When you think of European sports cars, names like Ferrari, Lamborghini, and De Tomaso come to mind. Another one that should stick out because of its beautiful designs, fast cars, and victories on the racing circuit is the Maserati. From 1971-1978, the Maserati released a vehicle that was all of those things and it was called the Bora.
When Citroen first took over Maserati in 1968, they were looking for a mid-engine, 2-seater coupe that could compete with Lamborghini’s Miura, De Tomaso’s Mangusta, and the model that Ferrari was rumored to have in the works. The Tipo117 (later named the Bora) was put underway in October of 1968. A prototype was shown in the summer of 1969, it was presented at the Geneva Salon in March of 1971 and the first customer got theirs by the end of the same year.
The combined steel monocoque chassis and body featured a tubular steel subframe at the rear for the engine and transmission. It had coil springs, telescopic shocks and anti-roll bars. It also came with wide front tires that had Campagnolo light alloy rims and stainless steel hubcaps, and rack and pinion steering. The Bora also took advantage of using Citroen’s advanced high pressure hydraulics that were used to operate the ventilated disc brakes, the brake, clutch and throttle pedal box, the driver’s seat and the retractable headlights.
The Bora used an uprated version of the DOHC 90degrees V8 that produced 4719cc and with the Weber 42 DCNF downdraught carbs and electronic Bosch ignition it was getting 310bhp at 6000rpm. Special attention was also given to reducing engine noise. The aluminum engine cover was trimmed in deep-pile carpet and the window between the passenger compartment and engine bay had double-glazing, which was way ahead of its time. This engine helped the Bora top out at speeds of 165mph. It could go 0-60 in 6.5 seconds and 0-100 in 14.6 seconds .The roof and windscreen pillars of the Bora was brushed stainless steel, giving it a unique style. the bucket seats, dashboard, door trim, center console, and rear bulkhead were trimmed in leather. Electronic windows and air conditioning came standard.
Very few production changes were made to the Bora in its 8 years of production.The lights were changed to pop-up lights with round corners, a rectangular front lid-mounted grille was added, matte black louvres on the sail panels were an addition and the front lids hinges were put at the front. Also, due to engine regulations, the US had to have a 4.9L engine put in, which produced 280bhp at 6000rpm. It went from 0-60mph in 7.2 seconds and 0-100mph in 15.2 seconds. These engines eventually became standard.
Sadly, after the sale of Maserati to De Tomaso in 1975, Maserati struggled. It dropped the Bora in 1978.