Maserati Ghibli 4.9 SS 1971
Chassis no. AM115491956
•Delivered new in Italy
•Desirable manual transmission example
•Matching numbers example
•Previously owned for over 25 years by Alexander Fyshe, President of the UK Maserati Club
•Restored by Maserati specialist Bill McGrath in the early 1990s
•Full Maserati Classiche Documentation
The Ghibli was Maserati's first supercar. Launched in 1966 and named after a hot wind blowing across the Sahara Desert, the Ghibli was styled was by the young Giorgetto Giugiaro, then working at Ghia, while the mechanical design was the work of Maserati's chief engineer, Giulio Alfieri.
Featuring a dry-sump version of Maserati's quad-cam V8 engine, necessary to squeeze the engine under the low bonnet line, Alfieri used a 4.7-litre version initially but from 1970 a 4.9-litre version became available, known as the 'SS' and producing 335bhp at 5,500rpm. For the running gear, Alfieri used his experience to choose the best of proprietary parts: five-speed gearboxes and power steering from ZF; double wishbone front suspension from Alford & Alder; and a Salisbury live axle at the rear.
The Ghibli was an immediate success, especially in Maserati's largest market, the USA, where it became the 'must have' car for the rich and famous of the late 1960s, gaining a reputation for being not only a car to arrive in, but a great drive as well. Performance was astounding, with a 166mph maximum speed, but at the same time effortless and civilised compared to most supercars.
Ghibli production ended in 1972 after 1,280 examples had been built.
This example, a 4.9-litre SS version, was delivered new in Rome in April 1971, having been ordered by a Mrs. Pasquini through Maserati's flagship dealership, Autosport in Bologna. Obviously extrovert, Mrs. Pasquini specified a particularly lurid shade of metallic green 'Verde Gemma' with a white Connolly hide interior.
Later in its life the car found its way to Germany, but its most interesting history has been with the immediately preceding owner, President of the UK Maserati Club, Alexander Fyshe, who bought the car in 1989 to add to his collection. Having always wanted a Ghibli, Alex immediately knew that this matching-numbers example was a long-term car, and commissioned a restoration with marque specialists, McGrath Maserati.
Appreciating the need for the highest quality and attention to detail, Prestige Restorations was chosen as the bodywork partner, and the car spent the next four years in restoration. Alex specified his personal choice of Rosso Cordoba exterior paint and a new Connolly leather interior in Crema.
On completion, the Ghibli debuted in 1993 at the Silverstone Festival where it won the Maserati Club Annual Concours. This would be the first of many concours trophies the car would win, as it was widely acknowledged as one of the very best. The Ghibli would also feature in various magazines and books, including 'Maserati Heritage' by Sparrow/Ayre and even Quentin Willson's 'Cool Cars'!
However, Alexander fully intended to use the car and each year would take it on the Maserati International Rally, visiting Austria, Switzerland, Sweden and, of course, Italy on numerous occasions over the course of the next 20 years, proving that it always drove as well as it looked. The quality of the restoration was such that even today the car still looks magnificent and has the reputation of 'the one to beat'. Maintained throughout by Bill McGrath, its last public appearance while in Alexander Fyshe's ownership was at the Maserati gathering for the centenary at Silverstone in 2014.
The current vendor has continued to maintain it in exemplary fashion; indeed, on a recent test drive the Ghibli performed impeccably. Accompanying documentation consists of the restoration invoices, a UK V5C registration document and comprehensive Maserati Classiche Documentation. At half the price of a Ferrari 365GTB/4 Daytona, its direct competitor, the Ghibli 4.9SS is one of the more interesting Grand Tourers of the 1970s today.
Rarely does a Maserati of this quality, provenance and reputation come to the market.
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