Maserati Ghibli: Versione Originale
We’re on the cusp of a new Maserati Ghibli – the much vaunted BMW-chaser sedan coming in 2014 – so we thought it was a good time to look back at the first time Maser used that nameplate.
Back in 1967 Maserati unleased the unfeasibly low and long Ghibli to the motoring world. It proved to be very successful for the Modenese marque and became their most popular model to date. It was designed by the brilliant Giorgetto Giugiaro – the genius behind such diverse designs as the Mk1 Volkswagen Golf and the Lotus Esprit – while he was work at the Ghia studio. The Ghibli features a two-door, fastback body with pop up headlights and massive bonnet. This could easily have resulted in an unbalanced, cartoon-ish car but under the hand of the master Giugiaro it’s a triumph of mid-sixties glamour and elegance.
Mechanically the big GT was hauled along by a hi-tech quad cam, dry-sump V8 pumping out some 250 kilowatts of power. Enough to give the car a top speed of 248km/h (154mph) and a 0-100 kph acceleration time of 6.8 seconds. Naturally the Ghibli was the most economically car available, but even in the heady fuel-rich days of 1967 it’s prodigious thirst raised eyebrows. In fact the Ghibli engineers felt the need to include two 50 litre fuel tanks in an attempt to keep up with its drinking habits.
Two years after the introduction of the coupe a convertible was added to the Ghibli line up, providing even more glamour. Then in 1970 the Ghibli SS was launched which was essentially an even high performance version of the already rapid car. The SS saw the displacement of the V8 upped from 4.7 to 4.9 litres and with it came a healthy bolstering of power up to 261 kW. Production ended in 1973 when, the now Citroen owned, Maserati replaced the top of the line GT with the Khamsin.
Maserati Ghiblis have always been in the shadow of Ferrari’s big GT cars, notably the Daytona, but price-wise Ghiblis are starting to acheive the figures many thought they always deserved. A Spyder, billed as the best in the world, reached a whopping $800,000 USD in 2012. While in Europe a stunning black 1968 GT fetched a respectable $151,821 USD.