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Fresh From Storage: 1969 Maserati Ghibli 4.7 Coupe Project

Finally, an exotic that hasn’t seen a 100-point restoration. Gooding & Company is representing this 1969 Maserati Ghibli coupe at no reserve in its December 8th Geared Online auction. The bidding has reached $61,000 – still well under the estimate range of $100,000 to $120,000. The car is located at Gooding’s southern California warehouse. Owned for several years by a Maserati enthusiast, the Ghibli has been pulled from storage in largely original condition except for an older repaint and upholstery job in factory colors. It hasn’t been driven recently and requires recommissioning before taking to the roads.

The Ghibli was introduced in 1966 to slot into Maserati’s grand touring segment. Designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro at Ghia, the slope-nosed fastback offered luxe seating for driver and passenger and an afterthought of a rear seat so it could be marketed as a 2+2. Meanwhile, competitors such as the Lamborghini Miura and DeTomaso’s Mangusta carried their engines mid-ship and offered scant cabin space. Giugiaro performed a minor miracle, creating the graceful front end so similar to the appeal of a mid-engine design; the price of that illusion is a long (15.4 feet), heavy car (3600 lbs).  The car’s frame was derived from Maserati’s Mexico and it still housed a live axle rear suspension while the competition had moved on to double wishbones.

Keeping up the theme of resource poverty, the engine was a derivative of Maser’s decade-old 450S race car, now displacing 4.7 liters and given a dry sump in the Ghibli, making that low hood profile possible. Kitted out with four twin-choke Webers (let’s tune that!) and a ZF five-speed manual, this big V8 was good for 330 hp and zero to sixty in under seven seconds. Lots of scope for improvement in this engine bay….

… Which is contradicted by the nice interior. Maybe there’s a flaw on those seats but I don’t see it. The instrument panel is saturated with gauges (you’ll be busy in there!) including one aftermarket item hung under the dash to the left of the steering wheel. The panel surfaces aren’t quite as spiffy as the seats, but that’s beside the point – a larger issue is which gauges work and which don’t.

Several undercarriage photos are supplied, and most of them remind us that grease and oil do wonders to prevent corrosion. Keeping company with the well-used look under here is the rust raid along the door edges, plenty of hazy trim, and an occasional dent. But hey, there’s spares! and a tool kit! Ghibli values have come up in the last few years; this car could sell close to Gooding’s top estimate. Anything under $100k will be a bargain, despite the work involved.

Comments

  1. gippy

    I bought a beautiful one- red with cream leather in Monterey in 1994 for 25K. It was a beast to drive around town with no power steering, but was silky smooth on the highway. It had the typical Italian weirdness in the electrical system and a cable driven water pump, but the styling was the best of any of the 70’s Italian supercars. It was a far better design than the Ferrari Daytona, even though the Daytona commanded huge numbers largely due to that TV show. I see now that the Ghibli has risen to a more realistic value, perhaps because all the Ferrari prices have gone stratospheric.

    Like 6
  2. Fred Johansen

    Smells like one of the many poorly stored Kuwait Kars?

    Like 0
  3. Bruce

    I wrote on the other Maserati posted today and this car is a bit bigger then you might expect. One of the first American customers was one of the taller basketball players of the day and he said he purchased it as it was the only car he had ever driven that had extra leg room and head room for him.

    These are breathtaking in the flesh and gives the feeling of an executive jet on the inside. Quality of materials and assembly was top notch. Modern cars might be faster and with independent suspensions better handling and even more comfortable but this is the Italian beauty that everybody looks at and makes all the attached girlfriends and wives pissed off. For good reason. This is a MASERATI from the day when that meant one of the best of the best that there was to be had.

    Like 12
  4. Cam W.

    Back in the mid-70s, while in high-school, I briefly dated the daughter of the President of a large University. The first time I went to pick her up at home, I was proudly driving a brand-new Camaro. Her family lived in the official Presidents Residence, which was a mansion, in a leafy old-money neighbourhood. Parked next-door was the most beautiful car I had ever seen. It was a silver Ghibli. I stood and stared at it for so long, my date eventually came looking for me. I don’t remember the date, but I doubt she enjoyed it because I was entranced by the Ghibli. We dated for a few months, but I never saw the Ghibli there again. Apparently it belonged to a visitor.
    A few years ago, I was at a large summer BBQ hosted by a wealthy car-guy friend. It is an annual thing, and all guests are encouraged to bring their collector cars, which are displayed on the large back-yard lawn. There is even a complete antique gas station. While it is mostly C1s, C2s, higher end muscle-cars and hot-rods, there are usually a few Ferraris and E-types.
    One of the first guests to arrive brought a gorgeous silver Ghibli. He had bought it in similar condition to the one shown here, and still spent about $100K, making it perfect. It looked just like the one I saw in high-school, and indeed may have been the same car, as it had a local history.
    Tired examples (that I could afford to buy) come up from time to time, but after talking at-length with the owner, I determined I likely can’t afford to restore one properly. While I have capably restored multiple lesser cars including C1s and C2s, the knowledge and skills to properly restore one of these will remain outside my wheelhouse.

    Like 7
  5. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    SOLD for $70,000.

    Like 0
  6. Philip

    When the bottom of the doors look like potato chips…

    Like 0
  7. t-bone bob

    I think this is the best looking Maserati ever

    Like 0

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