The Maserati story is a fascinating one. The Maserati brothers were all involved in the automotive industry in some way or another, however, it was on the 1st of December 1914 that Alfieri, Ettore and Ernesto Maserati officially opened Alfieri Maserati Workshop in Bologna, Italy. The business was focussed on repairing, servicing and preparing cars, however, World War I cut business short and it wasn’t until 1926 that Maserati built its first car, the Tipo 26.
Maserati chose the trident logo to adorn its cars. Its design was based on the Fountain of Neptune in Bologna’s Piazza Maggiore.
It was all about motorsport back then and in 1937 the Orsi family acquired ownership of Maserati which was in desperate need of financial backing to survive. During the Orsi years Maserati grew from a boutique but very successful race car builder to one of the world’s leading manufacturers of hand built sports and GT cars. Orsi sold to Citroen in 1969 and subsequent owners of Maserati included the Italian State, De Tomaso, Fiat, Ferrari and Fiat Chrysler.
Maserati’s first road car, the A6/1500, was shown at the 1947 Geneva Motor Show.
Subsequent models included the A6G/2000, 3500 series cars, 5000GT, Mistral, Quattroporte, Mexico, Sebring and Ghibli. Maserati also continued to build very successful race cars that dominated tracks around the world including the 250F, 300S, 150S, 450S and the Birdcage.
The Maserati Ghibli (Tipo AM115) was first shown at the 1966 Turin Motor Show in November of that year. The car was designed by a then 27 year old Giorgetto Giugiaro, who was working with Ghia at the time. To this day the Maserati Ghibli remains one of his finest creations. It is named after a hot dry wind that blows across the Sahara Desert. The first cars rolled off the production line in March 1967. The Ghibli was a resounding success for Maserati and throughout six years of production 1295 examples were built, comprising 1170 coupes and 125 spyders. The Maserati Ghibli was powered by a 4.7 litre V8 engine delivering in excess of 300bhp. In 1969 Maserati offered the option of a 4.9 litre V8 engine with slightly bigger carburettors that delivered a few extra horsepower. In reality there was very little difference between the performance of a standard Ghibli or an SS.
There is no doubt that the flagship Maserati took it up to the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona and the Lamborghini Miura back in the day, out selling both cross town rivals. There have been many comparisons written over the years between the Maserati and the Ferrari and many journalists rate the Maserati as the better car. What is not debatable is that the Maserati Ghibli offers incredible value today, being worth around one third of the Ferrari Daytona.
Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer for sale a 1969 Maserati Ghibli. The Maserati Classiche documentation on file confirms that this particular car was completed on the 15th March 1969 and despatched to Rome in Italy. It was fitted with Maserati’s 4719cc engine, a 5-speed manual gearbox and Campagnolo cast wheels. The car was finished in the most stunning colour combination of ‘blue pervinca’ (periwinkle blue – Salchi code 106A55) with a white interior (Connolly code PAC.1544).
The car was imported into Australia in 1973. There is a copy of the Melbourne Harbour Trust Commissioners Port of Melbourne wharfage document on file, dated 9th September 1973, which confirms the car was imported by Mr Mozzone Gianluigi from East Bentleigh (Melbourne) in Victoria. The car was loaded at the port of Genoa in Italy and it arrived into Melbourne aboard the ‘Fresenburg’. The previous owner has the original Italian registration documents, which when found, will accompany the car.
This Maserati Ghibli’s early Australian history is not known, however, the car was acquired by two well known classic car enthusiasts during the 1980’s and at that time it was yellow. The car has subsequently passed through three owners with the last owner having acquired the car at a Shannons Sydney auction in January 2007. At that time the car was in need of some work and its new owner sent it to respected Melbourne based classic Maserati specialist Mario Lombardi. Over the next six months a considerable sum of money was spent mechanically freshening up the car. There is an excellent history file with extensive receipts for work done over the years confirming that this car has been meticulously maintained and improved throughout its life. The most significant work undertaken was an engine rebuild in 2007. New Michelin XWX tyres were fitted two years ago. Since being acquired by Oldtimer Australia the car has been given a major service and tune by classic Maserati specialists Auto Sprint in Melbourne.
Today this Maserati Ghibli presents exceptionally well and it drives even better! The bright red paintwork has a high gloss with a strong depth of colour. There are a few minor defects and blemishes evident, but overall it is very good. Importantly, the car looks to be structurally excellent. All the chrome, exterior trim, badges and glass are in very good condition. The Cromodora wheels have some blemishes and they would benefit from a repaint. The interior of this car is simply stunning. A highlight of any Maserati is the dash, instruments and controls. On this car they all present exceptionally well and everything looks to be in working order. Being an early Ghibli, this car has the toggle switches, which are a real feature. The beige leather trim contrasts the red exterior of the car perfectly and both are complimented by the timber steering wheel and gear knob. The leather seats (which have been subtly rebolstered to provide additional support), door cards and centre console are beautifully presented. There are no rips or tears. The dark brown carpets are in very good condition. The boot area is clean and tidy and it looks to have been hardly used, if at all.
Under the bonnet the engine bay is also clean and very well presented. This car retains its original ‘matching numbers’ engine. The big V8 starts easily and it makes ‘a great noise’! It certainly doesn’t have that ‘muscle car rumble’ but it has an edge, and a classy edge at that. There is no doubt this car means business! The engine is surprisingly smooth and the car is very easy to drive. You sit low in the cabin but the visibility is good in all directions. After a few miles you feel right at home. This is definitely a GT car and not a sports car as such. Having driven a few Ghiblis there’s no doubt that the engine in this car is very strong with loads of power on tap. The 5 speed ZF gearbox is notchy but easy to use. It gets better as it warms up. The steering is firm, but not heavy and quite direct. The Maserati Ghibli is quite a big car at almost 4.6m long, however, it handles well and it is best suited to sweeping ‘B roads’ rather than hairpin bends. The car is surprisingly smooth on the road (it’s not harsh like a Miura by comparison) and its brakes are more than adequate to pull up all 1640kg firmly and in a straight line. The more we drove this car the better it got!
The car has air conditioning, though it has been disconnected. We understand that the compressor needs to be overhauled. It also has some subtle improvements to make it a more usable classic, including: improved insulation to keep the heat out of the cabin, a stainless steel exhaust system and upgraded cooling system.
Over the years this car has carried the following registration numbers: LTE 186 (Vic), FOS 938 (Vic), QDI 970 (Vic), VV1 409 (vic), XKE 142 (Vic), GHI 115 (Vic) and 67665H (Vic).
– confirmed by Maserati Classiche as delivered on the 15th March 1969 and sold new into Rome, Italy.
– the car was delivered new in a fabulous colour scheme of ‘blue pervinca’ (periwinkle blue) with a white interior.
– matching numbers chassis and engine.
– this car has been in Australia for most of its life and comes from 13 years of continuous ownership with a major enthusiast/collector.
– this is a well known car in the classic Maserati and broader classic car scene in Melbourne.
– known history back to the early 1970’s and then from the mid 1980’s through until today.
– desirable early car with the toggle switches.
– desirable five speed gearbox (many Ghiblis were fitted with an automatic gearbox).
– this is a beautifully presented driving car.
It’s been many, many years since a ‘matching numbers’ Maserati Ghibli in this condition has been offered for sale in Australia, hence, this presents a unique opportunity.
Price AUD $299,950.