It’s nice to think that Giovanni Michelotti spent some of his creative time trying to think of a suitable ashtray for this car.
He might have sat at his desk with samples from suppliers or he might have drawn some simple sketches and asked the artisans to run up a few prototypes. At some point Adolfo Orsi, the firm’s president, could have been invited to review the shortlist of possibilities. Perhaps he sat in the car and had a smoke of a now-forgotten Italian brand while assessing the merits of each design. Since Citroen had owned the firm since 1968, the very board of directors of that firm could have been asked for an opinion about a feature that seems to sit at the very heart of the car.
In the case of this 1972 car, the luxuriantly reflective chrome lozenge sits regally atop the tunnel, nearer to the driver than the lever actuating the five-speed manual gearbox. Notice the small sphere. That helps one position one’s finger tips so as to more easily lift the lid. The ashtray doesn’t hide in the car’s rich leather trim. It’s an elegant statement of comfort, luxury and quality entirely in keeping with the rather fabulous trimming inside this rather rare car.
Maserati made 1100 examples of the Indy over its six year life. The first series had a 4.5 litre V8, driving the rear wheels. They bored that out to 4.7 litres and finally to 4.9 litres. In the somewhat convoluted product history of Maserati, the Indy served as an alternative to the Ghibli. It had four-seats and so also could have been said to provide a replacement for the discontinued Quattroporte. That line of reasoning is hard to accept. Better to see the Indy as it is: a rather regally appointed GT intended for two people’s rapid transcontinental travel: from Interlaken, say, to Chantilly for a spot of shopping, dining and horse-racing. And, of course, a relaxing Montecristo or perhaps something special ordered from J.J. Fox´s in London or Dublin.
This car is on view here.