Modena, Italy / March 1957
An early morning test drive of Maserati’s first series produced Gran Turismo, shortly after its world premiere at the 1957 Salon International de l’Automobile de Genève, must have been a sight to behold.
The lucky few who witnessed the achingly beautiful 3500GT out on one of its very first test runs through Modena that day were given a fleeting glimpse of what would quickly become a firm favourite amongst Italy’s celebrities and business leaders of the time.
Indeed, timing was everything. Seventy years ago, ‘The White Dame’, as the early 3500GT prototype was known, represented style, success and romance in the post-war economic boom. A symbol of hope and prosperity in the moment – but a masterpiece in any era.
The elegant car not only marked Maserati’s entry into the growing grand tourer market, it also set a new benchmark for long distance travel, which many of the other top marques would soon aim to keep up with.