1970 Maserati Ghibli
- Year of manufacture1970
- Mileage59 500 km / 36 972 mi
- Car typeOther
- Engine numberAM115*1386*
- Interior colourRed
- Exterior colourBlack
Great Running and Driving Matching-Numbers Ghibli with Original Build Sheets. Much Recent Mechanical Sorting.
1970 Maserati Ghibli
s/n AM115*1386* eng. no AM115*1386*
Black with Red Vinyl Interior
Awarded “Car Designer of the Century”, Maserati Ghibli designer Giorgetto Giugiaro commanded mastery over automobile aesthetics and innovation, designing a wide range of award winning cars. Not content to rest on his prodigious output while at Bertone where he’d already penned future masterpieces, he moved on to Ghia boldly departing from the still trendy rounded forms of the early 50s and 60s. In 1966, one of his most prolific years, Giugiaro delivered four of the most critically acclaimed designs of the decade, the finest among them being the Maserati Ghibli. Named for the warm and high-speed exotic desert winds, the chiseled Ghibli debuted at the 1966 Turin Motor Show, gaining immediate acclaim as the most refined and elegant of Giugiaro’s advanced linear and aggressive designs, and launching an entirely new trend in car design. The Ghibli not only featured a fresh body design, the mechanical features were among some of the most advanced available for any road car.
Maserati initially outfitted the Ghibli with their race-bred 306 hp dry-sump 4.7-liter quad-cam V8 fed by four Weber carburetors, coupled to a ZF five-speed manual transmission and limited slip differential. Competent drivers could reach 60 mph in less than seven seconds with handling being reported among the best of the period. Dramatically low and wide, the disc brake equipped Ghibli was capable of both comfort and performance. With largely intuitive aerodynamics, the exotic, yet refined Ghibli delivered 170 mph top speed and remarkable handling.
According to the Maserati Classiche Certificate and original factory documentation accompanying the car, this matching numbers Ghibli was ordered on September 24, 1969 directly from the factory in Verde Bosco (dark green) with Senape (mustard) Connolly Leather interior and a Becker Grand Prix radio. Though technically a 1970 model year car, this example retains the early style dashboard treatment including toggle switches. The car was delivered October 18, 1969 and sold through Sport Auto, in Rome, Italy to acclaimed Italian artist Giuseppe Bartolini, a renown Italian figurative painter, with an already prolific career depicting urban landscapes and super photorealistic automotive portraits. Bartonlini, still prolifically painting today, owned the car for some time, where it remained largely in original condition. On February 24, 1998, showing 36,197 kilometers, the car was imported to the US and sold to Richard Di Sabatino of Towaco, NJ. Mr. Sabatino, known for his work as a private investigator and Hollywood security expert retained the car for some years. Around the 2000s, the car was painted black and the interior recovered in red vinyl, with the exception of the headliner, dash fascia, and headrests, which were dyed red to match the new interior.
Currently showing 59,500 kilometers, this matching numbers Ghibli has benefited from recent and extensive mechanical service as well as selective cosmetic restoration while under current ownership. Work performed on the car included removing and replacing the clutch slave cylinder, clutch pressure plate, and master cylinders sourced through MIE. The brake system was comprehensively restored including a rebuilt master cylinder, MIE brake booster, rebuilt calipers by Apple Hydraulics on all four corners, new MIE seals and pistons, new front shock absorbers, wheel bearings, and new correct front brake caliper hoses. An NOS Bosch distributor was also installed along with new plugs and wires, carburetor adjustment, ignition timing set, and fluids replaced, An NOS washer bottle and NOS ignition switch and key were also installed. The steering box was rebuilt along with a new idler arm, new bushings, seals, and fresh gear oil. A rear section NOS exhaust system was purchased from Tom Shaughnessy and installed, and the complete exhaust system ceramic coated and reassembled using correct brass manifold nuts. Additional cosmetic work included rechroming front and rear bumpers and refinishing the front grille mesh, all four wheels were professionally restored and repainted to original specifications, the original steering wheel was professionally restored by David Cunningham, and both wind up window motors were removed and repaired with new brass drive gears for smooth operation. The resulting car works well and the owner has successfully driven it to Monterey from Marin County (a round trip of approximately 250 miles) twice for Car Week.
