My Car Quest

December 6, 2022

A Dirty 1962 Maserati 3500 GTi Spider At Auction

by Mike –

If the car is dirty and photographed in the middle of a dirt field then it is likely a special ‘barn find’ or ‘garage find’ at an upcoming auction.

This Maserati 3500 GTi Spider has the “patina” that many auction companies love, especially Gooding.

This Maserati will be at the Gooding auction in Arizona in January with an estimate of $525,000 – $575,000.

Maserati 3500 GTi Spider

Gooding writes,

In the 1970s, the Maserati was exported to the US and, for at least 20 years, it has been parked in a garage near Enid, Oklahoma.

Presented as found, this unrestored Vignale Spider is a very rare find and an ideal candidate for a concours-quality restoration. Refinished in red and retaining much of its original upholstery, the Maserati appears to have been driven approximately 51,000 miles before being placed in long-term static storage.

Maserati 3500 GTi Spider

Dirt is not patina and rust is not desirable patina on a car. So why do so many experts go crazy when they find a ‘barn find’ that has dirt and rust and paint that is falling off and they don’t want to even clean the car?

In the book The Stewardship of Historically Important Automobiles by The Simeone Automotive Foundation on page 101 Dr. Fred A. Simeone writes,

Dirt is not patination. Dirt is something that was not added by the creator, or intentionally by the subsequent owners. Unlike patina, which can be the result of exposure to the elements or ordinary time-related chemical change, dirt is added to the object by an unfavorable environment or simply poor care. Similarly, under certain circumstances, corrosion can destroy the “meaning” of the automobile, thereby representing not a mellowing aging process, but a threat to the integrity of the surrounding metal.

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

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A Dirty 1962 Maserati 3500 GTi Spider At Auction
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A Dirty 1962 Maserati 3500 GTi Spider At Auction
Dirt is not patina and rust is not desirable patina on a car, right?


  1. Jack Nelson says

    Agree with no less an authority than Dr. Simeone. Personally I feel that the pendulum has started to swing away from these “ban finds” which in reality are no more than abandoned & perhaps even neglected cars. This whole ‘craze” may have been contrived to simply facilitate the transaction (sale) of cars w/o having to “put anything into it”, not to mention the artificial price premium most attempt to add-on to such cars. One of the best (worst?) examples of this was approx two years ago when two MBZ Gullwings, wearing the same livery of graphite grey/red were sold at same auction. One was fresh resto, the other “patinized”…truly very ratty, guess w/c one sold higher?
    Now, a nice, well maintained original car is something to behold and should be cherished….not these “barn-finds”.

    Southampton, NY

  2. Ciaran Payne says

    The car appears to have ben last registered in the UK from the number plate visible on the front, which is a circa 1968 Registration if that helps.

  3. John in Fargo says

    I couldn’t agree more that dirt is not patina. It traps moisture and can cause scratching – or is it unsacred to even touch such a find? Not long ago, it would’ve been unthinkable to not at least wash and tidy up such a treasure before showing it.

  4. The extreme case of this trend (which I have been hoping would fade away) is this Jaguar XK 120 that sold at two different auctions just a few weeks apart.

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