1970 Maserati Ghibli
1970 Maserati Ghibli 4.7-Litre Spyder
Coachwork by Carrozzeria Ghia
Chassis no. AM115S 1183
"It differs from many cars of similar performance in that it is equally as suited to going to the opera as blasting down to Palermo on the Autostrada." Road & Track.
A masterstroke for Maserati, elevating the Modenese marque to the front rank of the prestigious Gran Turismo market, the Ghibli coupé was followed by the even more breathtaking Ghibli spyder, which stunned the motoring press and public alike when it was unveiled at the 1968 Turin Motor Show.
A strong contender for the 'most handsome car of the 1960s' title, Maserati's Ghibli had debuted in coupé form at the Turin Motor Show in November 1966. Styled at Carrozzeria Ghia by master stylist Giorgetto Giugiaro and named after a Sahara Desert wind, the Ghibli rivalled the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 'Daytona' for straight-line performance - its top speed was close to 275km/h - while beating it for price and, arguably, looks. More than 4.5m long and 1.8m wide, the Ghibli occupied an inordinate amount of space for a mere two-seater, but perhaps the most startling aspect of its appearance was the height, or rather the lack of it. Dry-sump lubrication enabled the engine to be mounted deep in the chassis, permitting a low bonnet line, while limited suspension travel ensured that the tyres did not foul the wheelarches. The roofline fell away from the top of the steeply raked windscreen to the chopped-off tail, Giugario thus achieving a cabin lower than that of almost all the Ghibli's contemporaries, albeit one with restricted headroom for rear passengers.
Like the contemporary Mexico 2+2, the Ghibli used a shortened version of the Quattroporte saloon's tubular steel chassis in its live rear axle form. Perhaps surprisingly, the Ghibli set-up used leaf springs and a single locating arm in preference to the more complex suspension arrangements favoured by its rivals. The power unit was Maserati's venerable 4.7 litre, four-cam, 90-degree V8, an engine to derived from that of the 450S sports racer and first seen in road-going guise in the 5000GT. The performance was stunning, with 160km/h attainable in under 16 seconds. This neck-snapping acceleration resulted from the V8's enormous torque, which, combined with the Ghibli's near-perfect weight distribution and low centre of gravity, made it one of the most flexible and easy-to-drive GTs of its era.
Even more sensational than the coupé was the handsome Ghibli Spyder, launched in 1969 and the direct rival of Ferrari's 'Daytona' Spyder. Giugiaro's styling for an open Ghibli was arguably even more successful than the original closed coupé and is rightly regarded as an all-time classic of sports car design. Well designed and easy to operate, the soft-top folded down beneath a lift-up panel when not required, thus preserving the Spyder's clean lines. Ghibli production ceased in 1973 after approximately 1,149 coupé and 125 spyder models had been built. The Ghibli had been enthusiastically received in the USA and most were supplied there, while only a few went to Europe. One of the most stunning sports cars ever made, the Ghibli was a worthy rival for the Ferrari 'Daytona' and represents exceptional value for money today, just as it did 40 years ago.
This Ghibli Spyder, chassis number '1183', left the factory on 7th July 1970 and was delivered new to the USA. The car's original colour scheme was Bianco Polo Park with Nero leather interior trim, and it left the factory equipped with the desirable ZF five-speed manual gearbox. Documents on file show that the Ghibli was registered in the Netherlands 22nd August 1996 and that it was imported into France by the official Maserati importer, Charles Pozzi, in June 2000. The Ghibli was sold to the current vendor on 27th April 2001 (bill of sale on file).
Offered from long-term private ownership of 20 years, the car has recently been mechanically re-commissioned with fresh fluids, new brake pads, engine tuning, etc. following a period of static display. A further shakedown is advised before enjoying this beautiful Ghibli Spyder's breathtaking performance to the full.