Often cited as one of the most beautiful sports cars ever built, Maserati Ghibli designer Giorgetto Giugiaro created the design at the onset of his tenure with Ghia. Not content to rest on his prodigious output while at Bertone where he’d already penned future masterpieces, by the time he arrived at Ghia, he was eagerly developing designs that would break away from the 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, 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. The Ghibli featured a fresh and trend setting body design, brimming with some of the most advanced mechanical features available for any road car at that time.
Maserati initially outfitted the Ghibli with their race-bred 306 hp dry-sump 4.7-liter quad-cam V8, topped by four Weber carburetors, coupled to a ZF five-speed manual transmission and limited slip differential. Capable 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 4-wheel disc brake equipped Ghibli was further improved in 1969 with the upgraded 4.9 liter engine (as equipped on this car). Under the SS designation, power increased to 330hp, making it the fastest Maserati road car ever produced, capable of 170+ mph and improved 0-60 times.
This beautiful Ghibli was originally delivered from the factory finished in Oro Metallizzato with beige leather interior and tan carpeting. Purchased new in Milan, Italy and imported to the US in 1971 by Mr. A Bio, New Jersey, the car remained under his ownership for a remarkable 38 years. In 2009, the car was sold to the second owner. As it had been essentially serviced and maintained to a high level by the original owner, the second owner performed sensitive cosmetic refurbishment including a high quality repaint in the original color, and reupholstery of the interior. A major service was performed on the engine and a new factory exhaust was installed. In 2014 the car was sold to the third owner, a prominent New York vintage car collector. The car has subsequently changed hands in recent years, allowing for availability through the current consigning owner.
TODAY THIS MASERATI GHIBLI PRESENTS IN BEAUTIFUL CONDITION. The paint is bright and smoothly executed with excellent coverage, correct metal flake, and high gloss. The condition of the paint is not only smooth, the reflection quality and detail work have been performed to a high level. The doors, hood, and trunk shut with crisp and firm latching, exhibiting excellent fit and panel match consistent with original factory construction. The wheels are beautifully and correctly finished, shod with correctly sized Pirelli Cinturato tires. Chrome plating on bumpers and various other trim is very well done with excellent contours to the elegant and thin grille opening surround. Glass throughout is in excellent condition overall showing only light surface imperfections typical of original glazing, bearing the correct brand marks indicating the original factory glass.
The interior has benefited from reupholstery in high quality leather consistent with the factory colors when ordered new. The seats retain good foam bolsters while the leather remains supple and smooth. The interior retains a satisfying combination of very nicely preserved original materials and properly selected leather for the seating. Of particular note is the excellent instrumentation with clear and consistent coloring, bright numeral indications, and crisp needles spanning the width of this impressive dashboard. Toggle switches and various knobs are also in excellent cosmetic condition. The steering wheel and center horn button are particularly nice and add a confident touchpoint to the power and performance lurking under the beautifully formed Ghia body design. In the rear of the car, the expansive glass stretches out over the spare tire compartment concealing the spare wheel and battery.
The engine compartment displays a very nice collection of original components including the correct original metal-formed air cleaner complete with number tag, proper hoses and fasteners, and correct Maserati data plates with factory stampings, and what appear to be largely original finishes throughout the engine compartment. Though not detailed for show, the integrity of the finishes reveals the car has been serviced and maintained with preservation in mind, thoughtfully expressed by the long-term ownership and care delivered by the first owner. The rare 4.9 series engine was a landmark for Maserati, and has since become the most coveted of the Ghibli production run due to their powerful output and refinement. Offering considerably more displacement than even a Daytona, the 4.9 Ghiblis occupy a top tier position in both beauty and performance. The undercarriage of this car is clean and tidy with finishes that appear consistent to original construction. There is no visual evidence of structural damage to the chassis, rocker panels, or suspension mounting points. The undercarriage displays honest finishes reflective of general use and proper care. A correct factory type exhaust has been installed and braided stainless steel brake lines have been refitted.
DRIVING THIS MASERATI, ONE IS IMMEDIATELY AWARE THAT THE GHIBLI WAS A PREMIER OFFERING IN THE BUDDING SUPERCAR SCENE. The car starts easily, releasing a finely tuned exhaust note as the engine settles into a gentle but eager quad cam idle. The 5-speed gearbox operates quite nicely as the clutch takes up and the throttle comes on strong throughout the power band. At speed, the Ghibli opens up and reveals its true touring nature, settling in as the speedometer needle heads for historic Joe Walsh territory. 4-wheel disc braking is very efficient given the weight of the car, bringing the Ghibli down from highway speeds smoothly and evenly. Even under leisurely driving, the gently wrapped windscreen, sweeping rear glass, and comfortable driving position offer surprisingly good visibility – yet another remarkable feature of the innovative Giugiaro design. Ghiblis are known for their spacious cabins, and telescopic steering columns (not found on Ferraris of this era), which greatly enhances larger driver comfort especially for longer touring events. The car is accompanied by a tool roll, a spare set of keys, and a loose-page owner’s manual.
With its refined 4.9 liter quad-cam V8, stunning looks, and coachbuilt Ghia and Giugiaro provenance, this Maserati Ghibli SS presents a wonderful opportunity for a collector or enthusiast to drive, refine, and enjoy one of the most important and celebrated sports cars of the Golden Era of Italian design.