Maserati Ghibli SS - 1 of only 12 RHD
1972 MASERATI GHIBLI SS 4.9-LITRE COUPÉ
COACHWORK BY CARROZZERIA GHIA
REGISTRATION NO. HGF 444K
CHASSIS NO. AM115/49.2472
ENGINE NO. AM114/49.2472
Arguably one of the most handsome car of the 1960s’ 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 This was used in 4.7-litre form up to 1970 when it was superseded by the 4.9-litre ‘SS’ version in order to meet ever more stringent emission laws.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.
Supplied new in the UK, this rare right-hand drive Ghibli Coupé represents the model in its ultimate form, with effortless 4.9-litre 335bhp ‘SS’ engine, ZF five-speed manual gearbox and air conditioning, plus the desirable option of power assisted steering. ‘HGF 444K’ is a well-known example, having featured in the Maserati Club’s Trident journal and also in Classic Cars magazine. It has also been seen at many club events over the years.
A comprehensive history accompanies the car, including a large number of invoices from specialists and correspondence between various owners, one of which was Adam Clayton of ‘U2’ fame. The body was restored in the early 1990s and the interior re-trimmed at the same time in the original colours of Rosso Fuoco paintwork and black Connolly leather. Since then the car has been looked after by marque specialists including Bill McGrath Maserati, which thoroughly serviced it last year. Offered with sundry restoration invoices, 12 months road tax, MoT to March 2010 and Swansea V5 registration document, ‘HGF 444K’ has covered around 1,000 trouble-free miles since that last service, while the total mileage from new is now circa 34,000. Now presented in black, this is one of the most stunning looking motor cars ever made, the Ghibli was a worthy rival for the Ferrari ‘Daytona’ and is far rarer.