Merak Ownership

Merak Ownership

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Discussion

HondaPants

Original Poster:

4 posts

33 months

Tuesday 21st November 2017
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Hi All, new to site, so please be gentle! Thinking of buying a late model Merak. (Post Citroen) Any advice concerning these cars? I would like to use it as a daily (dry weather) car to work, which is fairly close, and wondered about reliability, running costs, ease of maintenance, etc. Any thoughts appreciated. Cheers.

belfry

631 posts

138 months

Tuesday 21st November 2017
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I bought a 1977 SS this year and I'm loving the ownership experience. Beautiful cars which are great fun to drive. They handle far better than I'd imagined. Wherever I go I get thumbs up and nice attention.

Allandwf

1,736 posts

151 months

Tuesday 21st November 2017
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I thought there was no difference mechanically between early and late models, apart from a little extra power. Obviously got rid of the oval instruments and the single spoke wheel. Even though it got a brake pedal it still operated a button. I has a 1974 Meraks, I personally wouldn't use one as a daily,

Yipper

5,964 posts

46 months

Tuesday 21st November 2017
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Probably seen it before, but old Top Gear bought and ran a Merak circa 2009 and the results were not good (assuming it was not faked for TV).

https://youtu.be/GuCff8nCxBU

belfry

631 posts

138 months

Wednesday 22nd November 2017
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I wonder how much that episode was 'staged'? It was strange that the Merak, the Dino and the Uracco all broke down on the same day! But it might have been boring if they all worked perfectly.

My Merak did the 1,000 mile Shanghai to Beijing without missing a beat.

OP do you have a car in your sights?

HondaPants

Original Poster:

4 posts

33 months

Wednesday 22nd November 2017
quotequote all
Thanks for your input chaps. Good to hear your positive comments 'Belfry'. I need to join a Maserati club, I think, to see what's on offer. I see there's a left hooker in the Brooklands auction this weekend. Could be interesting! Regarding TG, that's where I first saw a Merak. Never even heard of them before. If they really broke such a rare car they should be flogged!

HondaPants

Original Poster:

4 posts

33 months

Wednesday 22nd November 2017
quotequote all
Sorry, Allandwf, meant to say that I believed all the Citroen 'weird' bits were dropped when De Tomaso took over Maserati. Obviously, you have the real story!

WCZ

7,746 posts

150 months

Wednesday 22nd November 2017
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Yipper said:
Probably seen it before, but old Top Gear bought and ran a Merak circa 2009 and the results were not good (assuming it was not faked for TV).

https://youtu.be/GuCff8nCxBU
off topic but imagine how much money you'd need to spend to get ropey examples of those these days

Yipper

5,964 posts

46 months

Wednesday 22nd November 2017
quotequote all
WCZ said:
Yipper said:
Probably seen it before, but old Top Gear bought and ran a Merak circa 2009 and the results were not good (assuming it was not faked for TV).

https://youtu.be/GuCff8nCxBU
off topic but imagine how much money you'd need to spend to get ropey examples of those these days
Yeah, was thinking that, too.

They bought it for a claimed ~£10k in 2009. A drivable one today in 2017 will cost around £50-100k.

A repairable (but not drivable) Merak can be had for around £17k right now.

Still very pretty cars.

http://www.carandclassic.co.uk/list/30/merak/

P5BNij

5,885 posts

62 months

Tuesday 28th November 2017
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belfry said:
I wonder how much that episode was 'staged'? It was strange that the Merak, the Dino and the Uracco all broke down on the same day! But it might have been boring if they all worked perfectly.

My Merak did the 1,000 mile Shanghai to Beijing without missing a beat.

OP do you have a car in your sights?
A fair bit of it was staged with all three cars, I'm not sure what they did to the Merak but I read that the Urraco's fluids were partially drained and the plug leads were loosened amongst other things - since it was filmed the car has been put right and repainted in orange.

roygarth

2,668 posts

204 months

Tuesday 28th November 2017
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roygarth said:
I bought a 1976 Merak SS earlier this year. I absolutely love it. Fabulous handling, adequate performance and looks to die for! I get stopped and congratulated in it more than any car I've owned. I'd use it every day if I didn't have a few others!

