Ashtrays: 1972 Maserati Indy 4700

It’s nice to think that Giovanni Michelotti spent some of his creative time trying to think of a suitable ashtray for this car.

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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.

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

12 thoughts on “Ashtrays: 1972 Maserati Indy 4700”

  1. Another quality ashtray assessment Richard.

    Please forgive me, but I must digress. The website you have signposted in your article must have one of the most exquisite inventories available. The most significant for me is the 1972 Fiat 130 Coupé, what an absolute beauty!!… and its ashtray looks more than worthy of some informed debate.

    Apologies again!

    1. Thanks – indeed, that car dealer has a collection of first rate Italian cars, from saloons to sports cars. The owner very generously let me prowl around the cars one fine recently in Spring. We have another of their cars coming up soon.

  2. From memory the Indy replaced the Mexico, which was a more conventional looking three-volume coupe which was discontinued in 1972. It does appear that the Indy wasn’t a great success owing perhaps to its fastback styling falling between two stools and suffering by comparison to Giugiaro’s Ghibli. It was superseded in 1976 by the De Tomaso inspired but heavily reworked Kyalami, which proved a better fit with Maserati’s more conservative customers.

    The Mexico’s Vignale lines were elegant, if a little staid. Pietro Frua (the carrozzeria best associated with Maserati) however created this rather delectable proposal for the Mexico in 1968. Bit of a missed opportunity if you ask me…

    1. I don’t know Richard. Nothing here a little judicious lead-loading wouldn’t solve. Actually it’s not too dissimilar to what Frua did on the first series Quattroporte – or their version of the 5000 GT for that matter.

  3. The Indy was the last real Maserati……if you agree that a proper Maserati should have that big V8, leaf springs and be free of all that ghastly Citroen plumbing. But its shape was reasonable contemporary. So, although that ashtray appeals as an object, it looks out of place in that setting to me. But ill- matched accessories are a bit of a Maserati tradition, as in the tacky (to my eyes) gynaecological clock.

  4. A boring slag writes…

    Was there really a 4.5 litre Indy?

    The only Maserati 4.5 V8 I can think of was the small scale production engine in the 1956 450S. 4477cc, (93.8mm x 81mm).

    This seems to have been used as the basis for the larger scale production 1963-88 Tipo 107 V8, which started out at 4136cc, (88mm x 85mm). The 4.7 (4719cc, 94mm x 85mm) and 4.9 (4930cc, 93.9 x 89mm)

    The 4.9’s dimensions are almost identical to the very rare 5000GT, which used a development of the 450S engine.

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