The Maserati Merak Is The Vintage Mid-Engine You Can Buy For Less Than A New Car

Maserati is known for being one of the very best when it comes to both classic and modern Italian sports cars. The company has been around since 1914, and its vehicles have been featured in just about every aspect of media, including in movies and music videos (via Maserati). There's a lot to appreciate about a Maserati, but the price tag associated with owning one of these bad boys is through the roof for most people, which means the majority of consumers can only watch as these racing beasts speed by.

However, not every Maserati will break the bank. The Maserati Merak is a classic sports car from this iconic company that you can purchase for less than the price of many new vehicles. Of course, the classic won't be cheap per se, but it's much more of a deal than most of the other rides the company makes and is particularly affordable for a vintage model.

The Maserati Merak detailed

Maserati unveiled the Merak at the 1972 Paris Auto Show. Though the new car was similar to the Maserati Bora, the Merak sported a 3-liter V6 engine with double overhead cams and 187 horsepower. Later on, the company introduced the high-performance variant of the Merak, the Maserati Merak SS, at the Geneva Motor Show in 1975. The latter model weighed less than the original Merak and took the leap to 217 horsepower (via Hagerty). Maserati had planned for the Merak to compete with rides like the Porsche 911 and the Lamborghini Urraco.

The automaker kept the Merak in production until 1983 and built one additional variant called the Merak 2000 GT, which made its debut in 1977. The Merak 2000 GT was mostly sold on the Italian car market and featured a smaller engine. These cars were known for their futuristic appearance, at least by the standards of that time, and they were ultimately Maserati's answer to the oil crisis, as their small engines meant the vehicles were more fuel-efficient (via Maserati).

The Merak remains surprisingly affordable

One of the biggest obstacles standing in the way of owning a Maserati is the hefty price tag. Luckily, the Merak is far more affordable if you can find one. As with any classic car, there is a pretty extensive range of prices one could expect to pay for a Maserati Merak. Based on recent bids for the two-door ride, the lowest you can expect to pay for it is around $15,500 (via Bring A Trailer). However, this example was sold as a project car, which means it did not run. 

The Bring A Trailer site also lists other Maserati Merak models that have sold over the last several years; the lowest price was $32,250 for a 1975 Merak, and the highest was $63,000 for a 1974 model. Despite the relatively low price tags, the Merak remains a pretty rare find — in fact, only 1,830 units of this mid-engine car were produced, according to the automaker. These hard-to-find rides may not be the fastest or most powerful vehicles made by Maserati, but they remain a great vintage sports car option for buyers who want to expand their collections without paying too much.