1972 Maserati Ghibli
Year of manufacture1972
Chassis numberAM115/49 2452
Number of seats2
1972 Maserati Ghibli SS 4.9-Litre Coupé
Coachwork by Carrozzeria Ghia
Registration no. BRJ 113K
Chassis no. AM115/49 2452
'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 strong contender for the 'most handsome car of the 1960s' title, Maserati's Ghibli debuted in coupé form at the Turin Motor Show in November 1966. Styled at Carrozzeria Ghia by Giorgetto Giugiaro and named after a Sahara Desert wind, the Ghibli rivalled the Ferrari Daytona for straight-line performance - its top speed was close to 170mph (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, four-cam, 90-degree V8, an engine derived from that of the 450S sports racer and first seen in road-going guise in the 5000GT. This was used in 4.7-litre form up to 1970 when it was superseded by the 4.9-litre 'SS' version in order to meet ever more stringent emission laws. The gain in horsepower was minimal but in either case performance was stunning, with 100mph (160km/h) attainable in under 16 seconds. This neck-snapping acceleration resulted from the V8's enormous torque, which made the Ghibli one of the most flexible and easy-to-drive GTs of its era. 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.
Dated 20th January 1972, original paperwork on file confirms that this beautiful Ghibli SS was ordered from Maserati via the UK importer, Citroën Cars Ltd. One of only twelve right-hand drive examples built, '2452' was finished in Rosso Fucco with Pelle Nera (black leather) interior, and specified with the options of power steering, a radio, and two fog-lights.
The accompanying original logbook confirms that the Maserati was first registered (as 'BTV 11K') on 12th April 1972 and was supplied via Bristol Street Motors, Nottingham to a Mr Stephenson of Yorkshire on 12th May '72. Mr Stephenson owned the Ghibli until May 1976 when it was acquired by Lingdale Garage, Saltburn. The next owner listed, from 10th November 1982, is one Mr Rhodes of Cheshire. By now reregistered '6 TPE', the Ghibli became part of a well-known British private collection on 12th April 1988 and remained there for over 20 years. During this period the car underwent a full restoration, and on completion was displayed in the private museum until 2011 when it was sold and reregistered 'BRJ 113K', its present registration. This Ghibli has also taken part in several Historic motoring events including the Goodwood Revival and the Royal Concours at Holyrood, Edinburgh.
The current owner, a prominent private collector, acquired the Ghibli at a UK auction in December 2016, since when it has been treated to a full 'engine out' restoration by renowned marque specialists McGrath Maserati (full details on file). Presented in truly immaculate condition, this wonderful car comes complete with its original buff logbook, a Maserati Certificate of Origin, and a substantial history file.