Total Production: 1,274
The Maserati Ghibli was put into production in 1967 but it was the prior year at the Turin Auto Show where it made its debut. The 2+2 coupe body was designed by Giugiaro, an employee for the Ghia design studio. The headlights were pop-up configuration adding to the sleek and aerodynamic design. Powered by a 4.7-liter eight-cylinder engine, the vehicle produced 340 horsepower. The rear suspension was comprised of a live axle with leaf springs and an anti-roll bar while the front used an independent suspension with double wishbones and coil springs plus an anti-roll bar. The Ghibli sat atop a Mexico chassis that had been shortened and received increased stiffness and rigidity. Ventilated disc brakes were placed on all four corners and a five-speed manual gearbox helped send power to the rear wheels. In 1968 a three-speed automatic was offered as optional equipment.
In 1968 a convertible was offered, also designed by Ghia. To add to the versatility, a hard-top was offered on the convertible, making the vehicle suitable in all types of weather and driving conditions.
In 1970 the Ghbli SS was introduced featuring a 4.9-liter engine capable of producing nearly 360 horsepower.
During the production lifespan, ending in 1973, 1149 Coupes were produced. Only a very small number of convertibles were created, adding to the exclusivity. 125 Spyders and 25 Spyder SS models were created.By Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2006
Maserati has lately reinvented its presence in the U.S. market. After being driven out in the very early 1990's by pitifully slow sales of the underappreciated Biturbo, Maserati made a return to the U.S. for 2003. It brought with it an entirely revamped product line consisting of some phenomenal cars. Fast forward to now, and Maserati had just released a beautiful new coupe, the GranTurismo. Its name may not be the most creative or interesting label for what is, after all, a grand touring car, but its message is clear: Maserati is back, and it hasn't forgotten its roots.
While many would argue that Maserati's real roots were in racing cars, the fact is that the company never achieved real success as a production car manufacturer until it turned its efforts toward producing stunning GT automobiles. The Ghibli was one of those spectacular machines.
That's not to say that the Ghibli was a mere gentleman's luxury car as some GT vehicles were. For as superb and smooth a GT as it was, the Ghibli's design was teeming with racing heritage. Its engine was a perfect example. Derived from the V8 powering the successful 450 S racecar, the 4.7L V8 in the Ghibli had a good compression ratio of 8.5:1 and was fed by a quartet of Weber carbs. Its most impressive feature had nothing to do with compression or carburetion, though, but with its advanced lubricating system.
The Ghibli's V8 employed dry-sump lubrication. As opposed to the traditional wet sump that stores oil in a pan beneath the engine, dry-sump systems use a separate reservoir to hold oil, from where it is pumped into the engine for lubrication and then recirculated back into the reservoir. This design, popular on racing cars of the era and even today used almost exclusively in high-performance applications, gave many advantages. First, and perhaps most important to the Ghibli's menacing shape, was its allowance for an engine with as little vertical height as possible. With no need for an oil sump beneath the engine, the Ghibli's motor could be lowered in the car's frame to allow for a low center of gravity and, of course, the car's mean, low hoodline. Dry-sump lubrication also prevented oil starvation and provided better oil cooling, making the Ghibli's engine comfortable on any track.
The impressive V8 coupled to a ZF five-speed gearbox of equal quality. This team fed a limited-slip differential, which supplied power to the rear Campagnolo mags with ferocity. Though wire wheels were also available, the Campagnolos seemed a better choice with their light weight and nice design that complemented the Ghibli‘s shape.
Performance figures were staggering. From a standstill, the Ghibli could achieve 60mph in a scant 6.4 seconds. The quarter mile passed in 14.5 seconds. When the Ghibli SS was introduced in 1970 with an updated 4.9L V8 producing 335hp, this Maserati became capable of reaching incredible speeds. The Ghibli SS could reportedly exceed 280 kilometers per hour. Converted to a measurement we can fathom, that meant over 170mph. That type of speed was unreal in 1970, and it turned the Ghibli, which was named after a rapid wind, into a legend more than capable of living up to its label.
The Ghibli's imposing posture was the work of one of Italy's most prolific car designers, Giorgetto Giugiaro. The Ghia badge adorning the Ghibli's body designated the design house for which Giugiaro was then working, Carrozzeria Ghia. Giugiaro had a hand in styling some of history's best remembered cars, and the Ghibli's shape continues to impress today.
Pop-up lights and the dry-sump allowed for a low hood and an imposing frontal aspect featuring a wide grille of black mesh with the trident standing proudly at its center. The windshield's aggressive rake continued the theme, and it swept up to a low roof (the Ghibli stood just 45 inches tall). That roof was tilted towards the rear of the car, and it met the backlight seamlessly where it continued its downward slope to endow the car with a clean fastback shape. The rear was finished with a tight Kamm tail.
A convertible version of the Ghibli was also produced. Called the Spyder, it was made in much smaller numbers. With its sloping trunk lid, the Spyder was able to carry on the theme of the Ghibli's design successfully without the use of a fastback.
Not to leave anyone fooled by the sweeping lines and motorsport-inspired powertrain and drivetrain, the Ghibli's sumptuous interior reminded that this really was a GT car. With a generous trunk and comfortable seats, the Ghibli was set to erase miles quickly on the open road.
Throughout its production run from 1967 to 1973, the Ghibli proved itself worthy of the trident badge. It was a well-engineered machine clothed in fine Italian style, and it is remembered today as one of the finest road-going Maseratis ever produced. A success for its parent company, 1,149 Ghibli coupes were produced along with 125 Spyders. The relatively high production numbers once made Ghiblis easy to pick up for reasonable prices. Collectors are catching on, though, and values are on the rise. These stunning Maseratis are sure to be remembered as one of the company's greatest achievements. Factual information in this article supplied by http://www.thecarnut.com/ and http://www.qv500.com/. The site http://www.maserati-alfieri.co.uk/ also supplied helpful information, and is an excellent source for the histories of all Maserati models. By Evan Acuña