4.9 litre ‘SS’
A strong contender for the ‘most handsome car of the 1960s’ title, Maserati’s Ghibli debuted at the Turin Motor Show in November 1966. Styled at Ghia by the young Giorgietto 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 fifteen feet long and nearly six feet 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. The Ghibli used a tubular steel chassis with a live rear axle, leaf springs and a single locating arm. The power unit was Maserati’s venerable four-cam, 90 degree V8, an engine derived from that of the 450S sports car 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 This was used in 4.7-litre form up to 1970 when it was superseded by the 4.9-litre ‘SS’ version. Power rose to 335 bhp and performance was stunning, with 100mph (160km/h) attainable in under 16 seconds. Even more sensational was the handsome Ghibli Spyder, launched in 1969 and the direct rival of the Ferrari Daytona Spyder. Giugiaro’s styling for an open-top version was arguably even more successful than the coupe and is regarded as a classic of sports car design. Ghibli production ended in 1973 after 1,149 coupés and just 128 Spyder models had been built. To settle the debate over Spyder production breakdown, these figures come directly from the factory archive: - 4.7 litre: Total of 82 cars built (56 manual, 26 automatic) - 4.9 litre ‘SS’: Total of 46 cars built (39 manual, 7 automatic) Like the open Daytona, the Ghibli Spyder sold well in the USA: 70 cars were destined for that market (40 with the 4.7 litre engine, 30 the 4.9 litre ‘SS’ engine) Of the 39 ‘SS’ Spyders with manual gearbox, 24 went to the USA, 1 to the Lebanon and 14 Maserati Ghibli SS Spyders were built to European specification with manual gearbox: 10 LHD and 4 RHD. Almost the same number of Ghibli Spyders were built as Daytona Spyders, but very few Ghibli SS Spyders were built to European specification, without the ugly add-ons required by US safety and emissions authorities, and this car is the rarest of the rare as a right-hand drive manual SS Spyder (one of four). The late Peter Coltrin, who was among the first non-works personnel to ride in a Ghibli was quoted as saying: “The Ghibli differs from many cars of the same performance in that it is as equally suited to going to the opera as blasting down to Palermo on the Autostrada.” I certainly agree with that and would simply say that the Ghibli, and the spyder in particular, is one of the most agreeable cars I have ever driven.” - One of only 4 Maserati 4.9 Litre RHD examples ever produced. - Only two remaining in the world. - Concourse 10/10 condition with all factory paperwork. - Rare detachable hardtop.
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