydraulic system that powers the pedal box and braking system. It is a reliable system if properly serviced – being used on millions of Citroens, as well as a few Rolls-Royces, Bentleys and even JCBs, however it can cause some serious headaches if improperly maintained. The ‘common issues’ section below outlines what to look for when purchasing one of these cars.

Performance and specs

Maserati Bora 4.7
Engine 4719cc 16valve DOHC V8 
Power 306bhp @ 6000 rpm 
Torque 339lb ft @ 4200rpm
Top speed 170mph 
0-60mph 6.5 seconds 
Fuel consumption 14.5 mpg 
Gearbox five-speed manual

Dimensions and weight

Wheelbase 2600mm
Length 4335mm
Width 1768mm
Height 1134mm
Weight 1550-1720kg

Common problems

• Spares and parts for the Bora are available from various sources, including car clubs, specialists as well as Maserati themselves through the Classiche program. Trim and interior other less popular items require a bit of digging but with the prices of Boras steadily on the rise most cars have been maintained correctly to maintain their values.
• The hydraulically adjustable pedal box and braking system was advanced for its time, but a lack of understanding means that this complex system has come in for its fair share of criticism over the years. Some preventative maintenance as outlined below can help keep the hydraulics working correctly.
• The two brake accumulators require refilling with nitrogen every ten years or they will stop working and eventually fail. Request evidence of this having been done even if the hydraulic system is working properly. Accumulators can be rebuilt, but should be left to specialists.
• Standard Brake fluid, as well as other similar oils damage the hydraulic system. Many US cars suffer from the use of ATF, which while very similar, is unsuitable due to the additives in the fluid that attack the rubber seals. Only the correct LHM fluid should be used, so make sure that there is evidence of the correct fluid being used in the maintenance logs. Quiz the owner on knowledge of the fluid to be sure. 
• The Bora is of an all-steel construction and rust can occur in various areas. Other than the usual wheel arches and door frames, check the storage compartment behind the driver’s seat and underneath the aluminium panel in the front storage compartment. The engine cover is a very tight fit and can expose badly repaired accident damage. The stainless steel roof can also be difficult to repair. Check the alignment of body panels if the car has been subject to restoration.
• The engine tends to run hot and the cooling system should be well maintained to avoid overheating or head gasket issues.

Model history

1971: Maserati Bora launched with 4.7-litre engine
1973: 4.9-litre engine from Maserati Ghibli used in US spec models due to emission requirements
1974: Front boot lid hinge changed from front to rear. Minor changes to pop-up headlights, while US spec cars received a number of changes to meet safety requirements
1975: New 4.9-litre engine with 320bhp replaces all previous engine options.
1978: Final Bora is sold, totalling a production run of 530 units.

Owners clubs, forums and websites

• www.themaseraticlub.com – International Maserati owners club
• ferrarichat.com/forum/maserati – Maserati section of this large Ferrari community contains valuable information from owners, and is a great place if you’re seeking advice
• www.maseraticlub.co.uk – Enthusiast and owners club for Maseratis old and new
• www.mcgrathmaserati.co.uk – Specialist based in Hertfordshire

Summary and prices

The majority of Boras with solid service histories are to be found between the £120,000-£200,000 mark. They have been steadily increasing in value, and most have been well cared for, although there are still some out there with patchy maintenance histories. As these cars require regular servicing and specialist attention to some of the more complex systems, it’s important to check for a documented maintenance history. 
The Maserati Bora combined super car performance and touring car comfort in a way that the competition couldn’t match. It’s still a fast and comfortable car today, and makes for an equally great companion on a long distance cruise or down your favourite piece of challenging road. Get one with a good service history and the Bora is a great way to enjoy classic Maserati motoring. 
Words: John Tallodi
Maserati Bora Maserati Bora Maserati Bora
Last updated: 23rd Sep 2016
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Maserati Bora cars for sale

6 Search results
Maserati Bora
126750 340000 GBP

    £191,750 £191,750

    --Rame Metallic (Copper) with Bone leather interior and Charcoal carpeting, 15,000 ORIGINAL MILES, 5-speed manual, Collector Owned, Full Ownership history from new. Built in December 1973 to US Specification, this Bora was sold new in June 1974 in the Los Angeles area, finished in the current desirable color combination and is believed that this was the Bora used on the famous 'Wind and Star' brochure. In 1980 it was sold to a gentleman in the Lake Tahoe, Nevada area. Later in 1986 it returned to California where it resided until 2003, owned throughout that time by the former road manager of well known rock band 'The Grateful Dead.' In 2005, this Bora it was sold to a gentleman in Atlanta, Georgia with its odometer reading just 8,521 miles. This Bora is without a doubt one of the most unmolested and original Bora's still in existence. The car has covered a mere 15,121 original miles to date and it looks and drives exactly as a low mileage car should. The paint is mostly original with some minor touch ups, but overall the paint quality is extremely good. Body fit and finish is superb and the interior is all original and in excellent condition throughout. Currently fitted with a mode

