This Is How A Maserati Mexico Landed In My Garage
Photography by Frank Anigbo
I imagine we all get to that point sometime, when we realize that we want something a bit larger than the small vintage GTs of our youthful, carefree days. For me, the day came during a particularly perfect springtime drive through a particularly beautiful landscape with my beloved by my side. I suddenly felt grown up and began imagining a family. The right car had to be Italian and from my favorite period, the 1960s, and it had to be undeniably beautiful and large enough to accommodate four adults with enough luggage for a weekend away.
It was by coincidence that I attended a local Italian car show and saw the family car of my desire: a Maserati Mexico, crisp and silvery-grey, and immediately recognizable although I had not until that day seen one in the flesh. It looked smaller than I had assumed from photographs, and significantly more beautiful. How lucky was this?
The car wasn’t for sale, but that was okay because the owner just happened to have another one at home, also of the rarer 4.7 liter variety of which just 175 were produced; Maserati made a total of 480 Mexicos and 2 official prototypes. Luck, again, as he was willing to let the blue one go after a very long ownership of both cars. I didn’t need convincing—the blue Mexico was mine.
On driving the car for the first time, one notices the entertaining arrangement of gauges and toggle switches, the airiness of the cabin, and power from the 4.7-litre V8 with 290 horsepower and 290 lbs-ft of torque. The worm and sector steering mechanism feels odd at first, with too many turns lock to lock, especially when making tight turns at slow speeds. But you get used to it quickly and can drive the car at high speed with a lot of confidence, especially on roads with gentle sweeping curves. The biggest negative—or peculiarity, as I prefer to think of it, is the weight of the clutch pedal. This is not a car for someone with a weak left knee. And the brakes, power-assisted with vented discs all around, have proven to be a source of heart-stopping drama.
That said, I find it amazing that even today, the Mexico has a trunk large enough to hold two good-sized suitcases and all the supplies needed to keep a baby fed, amused, and smelling fresh for days.
The Maserati Mexico is fast but unhurried, elegant in its restraint. It is a car that makes you want to dress up like a gentleman. A good date-night car. Most importantly, it is a car that lets me share my enthusiasm for classic cars with my family.