1970 Maserati Ghibli
John Theurer (acquired new circa 1970)
Bob Gett, Sudbury, Massachusetts (acquired circa 2003)
Current Owner (acquired from the above in 2008)
Named for an Egyptian desert storm wind, the dramatic low-slung Maserati Ghibli was an early design by Giorgetto Giugiaro, who would become one of the greatest and most prolific automotive designers of all time.
Maserati introduced the coupe as a prototype at the Torino Motor Show in 1966, and it clearly struck a chord with the press and public. The company put the tipo AM115 Ghibli into production, with the first cars on sale in March 1967.
The Ghibli shared its front-engine, rear-drive layout and tubular steel-frame chassis construction with the Quattroporte and the Mexico. In contrast to more complex suspension designs favored by Ferrari and Lamborghini, the Ghibli employed Maserati’s tried-and-true setup consisting of a front independent suspension, a rear live axle on semi-elliptical leaf springs, and four-wheel disc brakes. Testers during the period described the model’s handling as wonderfully predictable and balanced.
Descended from the tipo 450S sports racer, the Ghibli’s 4.7-liter V-8 had dry sump lubrication, and it featured hemispherical combustion, dual overhead camshafts, and four twin-choke Weber carburetors. Mated to a five-speed ZF manual gearbox or three-speed Borg-Warner automatic, the V-8 provided intoxicating noises as it neared redline, and developed 310 hp at 5,500 rpm and 340 lbs./ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm. It could achieve 0–60 mph in 6.8 seconds and a top speed of over 150 mph.
Giugiaro, then working at Carrozzeria Ghia, penned the Ghibli’s aggressive yet artful shape. A tapered nose contained hidden headlamps and a wide bifurcated grille that coursed into incredibly long and flowing fenders. Aft of the raked A-pillars, an airy and spacious cabin dominated, providing excellent visibility for the occupants, and was all the more remarkable for remaining both proportional and cohesive with a type of body more frequently adorned with little glass.
A Spider version of the Ghibli was introduced in 1969. Strictly a two-seater, every bit as beautiful as the coupe, and boasting near-identical performance, the Spider’s fabric roof could be completely folded away underneath a rear-deck panel behind the seats. Only a few cars, such as the one offered here, can boast an optional factory hardtop.
This Ghibli Spider is an outstanding car with a numbers-matching engine. According to its Maserati Classiche documentation, this example left the Maserati factory in Modena in July 1970.
It was originally finished in Argento Auteuil over a Black Connolly leather interior, and equipped with the desirable five-speed manual gearbox, power steering, air-conditioning, Borrani wire wheels, Becker Mexico AM/FM radio, and an attractive, form-fitting hardtop.
Delivered new through Foreign Car City of West Nyack, New York, to its first owner, John Theurer, little is known of this example’s early history, but it is believed that the Spider was cosmetically restored and repainted red by the mid-1990s. Circa 2003, Bob Gett of Sudbury, Massachusetts, acquired the car, and he commissioned KTR European Motorsports, a vintage-car racing and restoration specialist based in Ayer, Massachusetts, to perform mechanical improvements.
After refurbishment, this sporting Spider participated in the New England 1000 and Copperstate 1000 vintage car rallies. Sold to its current owner in 2008, the Spider was treated to further cosmetic restoration, and was professionally refinished in its current highly attractive light blue metallic paint by award-winning body craftsman Tim Marinos of Auto Re-Creations in Show Low, Arizona.
With just over 33,000 miles on the odometer, believed by the consignor to be original, this Ghibli Spider presents beautifully throughout, and sits on attractive Campagnolo Starburst wheels. Well cared for in the owner’s private collection, this Spider had significant maintenance performed in 2011 by François Sicard’s renowned SF Restoration in Ridgefield, Connecticut, including attention to its suspension, steering, radiator, and fuel lines.
Accompanied by service and parts manuals, owner’s books, tools, rare factory hardtop, a new set of fitted luggage, and an additional set of Borrani wheels, the car’s history file includes Maserati Classiche documentation and an abundance of maintenance and restoration receipts attesting to its originality and upkeep.
One of the era’s most attractive designs and a wonderful driver’s car, the Ghibli proved itself worthy of the trident badge. When production ceased in 1973, 1,170 coupes and a mere 125 examples of the Spider had been completed. Infrequently offered for sale, Ghibli Spiders are extremely rare, and even more so in this condition, making this example all the more collectible.