    • Year: 1974
    • Mileage: 15000 mi
    For sale
    Autosport Designs Inc
    (631) 425-1555 VIEW CONTACT NUMBER
  • Maserati Bora

    €225,000(£200,610) €225,000(£200,610)

    Caractéristiques Année du Modèle : Juillet 1973 N° Châssis : AM117/49*594* Couleur extérieure : Noir Couleur intérieure : Cuir tan Kilométrage : 65 681 Miles CV DIN: 330 ch CV fiscaux: 27 CV Cylindrée : 4930 cm3 Boîte de vitesses : Manuelle, 5 vitesses Peinture d’origine : Non Origine du modèle : USA Historique et restauration Produite en seulement 275 exemplaires, cette Maserati Bora 4.9 a été assemblée en Juillet 1973 à Modène pour être ensuite délivrée à son premier propriétaire en Juillet 1973 à Los Angeles. Elle ne dispose aujourd’hui que de 65 681 Miles d’origine. Nous avons le Classiche Maserati attestant de la configuration d’origine du modèle, extérieur Nero (code 20B50) et cuir Tan (code PAC 1775), mais aussi de la conformité entre le numéro moteur et celui du châssis. De plus, elle est équipée en option par l’usine de l’air conditionné ainsi que de la radio Blaupunkt Frankfurt. La voiture a récemment eu un entretien important avec notamment le changement de l’embrayage, il y a environ 6000 Km en Avril 2014. La voiture dispose d’un important dossier de factures en plus du manuel d’utilisateur et du livret officiel des différentes pièces de rechange de la Bora. Garantie du véhicule Le véhicule sera vendu révisé et garanti 3 mois ou 5000kms Prix 225 000 € Nous trouver et nous contacter Jean Lain Vintage – Showroom / 04 79 88 66 36 - Jérôme Millias 07 60 14 73 07 11 Rue de la Dent du Chat 73 420 Voglans Nos horaires Du Lundi au Samedi, de 8h00 à 12h00 et de 14h00 à 18h30 http://jeanlainvintage.com/nos-vehicules/vehicules-a-vendre/ *************************************************************************************** Specifications Year of manufacture: 1973 Chassis number: AM117/49*594* Exterior color: Black Interior color: Tan leather Mileage: 65 681 Miles HP: 330cv Engine displacement: 4930 cm3 Gearbox: Manual 5 Original paint: No Delivery country: USA History Produced in only 275 copies, this car is an original US market car and was delivered new on July 1973 in Los Angeles to its first owner. According to Maserati Classiche documentation, this Bora 4.9 is fully matching numbers and was completed in Maserati's Modena workshop in July of 1973. Finished in the same combination Black paint over Tan leather interior as it bares today, this example was fitted with factory air conditioning and a special order Blaupunkt Frankfurt radio. This Bora 4.9 with just 6,000 miles covered since an engine rebuild in April 2014. The black paint is well sorted and the original Tan interior has a lovely patina. The car has a large invoices file in addition to the owner's manual and the official booklet of the different mechanical parts of the Bora. Warranty The vehicle will be sold revised and guaranteed 3 months or 5000 Km Price 225 000 euros Find us and contact us Jean Lain Vintage – Showroom / +334 79 88 66 36 - Jérôme Millias +337 60 14 73 07 11 Rue de la Dent du Chat 73 420 Voglans France Opening hours From Monday to Saturday, 8am to 12am and 2pm to 6.30pm http://jeanlainvintage.com/nos-vehicules/vehicules-a-vendre/

    • Year: 1973
    • Mileage: 65681 mi
    For sale
  • Maserati Bora

    €340,000(£303,144) €340,000(£303,144)