Today, this Ghibli presents with honest exterior finishes and nicely resolved mechanical performance. The paint is glossy, but displays some finish flaws such as bubbling and a few places where paint has worn through. There are signs of general use along the door gaps and typical road chips, but otherwise the general visual condition is consistent and benefits from selective cosmetic improvements at a driver level presentation. The doors, hood, and trunk shut with crisp and firm latching, exhibiting good fit and panel match consistent with the overall presentation. The wheels are nicely refinished, shod with Pirelli tires showing only minimal miles since being fitted. Recent chrome plating on the front and rear bumpers is well done, giving the front and rear facias nice visual presentation. Glass throughout is in very good condition overall showing only minor surface imperfections and no notable chips in the windscreen.
The interior remains complete and cohesively presented. The seats are comfortable, retain good bolster and structural support, as are the door panels and various matching interior finishes, which were recovered and dyed to match the interior color change. There is a small hole in the bottom of the driver’s seat cushion. The center console and dashboard are nicely finished and appear unrestored, displaying excellent instrumentation with clear and consistent coloring, bright numbers, and crisp needles. Toggle switches and control knobs are in very good condition overall. The steering wheel is beautifully restored adding a handsome touch to the well-appointed interior. In the rear of the car, the expansive glass stretches out over the spare tire and battery compartment with clean side panels and tidy carpeting.
The engine compartment and matching numbers engine are very complete and appear largely undisturbed, retaining the original dual snorkel air cleaner, proper air intake hosing and fasteners, correct data plates, and largely original finishes. Though not detailed for show, the quality of the finishes reveal the car has been serviced and maintained while retaining original components and features. The matching numbers engine has recently benefited from extensive mechanical servicing by experts, paying close attention to the use of NOS parts where applicable and updating materials only as needed. The undercarriage of this car is clean and tidy with no visible evidence of structural damage, displaying honest finishes reflective of general use in fair weather.
Driving this Maserati, one is reminded of the magic of driving an original car that has been properly tended to with originality in mind. The Ghibli, among the earliest to arrive on the budding supercar scene, delivers on the promises of power and performance claimed nearly 50 years ago. The car starts easily, releasing a raucous V8 exhaust note that was available in Italy only from Maserati. The engine shows good oil pressure and excellent throttle response. The 5-speed ZF gearbox operates nicely with smooth action and a positive and progressive clutch, benefiting from recent clutch work. As revs build, the character of the quad Webered quad cam V8 gains an urgency that reminds the driver that this motor is directly descended from that of the 450S race car, yet it is also tractable and civilized. The extensively rebuilt 4-wheel disc brakes are effective and viceless in their operation. Even while casually driving, the expansive wrapped windscreen, vast rear glass, and comfortable driving position offer surprisingly good visibility and ease of maneuvering. Ghiblis are known for their spacious cabins, which accommodate larger drivers with ease in a way that most Italian exotics do not. Offered with Maserati Classiche Certificate and full factory documents including build sheets, order sheets, and delivery receipt, the car is also accompanied by a copy of an owner’s manual and parts manual, jack and storage bag, and assorted parts invoices for recent work.
The most desirable car fitted with Maserati’s race-bred quad-cam V8 engine, the Ghibli has much to recommend it, including Ghia coachwork, stunning Giugiaro design, and 170mph performance. This particular car is a fundamentally undisturbed example with interesting ownership history and much recent sorting work, which has made it a proven touring car for its current owner who has covered hundreds of trouble free miles since the mechanical recommissioning. This is a wonderful opportunity for a collector or enthusiast to drive, refine, and enjoy a Ghibli, either as a superbly usable car as-is, or to take back to its stunning original color combination. Celebrated for its unique combination of power and grace, the Maserati Ghibli will continue to inspire future collectors as one of the most important sports cars of the Golden Era of Italian design.