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Overview

Named after a Mesopotamian wind, the Shamal was the most extreme evolution of the original Biturbo family of cars. Like the Karif, it was based on the shorter Biturbo Spyder chassis, with the addition of two small rear seats. The body design was completely new: a muscular and aggressive design from the pen of Marcello Gandini, it could be instantly recognized by the distinctive shape of the rear wheel arches-a Gandini signature of the era. 

 

Even bigger news was found under the hood, where the V6 engine was replaced by a completely new, twin-turbocharged V8 engine with four camshafts, 32 valves and air to air intercoolers. Power is sent to the rear wheels through a manual six-speed gearbox from Getrag coupled to a limited slip differential. Factory-rated output was 326 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque, and the car was capable of a 0-to-60 sprint of just over five seconds and a top speed of nearly 170 mph. Revolutionary and extreme for its time, the Shamal was intended for skilled drivers and gave inspiration for the later Ghibli model.

 

Handling is assisted with 16″ alloy wheels fitted with Toyo Proxes tires measuring 225/45 up front 245/45 out back. Adaptive suspension was developed in cooperation with Koni and incorporates MacPherson struts up front and semi-trailing arms out back. The car is also equipped with 11″ ventilated disc brakes front and rear. 

 

Inside, the cabin features deeply-bolstered leather seats, individually bolstered rear seats, a burl wood shift knob, and an oval Maserati-branded dash clock.

Media

History & Maintenance

Repairs and known Issues from the previous owner

The current owner acquired the Shamal on Bring A Trailer in January 2020. According to the listing the following repairs were carried-out by the previous owner

  • The driver seat electronics were repaired under prior ownership and a Kenwood stereo replaced the factory item. The seller had a new touch panel for the HVAC system custom made to match the factory item

  • The seller had the car serviced by Mark Douglas Motorworks of Mission Viejo, California, including a new ignition coil, oxygen sensors, and spark plugs. Also replaced were a power steering hose, coolant sensor O-ring, exhaust hangers, fluids, and more detailed on the included invoice.

  • Service records note the timing belt was replaced in 2017

  • Complete ceramic coating

  • 4 wheel alignment

Repairs and known Issues from current owner

During the current ownership, of which approximately 3,000 KM were added the following service work was completed:

  • Intake leak was detected and properly sealed.

  • Repaired seized linkage on driver’s side turbo wastegate. 

  • Rattle noise detected at back of engine, in the process of determining root cause clutch assembly was removed, pressure plate resurfaced and new clutch and bearing were installed.  The source of the noise was a loose cam chain. A new chain was installed and the cam sprocket was properly aligned resolving the issue. 

  • AC recharged and blows cold

  • LF Headlight socket was looked at and determined it will likely need to be replaced at some point in the future. Sealed stress crack on coolant reservoir due to age and will likely need replacement at some point in the future. 

  • Replaced differential with NOS 3.73 ratio Ranger differential from Auto Italia in place of the original 3.36 ratio diff. Shop notes no difference in driving feel. 

  • Differential coupler was removed and reassembled with Green Locktite on splines and new differential oil was installed. 

1992 Maserati Shamal

Fundamentals

  • VIN: ZAM339B00MA300115

  • Year: 1992

  • Kilometers: 73,544

  • Engine: twin-turbocharged 3.2-liter DOHC V8 featuring four camshafts

  • Transmission: Getrag 6-speed manual gearbox including a limited-slip differential

  • Recent Service Totaling: $13,501.70

  • Exterior Color: Red

  • Interior Color: Black

  • Title: Clean

  • Consignment: Yes

  • Location: Minneapolis, MN

Heritage

Manufactured from 1990-1996 the Shamal is the ultimate evolution of the Maserati Bi-turbo. It was the last model announced under De Tomaso ownership and factory figures indicate just 369 examples were produced. Maserati was not able to develop an entirely new car, and accordingly the Shamal shows its Biturbo heritage in the doors, interior, and basic bodyshell. Marcelo Gandini's styling signature is visible in the slanted profile of the rear wheel arc, but adds an unusual design element with an additional spoiler in front of the windshield – also seen on Gandini’s redesign of the DeTomaso Pantera. Limited production numbers combined with a muscular stance penned by one of the greatest automotive designers of all time gives the Shamal a beautiful silhouette while making it highly collectible. 

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Interior                 A-

The Shamal’s interior is in great overall condition with no noticeable rips, tears, or stains. An aftermarket Kenwood head unit and an HKS Turbo Timer located to the left of the steering column are the only two non-factory items present in the interior. All functions work as intended, including the A/C which blows cold. The leather-lined dash is free of cracks and warping.

Exterior                B+

Outside, the Shamal presents beautifully, with the bold red paintwork accentuating the purposeful Marcello Gandini-designed bodywork and outrageous box flares. Aside from a few small stone chips on the front end of the car, and some light swirling in the paint, there are no dents, cracks, or other defects in the paint or glass. All lights work as expected, as do the power windows and windshield wipers. All four wheels are free of curb rash and the tires are in good shape as well.

Mechanical           A

After receiving nearly $20,000 of work over the past three years, this Shamal runs and drives beautifully. Power from the 3.2-liter twin-turbocharged V8 comes on strong with very little turbo lag and a throaty growl from the exhaust. The transmission shifts smoothly and with a light action, especially once up to temperature. The car idles well and can sit comfortably in traffic without overheating.

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Photographer's notes

With only 369 Shamals ever built, and likely less than a dozen on this side of the pond, I can safely say that I’ll probably never see another one, so spending time with this car was an absolute privilege. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I initially got behind the wheel but the driving experience quickly exceeded my expectations. 320 hp was plenty in the early ‘90s and each and every one of those ponies makes itself felt. I was surprised by how little turbo lag there was and the car happily gets up and goes when you get on the throttle. The gearbox is a joy to use and the steering felt solid and communicative. The Shamal has the driving character to match the wild styling!

- Alex Bellus

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