    Caractéristiques Année du Modèle : 26/07/1972 N° Châssis : AM117/*288* Couleur extérieure : Rouge Couleur intérieure : Cuir noir Kilométrage : 10 300 Km CV DIN: 310ch CV fiscaux: 27 CV Cylindrée : 4719 cm3 Boîte de vitesses : Manuelle, 5 vitesses Peinture d’origine : Oui Origine du modèle : Italie Historique et restauration Notre rarissime exemplaire fût délivré neuf en Italie le 26 Juillet 1972 et totalise seulement 10 300 Km. Il se trouve dans sa configuration d’origine, un magnifique Rosso Fuoco, s’alliant à merveille avec l’intérieur en cuir noir. Nous disposons du Classiche attestant que l’auto est Matching numbers et color. Garantie du véhicule Le véhicule sera vendu révisé et garanti 3 mois ou 5000kms Prix 340 000 euros Nous trouver et nous contacter Jean Lain Vintage – Showroom / 04 79 88 66 36 – Jérôme Millias 07 60 14 73 07 11 Rue de la Dent du Chat 73 420 Voglans Nos horaires Du Lundi au Samedi, de 8h00 à 12h00 et de 14h00 à 18h30 http://jeanlainvintage.com/nos-vehicules/vehicules-a-vendre/ ************************************************************************************************************************************************************************* Specifications Year of manufacture: 1972 Chassis number: AM117/*288* Exterior color: Red Interior color: Black leather Mileage: 10 300 Km HP: 310cv Engine displacement: 4719 cm3 Gearbox: Manual Original paint: Yes Delivery country: Italy History Delivered new on July 1972 in Italy, our beautiful copy shows only 10,300 km on the clock. It is in its original configuration, beautiful Rosso Fuoco, allying perfectly with the black leather interior. We have the certificate issued by Maserati Classiche attesting to the authenticity of the vehicle as well as a copy of the original document issued in 1972, listing the different characteristics of the vehicle. This car is matching numbers and color. Warranty The vehicle will be sold revised and guaranteed 3 months or 5000 Km Price 340 000 euros Find us and contact us Jean Lain Vintage – Showroom / +334 79 88 66 36 - Jérôme Millias +337 60 14 73 07 11 Rue de la Dent du Chat 73 420 Voglans France Opening hours From Monday to Saturday, 8am to 12am and 2pm to 6.30pm http://jeanlainvintage.com/nos-vehicules/vehicules-a-vendre/

    • Year: 1972
    • Mileage: 10300 mi
    For sale
  • Maserati Bora

    £200,000 £200,000

    Variant: - 1974 S Powered by Maserati’s proven 90° V8, the Bora was a true supercar which promised 170+ mph performance. It was Maserati’s first mid-engine car and debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in March of 1971. The Bora went into full production of this car which introduced many new ideas to the Maserati brand. Only 564 Boras were made in total of which 289 were European specification (without US smog control) and only 42 with, as this car, Right Hand Drive. This particular car has received a recent "nut and bolt" restoration from marque specialist Bill McGrath and can be described as......"Probably the best Bora in the world". Since restoration the car has been used for numerous continental tours and has proved totally reliable and where legal, able to fulfil the brochure performance figures after over 40 years!! Finished in Rosso Mondiale with Beige and Nero Leather Interior, Air conditioning, Electric Windows, Tinted Glass.

    • Year: 1974
    • Mileage: 53000 mi
    • Engine size: 4.7
    For sale
  • 1973 Maserati Bora

    £126,750 £126,750

    1973 Maserati Bora 4.9 s/n AM117/49-US700, engine no. AM107/11/49*700* Silver with Red Leather Interior The Bora was Maserati's response to the Lamborghini Miura, which created a sensation when introduced in 1966 thanks to its stunning looks and mid-engined layout. Ferrari's Daytona, introduced in 1968, proved to be disappointingly front-engined, but the Bora, launched in 1971, was not. Featuring Maserati's fantastic quad cam alloy V8 directly descended from the 450S race car, theBora was mid-engined with the appearance to match. The styling was striking and angular, with an intriguing combination of brutality and restraint, and was penned by Giorgetto Giugiaro at Italdesign. The rear clamshell was uniquely covered in glass and both the roof and A-pillar were covered in brushed stainless steel. The Bora was also technically innovative. The sophisticated V8 (available in either 4.7 or 4.9 liter displacements), was backed by ZF's excellent 5-speed transaxle. Suspension was independent all around, addressing a long-standing criticism of the Bora's predecessor, the Ghibli, which had a live rear axle. Maserati was then under Citroen's ownership, and their unique hydraulic braking system

    • Year: 1973
    • Mileage: 25780 mi
    For sale
  • 1972 MASERATI Bora 4.7L


    Our Maserati Bora 4.7L # AM117/060 is a very early Bora as she is the 30th on the only 289 Bora 4.7L produced She was sold new in Sweden in 1972 She was totally dismantled and then restored mechanically and cosmetically (except the interior) This matching number Maserati Bora 4.7L # AM117/060 is in a very good condition and above all she runs perfectly ! Odometer shows 4,055 km Swedish papers

    • Mileage: 4055 mi
    For sale
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