In 1968 Citroën took over Maserati from the Orsi family with Alfredo Orsi remaining as the companies nominal president.
Although a couple of Maserati Type AM 121 Quattroporte’s built on the 1969 Maserati Indy chassis and drive train were built Citroën had scrapped the Type 121 with just two unit’s built and focused the companies attention on building the Type AM 123 Quattroporte II.
The front wheel drive Type AM 123 used an extended Citroën SM floor pan and the 3 litre / 183 cui version of the Giulio Alfieri designed quad cam Maserati V6 that was used in the SM and later rear engined Maserati Merak, the 210 hp gave the futuristic Marcello Gandini styled Bertone body a top speed of only 124 mph.
Additional Citroën inspired features included the hydropneumatic suspension which added a great deal of comfort to the ride, self centering power steering and swivelling directional headlights which turned with use of the steering wheel and were directed in the same direction as the front wheels.
As per the Citroen SM the interior of the Quattroporte II featured an unusual for the period digital instrument panel, air conditioning, sun blinds on all window’s, electric door window’s, radio cassette and heated rear screen, the only options were a leather interior and electric sun roof.
Unfortunately a combination of factors, fuel crisis, collapse of Maserati’s main market Italy, and lack of investment from Citroën meant that aside from the prototype AM 123, seen in these photographs with a unique to this car set of prototype magnesium wheels, which was first first shown to the public in 1974 just 13 examples were built up to 1978 by which time Citroën had long since divested itself of it’s interest in Maserati and left it in the hands of Alejandro de Tomaso with the help of the Italian Government.
I believe the unusual EMN888U licence plate ‘may’ have been issued by licencing authorities on the Isle of Man, if you know more please do not hesitate to chip in below.
Thanks for joining me on this “Hydropneumatic Directional Headlights” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at another Amilcar Special. Don’t forget to come back now !