1969 Maserati Ghibli review - Toybox

By: Guy Allen, Photography by: Oldtimer Australia

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Big Italian GT 2+2 penned by Giugiaro

1969 Maserati Ghibli

What is it about big, long and low sixties GT coupes with a giant engine in the snout? There’s something going on there that just gets under your skin the moment you sidle up to one.

With the passing of time, it’s easy to forget the Ghibli, with its 4.7lt 300hp-plus V8 engine, was a direct rival to famous compatriots the Lamborghini Espada and Ferrari 365 GTB4.

The Ghibli and the Espada sold in similar numbers – around 1200.

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It looks pretty good from any angle, yes?

We’re still a long way from talking mass-produced cars, however. These machines were hand-built.

Standard, they came with a five-speed manual ZF trans, though you could order a three-speed auto.

Performance was lively enough for the day, with a top speed of around 250km/h and a 0-100km/h time of 6.8 seconds.

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The 2+2 hardtop was produced from 1967 to 1973 and eventually there were three variants in the line-up. The first was the 2+2 GT you see here and the next, released in 1969, was a two-seater Spyder with a folding roof and the option of a removavble hardtop.

That same year also saw the relase of the SS, essentially the same as the original, but with a stroked 4.9lt engine claiming an additional 25 horses. Maserati also bumped the nominal top speed to 280km/h.

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Giorgetto Giugiaro designed both this and the Spyder to considerable acclaim when the original was launched. You have to say it’s a design that carries its age very well.

This example is a long-term local resident, having been privately imported from Italy by a Mr Mozzone Gianluigi, back in 1973.

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Interior looks exceptional

We’re told the engine underwent a rebuild back in 2007 and overall it’s had a fair bit of documented work since then.

It’s had a couple of colour chages over time – originally it was blue – though the exceptional-looking interior seems to be the original hue.

Oldtimer in Brisbane has this one.

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From Unique Cars #441, June 2020

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