The SS is 30bhp more powerful and 50kg lighter than the standard Merak. Also the SS dash (2 versions) are, IMO, much better designed.

roygarth

2,668 posts

204 months

Tuesday 28th November 2017
quotequote all
HondaPants said:
Sorry, Allandwf, meant to say that I believed all the Citroen 'weird' bits were dropped when De Tomaso took over Maserati. Obviously, you have the real story!
They all have Citroen hydraulics which operate brakes, clutch and, bizarrely, raising of headlamps! Earlier non-SS cars have dashboard dials etc of Citroen SM.

The 3 litre V6 engine was supplied by Maserati to Citroen for the SM. That's why Citroen bought Maserati - for the engine.





Edited by roygarth on Tuesday 28th November 16:57

HondaPants

Original Poster:

4 posts

33 months

Monday 4th December 2017
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Thanks for the clarification 'Roygarth'. I assume the photo is your car? Such a fantastic profile. Gorgeous!

OLDBENZ

236 posts

92 months

Wednesday 6th December 2017
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roygarth said:
They all have Citroen hydraulics which operate brakes, clutch and, bizarrely, raising of headlamps! Earlier non-SS cars have dashboard dials etc of Citroen SM.

Edited by roygarth on Tuesday 28th November 16:57
Actually all RHD Meraks had the Bora-style dashboard. The only Meraks to get the Citroen SM style dash were LHD. I

roygarth

2,668 posts

204 months

Wednesday 6th December 2017
quotequote all
OLDBENZ said:
roygarth said:
They all have Citroen hydraulics which operate brakes, clutch and, bizarrely, raising of headlamps! Earlier non-SS cars have dashboard dials etc of Citroen SM.

Edited by roygarth on Tuesday 28th November 16:57
Actually all RHD Meraks had the Bora-style dashboard. The only Meraks to get the Citroen SM style dash were LHD. I
Interesting, thanks. So all the non SS LHD Cars had SM dash. And all the SS LHD cars had the Maserati dash?

OLDBENZ

236 posts

92 months

Monday 11th December 2017
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roygarth said:
Interesting, thanks. So all the non SS LHD Cars had SM dash. And all the SS LHD cars had the Maserati dash?
Actually, I think it is more complicated than that. There were three dash types for the LHD cars - a Citroen SM type, a 'square dashboard' (post Citroen ownership: I don't know if the dash change coincided with the introduction of the SS) and a Bora-type.

What I can say with certainty is that the early RHD cars had the Bora dash. I know that because an acquaintance of my father pulled up in our drive in 1975/6 with the motorshow car he had just bought. I was allowed to sit in it and the image of all those dials and lovely steering wheel is firmly stored in my hard drive.

Allandwf

1,736 posts

151 months

Friday 15th December 2017
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I had a 1974 non SS Merak, it had a RHD Bora dash. One thing is for certain, in older Maseratis they seemed to evolve with what they had at the time.

RegTwinNecks

1 posts

2 months

Friday 5th June
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Hi. New to forum. Did you buy a Merak Hondapants? I own a 1980 RHD SS. It is currently finishing being fully restored. Prior to it being stripped I drove it every day and did 10,000 miles a year. I bought it for £12.5k in 2000, spent £1.5k getting it roadworthy with McGraths. Apart from standard servicing, new front disks and a clutch, it never missed a beat. As other owners on here have said they're great fun to drive and get a lot of admiration and attention. The Top Gear episode was a travesty as it misrepresented just about everything but that's what they do for dramatic effect. Clarkson, who I went to school with (no one remembered him, we all remembered Adrian Newey) stated the brakes don't work if the engine breaks - this might happen after about 10 minutes but not straightaway. And there's no need to drive it into a hedge - there's a big yellow warning light that comes on. I'd like to see them do it again with three fully sorted versions.