There are many cars that offer truly elite levels of performance, but, still need to undergo preparation in order to achieve the same kind of performance on the race track. Some cars are truly made for the street, while others are truly designed for the track. Few are just as at home on the street as on the track. Maserati's Ghibli SS Coupe was one of those comfortable with both.
The lines of the Ghibli were fashioned by Italdesign's founder Giorgetto Giugiaro back when he still worked for coachbuilder Ghia. Giugiaro, who also would design the Lotus Esprit, the Delorean and almost eighty other cars, created a car with a shark-like styled nose that incorporated pop-up headlights. Originally, the car was powered by a front-positioned 4.7-liter V-8 engine that could produce over 300 bhp, and that could also consume terrible amounts of fuel. Then, in 1970, the engine displacement was enlarged to 4.9 liters. This increased engine size led to a change in the model's designation. The larger engine Ghibli would become known as the 'Ghibli SS'. It didn't matter whether the body style was either the Spider, or the Coupe, either one offered sleek aerodynamic body-styling and very aggressive performance. The 4.9 liter engine could power the car up to speeds approaching 160 mph and zero to 60 in only seven seconds. Despite the inclusion of two thirteen gallon fuel tanks, the weight-distribution within the car was considered near-perfect. Combined with a low center of gravity, the Ghibli offers a finely balanced car. Therefore, with the great balance and high performance numbers the Ghibli was a car comfortable on the streets, but not afraid, to be handled as though it were on the track.
So well loved was the Ghibli that 'Sports Car International named it number nine on its list of Top Sports Cars of the 1960s'. It also 'out-sold Ferrari's Daytona and Lamborghini's Miura, its two biggest competitors'.
The Ghibli offered at the RM Auction in 2011 in Scottsdale, AZ was one built during Maserati's last year producing the Ghibli. This 1973 Maserati is a SS Coupe and is finished in Fly Yellow with a tan interior. The car touts the 4.9 liter V-8 engine with four Weber carburetors and can produce 335 bhp. It has a five-speed ZF manual gearbox to help deliver the incredible power to the wheels. The car was built with wind-up windows and air-conditioning. It comes with an independent front suspension using unequal-length wishbones, coil springs and anti-roll bar. The rear end sports a Salisbury live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, an anti-roll bar and Panhard rods. Stopping power comes through four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes.
The Maserati Ghibli has remained a strong performer amongst classic cars. The SS, with its 4.9-liter engine, remains a highly sought-after model. The Maserati Ghibli offered this year was expected to garner between $100,000-$125,000.
Maserati's quality and performance makes its Ghibli not merely a favorite for static collections, but also for those with a passion to experience what an all-around sports car should look and feel like. For many, the Ghibli offers the feel of the track while never leaving the street.
Sources: 'Buy: View Lots (Lot 251: 1973 Maserati Ghibli SS Coupe)', (http://www.rmauctions.com/FeatureCars.cfm?SaleCode=AZ11&CarID=r218&fc=0). RM Auctions Arizona. http://www.rmauctions.com/FeatureCars.cfm?SaleCode=AZ11&CarID=r218&fc=0. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
Wikipedia contributors, 'Maserati Ghibli', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 5 January 2011, 08:41 UTC, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Maserati_Ghibli&oldid=406048983 accessed 10 January 2011
Wikipedia contributors, 'Italdesign Giugiaro', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 30 September 2010, 17:14 UTC, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Italdesign_Giugiaro&oldid=387946588 accessed 10 January 2011
'Top Sports Cars (1960s)', (http://www.associatepublisher.com/e/s/sp/sports_car_international_top_sports_cars.htm). Sports Car International Top Sports Cars. http://www.associatepublisher.com/e/s/sp/sports_car_international_top_sports_cars.htm. Retrieved 10 January 2011.