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Maserati Ghibli 4.9 SS Spyder 1970

1970 London Motor Show Maserati Ghibli 4.9 SS Spyder
Registration no. GIB 4929
Chassis no. AM 115S/49/1229
Engine no. 1150349

A strong contender for the ‘most handsome car of the 1960s’ title, Maserati’s sensational Ghibli made its debut at the November 1966 Turin Motor Show. Styled at Carrozzeria Ghia by Giorgetto Giugiaro and named after a Sahari Desert wind, the Ghibli rivalled the Ferrari Daytona for straight-line performance with a top speed close to 170mph (275kmh) while also beating it on price and, arguably, looks. At more than 7 metres long and 2.8 metres wide, the Ghibli was not short on presence for a mere two-seater, though perhaps the most impressive feature was the height, or rather the lack of it.

For 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 wheel-arches. The roofline fell away from the top of the steeply raked windscreen to the distinctive chopped off tail, Giugiario thus achieving a cabin lower than that of almost all of the Ghibli’s contemporaries.

The Ghibli used a tubular steel chassis with independent suspension at the front and a leaf-sprung, live rear axle with single locating arm. The engine was Maserati’s well proven four-cam, 90-degree V8 derived from that of the 450S sports-racer and first seen in road-going guise in the 5000GT. This power unit was employed in dry-sump 4.7-litre form up to 1970 when it was superceded by the 4.9-litre ‘SS’ version. Power rose to 355bhp and performance was stunning, with 100mph (160kmh) coming up in under 16 seconds.

Even more sensational was the handsome Ghibli Spyder, launched in 1969 and a direct rival to Ferrari’s Daytona Spyder. Giugiario’s styling for an open-top Ghibli was arguably more successful than the original fixed head and is rightly regarded as a classic of sports car design. Before production ended at Modena in 1973, 1149 Coupes and only 125 Spyders had been built and, today, these sensationally good looking cars have become among the most sought after of Italian thoroughbreds. Maserati paperwork confirms that Ghibli chassis 1229 - a right-hand drive 4.9 SS finished in Giallo - was manufactured in September 1970 for ‘Salon Di Londra’ (the Earls Court Motor Show). Following display on the Maserati stand, the Borrani wire wheel shod factory-built Spyder was supplied by importers MTC Cars 1st of February 1971 to first private owner Dr Collins for whom power-steering was added by the factory in 1972 and a change in colour to silver was made.

Estimate is a whopping $300,000.00 to $340,000.00

Up for auction at:

Collectors' Motor Cars and Automobilia
Friday 18 September 2009
at 4pm and 5 pm
Goodwood Revival
Chichester, Sussex
United Kingdom