1976 Maserati Khamsin

Summary

  • Year of manufacture 
    1976
  • Car type 
    Coupé
  • Condition 
    Original Condition
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
    Other

Description

1976 MASERATI KHAMSIN

_Serial number AM120132
_Desirable Italian Coupe - V8 4.9l 320 hp
_Good condition - French registration

In 1968, Citroën bought the trident manufacturer from the Orsi family. This takeover was a bit of a coincidence: Pierre Bercot, the boss of the chevrons, wanted to launch the sporty version of the DS, but considered that he didn't have the means to design a V6 "typical" of the sport. After consulting Volvo and BMW, Citroën turned to Maserati (and its engineer Giulio Alfieri). This engineering contract was a real breath of fresh air for Maserati, which was losing a lot of money (despite the success of the Ghibli launched in 1966).
The Orsi family saw the arrival of Citroën in such a positive light that they proposed to their French partner to buy the brand. At the time, the French brand was in good health́, with a powerful shareholder (Michelin), and the purchase of Maserati enabled it to continue the development of its SM model while acquiring a prestigious brand. Ironically, Citroën won the day against De Tomaso, who would take his revenge 7 years later! The engineer Alfieri welcomed the arrival of Citroën, bringing a bit of modernism (especially for the suspensions, of course). The Khamsin would be the most "Citroën" of the Maseratis. Designed entirely under the French era, it will be equipped with the famous hydraulic system: suspension, braking, but also Diravi (remember, the steering returns to the "straight ahead" position by itself).

The Khamsin is also the desire to offer a GT 2+2 capable of competing with Ferrari in particular. For this purpose, Maserati returned to the front engine, a 4.9 litre V8 with 320 horsepower. It was presented in 1972 on the Bertone stand at the Turin Motor Show: the (superb) design was the work of Marcello Gandini who revealed his talent here. It was not officially presented by Maserati and Citroën until October 1973.
But at the beginning of the 70's, the situation had changed for Citroën. The SM was not as successful as expected, and above all, the company from Javel had spent a lot of money on futile research on the rotary engine. The coffers were empty, and Michelin was no longer willing to make up the deficits. In 1974, the company was sold to Peugeot, which did not hesitate to cut off the dead branches: Maserati went bankrupt in 1975, and was bought by an Italian state company (GEPI) which immediately sold it to Alejandro de Tomaso.
The period was not ideal for the Khamsin. Its first year of production, 1974, was disrupted by the takeover of Citroën and the abandonment of the subsidiary. In the United States (a market that was supposed to be promising), it had to comply with new safety regulations and lost its original rear window. De Tomaso, the new owner, kept the Khamsin but as a cover for the time needed to develop his great project: the Biturbo. The poor Khamsin sold poorly until 1982, but God knows the last few years were hard: only 26 examples were sold between 1980 and 1982. A total of 435 units were produced, 155 of which were for the American market.

This Maserati Khamsin left the factory in 1976 and was delivered to Paris to be sold new.
Today, it is painted in a beautiful red colour and appears to have been repainted recently. As a European version, it fortunately escaped the American stylistic disfigurement to meet the current standards and we can therefore enjoy its pure Maserati style line offered by Marcello Gandini. Inside the cabin, a luxurious atmosphere emanates with a profusion of beige leather with a nice patina. The seats are more comfortable than enveloping and the driving position is quite pleasant. In front of the driver are the two characteristic Maserati meters graduated up to 300 km/h and 8000 rpm.
Mechanically, the 320 horsepower V8 purrs wonderfully, well clamped to the leather steering wheel, but beware of oversteer! Despite our conclusive test drive, we recommend a general overhaul of the car in order to travel with peace of mind.

Very elegant and mechanically efficient, our car is ready to hit the road as soon as possible.
Treat yourself to a must-have from the 1980s with an aesthetic design that has come back into fashion recently and a genuine Italian V8 with an exquisite sound.