The Magazine

About tough to crack puzzle #163: Maserati Boomerang

About tough to crack puzzle #163: Maserati Boomerang
Last week’s puzzle car was, of course, the great Maserati Boomerang: a concept car by Giorgietto Giugiaro (under Italdesign) that was first shown in the designer’s birthplace Turin in 1971. It was Giugiaro at his Giugiaro-est. Mechanically it was a Bora, with the mid-engined 310bhp strong 4.7-litre V8, but esthetically it was different. Very different. You may see the Audi Asso di Picche and BMW Asso di Quadri in it (also Giugiaro concepts) or the Lotus Esprit, BMW M1 and DeLorean DMC12 (again all of them are Giugiaro designs), but these were all yet to come. And then there was the interior! To quote from the auctioneer’s blurb which sold the car a few years ago: “The futuristic interior though, with its unique dashboard layout where the steering wheel rotates around a stationary binnacle of radially disposed instruments, looked more appropriate for the command deck of a starship than a passenger car.”

Most remarkable of it all was that the Boomerang was – and is - fully functional and got in fact road registered later in its life. After Turin it was taken to more shows of which the ’72 Barcelona Motor Show was one. It stayed in Spain after that and ended up on the Costa del Sol in Benidorm. When a German Maserati enthusiast on holiday noticed the car there back in 1980, he took it over and restored it. The man took it to a number of shows and events and eventually sold it in 2002. The next owner decided to have the car made ready for some road use and sold it once that was carried out, sold it once more to France. It was auctioned in Paris in 2015 when it made 3,33 million euros.

We received quite some good answers to the puzzle. Herman van Oldeneel gave some extra information, that the display was like on a modern F1 car. Hugo Modderman said that we need to go to the Louwman Museum to see what it is. But John Krabbeman gave us the right solution and told us the car was now in the hands of a French collector who is actually using it. Tom McKibbin said it was sold earlier than the Paris auction; in 2005 at Pebble Beach 'for 1 millon bucks'. Other good answers came from Vincent Mahy, Bryan Weiskopf (With a good anekdote), Fried Stol(who mentioned an auction price in 2002 of $640.000), Ace Zene and Don Siemers (yes, you were on time). The winner of this week however is Alan Spencer. He had a fantastic anekdote and sent us some proof of this: 'I had the rare privilege of seeing it at the 1993 Concours Italiana (later named Concorso Italiano) in the Carmel Valley. It was displayed as part of a tribute to Giugiaro that featured about 30 cars, including my humble - though very presentable - first-generation VW Scirocco. A souvenir they were giving away was a piece of pasta ("marille") designed by Giugiaro! I still have mine, though I no longer have the Scirocco.'

Thank you all for participating. Have a good weekend!

(Pictures courtesy RM Sotheby's)


Saturday, 29 July 2017