Maserati Bora could be safely called the most beautiful sports car of the 70s created by the famous maestro Giorgetto Giugiaro. It boldly stood apart among mid-engined roadsters of the 70s, survived the hardships of the fuel crisis, and saved the company from bankruptcy.
The model appeared in difficult times – at the height of the fuel crisis caused by the Arab-Israeli war. It could be called a continuation of the style started by the magnificent Ghibli, but with a vision for change in the design era: its forms became sharper, the stern – shorter and higher. Moreover, the latter was most pronounced in the brand’s models, and the “blind” headlights appeared on the Ghibli even before they came into fashion en masse, and Bora finally fixed this trend in the design of the legendary company. Designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro of Italdesign, this mighty “hurricane” was an outstanding vehicle. Remarkably, the same Giugiaro was behind the Ferrari 250 GT SWB Bertone, BMW 3200 CS, Aston Martin DB4 GT Bertone ‘Jet’, and many other outstanding vehicles. This model had an aerodynamic design with flip-up headlights and a stylish grille. It also came with sporty tires and a large tailgate that gave access to the powerful V8 engine.
Source: Your Sidney Mate
Maserati started building mid-engined vehicles in the early 60s, but these were endurance racing prototypes. For the development of a production model with such a layout, the company did not have the budget for a long time, until Citroen bought its controlling stake. Then the brand developed the concept of a mid-engined two-seater sports vehicle in 1968. That year the project was launched, internally named Tipo 117, to create a mid-engined supercar like the Lamborghini Miura and De Tomaso Mangusta. Ferrari was also on the cusp of launching its own mid-engined sports car. While Bora’s development began in the last quarter of 1968, the prototype was released the following year. The company’s chief engineer Giulio Alfieri was responsible for the technical part, and Giorgetto Giugiaro, who opened his own ItalDesign studio in 1970, took over the design work. The model officially debuted at Geneva Salon in 1971. In general, the heyday of the model fell during difficult times for the sports automobile segment. However, the centrally-engined Bora and Merak models saved the company from bankruptcy.
And so, in 1971, the “hurricane” finally appeared – a beautiful and super-fast sports vehicle like a storm, which Arab sheiks and Hollywood stars immediately began to buy. The car was based on a monocoque with a wheelbase of 2600 mm. In terms of volume (4719 cm3), it corresponded to the Ghibli power unit, but the engineers tuned it for softer operation, abandoning the dry sump lubrication system and reducing power from 330 to 310 hp. The body of the roadster consisted of steel panels made by Officine Padane of Modena. It was a low two-seat coupe with a wedge-shaped front, a wavy waistline, and a truncated tail. Developing the Maserati Ghibli styling motif, Giorgetto Giugiaro applied a three-sided glazed engine cover, a brushed stainless steel roof, single pop-up headlights, and a radiator grille integrated into the front bumper, divided into two parts by a trident badge. Unlike many of their colleagues, the creators of this supercar made it also practical, providing a small trunk in front. Hydraulic adjustment of the seats and pedals ensured a comfortable fit. The engine was isolated from the passenger compartment with double pane glass, and flexible rear subframe mounts and interior carpeting minimized noise and vibration. Power windows were standard, and air conditioning was offered for an extra charge. Genuine leather was used in the decoration of the seats and the dashboard. An eight-cylinder engine with a volume of 4.7 liters and a power of 310 hp allowed it to accelerate to an unbelievable speed for that time – about 280 km/h! It took less than seven seconds to accelerate from zero to a hundred. The automobile was well suited for long-distance travel: comfortable chassis settings, good sound insulation of the engine compartment, and the presence of an air conditioner made it convenient for passengers.
The name for the model comes from nature. Bora is a wind of destructive force that rages around the Dalmatian Islands. The well-known journalist and racer Paul Frere, who won the 24-hour Le Mans marathon, called the Bora a truly aristocratic car.
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