Living in Constant Fear

15 April 2022

The Maserati Boomerang was first displayed as a concept at the Turin Motor Show in 1971, as a full working model by the Geneva Salon in March 1972. The Boomerang missed the 1973 Motor Show circuit, but in 1974 it was successively shown at the Paris, London and Barcelona motor shows and was unanimously praised for its design fearlessness.

One journalist observed it looked like it was doing a hundred miles an hour standing still!

The basis for the concept car was the floor assembly of a Maserati Bora, with a 4.7-litre V8 engine with 310 hp is hidden directly behind the two occupants. The power is to the rear wheels via a manual five-speed gearbox. According to the technical data published in 1972, the Boomerang reached a top speed of almost 186 mph.

Unlike now, it was not uncommon for manufacturers and coachbuilders to sell their concept cars when they had served their purpose. After the Barcelona show, the Boomerang remained in Spain and sold to a cabaret owner in Benidorm. The former owner, a noted Maserati enthusiast, discovered it there during a holiday trip in 1980 and could not resist the temptation of buying it. He had first seen the car eight years earlier and had only been able to purchase a miniature model.

After a careful restoration, it re-appeared for the first time in the 1990 Bagatelle Concours in Paris, where the esteemed car designer Giorgetto Giugiaro was a judge and proudly hand-signed the rear panel.

Its amazing wedge-shaped body was the inspiration for some small series Maseratis, for the Lotus Esprit, which continued in production for nearly thirty years and, significantly, for the hugely popular Golf Mk1 that VW had asked Giugiaro to design.

The same inspiration can’t be applied to the unusual interior designed by Italdesign; they moved all the controls to a round surface in the middle of the steering wheel. There was also a large rev counter and five other displays, but the driver had to drive without a speedometer.

Maserati once threw an unwanted Boomerang away. They live in constant fear!