One of only 125 spider produced
1970 Maserati Ghibli 4.7-Litre Spyder
Coachwork by Carrozzeria Ghia
Chassis no. AM115S 1025
A strong contender for the most handsome car of the 1960s title, Maseratis 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 Ghiblis contemporaries, albeit one with restricted headroom for rear passengers.
Like the contemporary Mexico 2+2, the Ghibli used a shortened version of the Quattroporte saloons 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 Maseratis 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 This was used in 4.7-litre form up to 1970 when it was superseded by the 4.9-litre SS version in order to meet ever more stringent emission laws.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. Even more sensational was the handsome Ghibli Spyder, launched in 1969 and the direct rival of Ferraris Daytona Spyder. Giugiaros styling for an open Ghibli was arguably even more successful than the original closed coupé and is rightly regarded as an all-time classic of sports car design. Ghibli production ceased in 1973 after approximately 1,149 coupé and 125 spyder models had been built.
This Ghibli Spyder, chassis number 1025, left the factory in June 1969 and was delivered new in Milan in 1970 to the Società Immobiliare Nuova Esmeralda. Records show that the car was equipped with the five-speed manual gearbox and originally finished in oro metalizzatto (gold metallic) with cream Connolly leather interior. Much of its subsequent history is unknown, but by 1996 1025 was resident in the USA in the ownership of Mr Oliver Cromwell, of Bronxville, New York. The accompanying file of invoices relating to Mr Cromwells period of ownership and dating from 1996 to 2002 close inspection of which is recommended reveals a no expense spared approach to servicing, maintenance and restoration. Most of these invoices were issued by recognised specialists Vantage Motors Inc, of Stamford, Connecticut for renovation that included overhauling the carburettors and air conditioning system (March 1996 at 54,239 miles); a total engine rebuild (January 1998 at 54,256 miles) and extensive bodywork repairs, bare-metal repaint and a new convertible hood (May-October 2000 at 54,256 miles). The most recent of these invoices (dated 22nd November 2002) is for a full service carried out at 57,258 miles.
In 2004 the car was awarded the Best Maserati prize at the prestigious Greenwich Concours dElegance before passing into the possession of the current vendor, who returned it to Europe and registered it in Greece in 2006. We are advised that the immediately preceding American owner had covered only 4,800 miles since completing the cars restoration. Refinished in red while retaining its original cream leather interior, 1025 benefits from new Pirelli tyres and is offered with the aforementioned servicing/restoration history, FIA papers, Greek registration document (GR855) and recent invoices (autumn 2007) relating to the installation of a new fuel pump, brake cable and clutch. A rare and well-restored example of Maseratis answer to the Ferrari Daytona in its most desirable spyder specification.