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Lot 170: Maserati Ghibli 4.9-Litre SS Coupé

Goodwood Revival Sale, Bonhams (15 September 2012)

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 This was used in 4.7-litre form up to 1970 when it was superseded by the 4.9-litre 'SS' version in order to meet ever more stringent emission laws.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. Ghibli production ceased in 1973 after approximately 1,149 coupé and 125 spyder models had been built. Owned by the current vendor for the last 26 years, this Ghibli Coupé represents the model in its ultimate form, with 4.9-litre 'SS' engine and ZF five-speed manual gearbox. After a period of limited use the car has over the last two years been extensively re-commissioned, part restored and repainted. The engine was removed and dismantled for a top-end overhaul and the braking system overhauled likewise, all the mechanical work being carried out by Mr Michael Jones, formerly the principal of Maserati specialists Corley Motors. Mr Jones will be glad to provide the buyer with details of all mechanical work carried out. Finished in red with black leather interior, the car comes with comes with current MoT and Swansea V5 document. One of the most stunning motor 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.

Lot Details
Auction Goodwood Revival Sale
Bonhams, Chichester, Goodwood
TypeCar
Lot Number170
Estimate£60000-£70000
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1971
Condition rating1
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis numberAM115492466
Engine number5S3464
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2