November 20, 2014 @ 04:39 PM

Legends and Legacies: Maserati Ghibli 1967

I’m not talking about the modern day Ghibli, it’s too mainstream, I’m looking back at the Supercar Ghibli. By Jerrica Leong

I’m not talking about the modern day Ghibli, it’s too mainstream, I’m looking back at the Supercar Ghibli. By Jerrica Leong

Not too long ago, the Editor headed off on a trip to meet up with a number of Maseratis and one of them is the Ghibli. It had this Content Producer wondering what is the story behind the Ghibli. Suffice to say that I’m surprised that it was originally a supercar.

Back in 1966, Maserati introduced the first Ghibli at the Turin Motor Show. This car served to change the fate of Maserati. The brand had quit racing in the 1950s to concentrate on producing road cars, but failed to come up with a real winner until the arrival of the Ghibli.

It wasn’t until 1967 that eager customers got their hands on the Ghibli. The streamlined beauties have twin fuel tanks with a shark-like nose and pop-up headlights, the wheels are alloy while the interior is decked out in leather.

The trend was lightweight bodies back in the 1960s and to reduce weight and boost performance automakers turned to fibreglass. But Maserati opted for a traditional steel body designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro at Ghia. But the weight disadvantage didn’t seem to faze the Ghibli’s performance.

There are two types of gearboxes, either a three-speed automatic or five-speed manual. The former appealed more to the American market while the latter was more popular to the European market. The Europeans know their stuff! Whichever gearbox the Ghibli is fitted out with the car has a searing acceleration and top speed around 241kph mark, the weight disadvantage clearly did not affect the Ghibli.

The Ghibli’s success had to do with the satisfaction of the first batch of customers. The car sold so well that it outsold its rivals like the Ferrari Daytona and the Lamborghini Miura. Encouraged by the success Maserati decided to create the convertible version of the car known as the Ghibli Spyder in 1969. There was also an SS version of the Ghibli Spyder, it was slightly more powerful at 335bhp.

But the Ghibli supercars are rare, when Maserati decided to cease production in 1973 there was only a total of 1170 Coupes ever sold and 100 Spyders while the Spyder SS are the rarest of the lot with only 25 units ever made.

The Ghibli made a comeback in 1992, but it came in a form of a conservative two-door, four seater luxury coupe with a performance that matched the original only without the raw supercar appeal. Of course there’s another comeback in a form of the luxury saloon but I’ll let the Editor tell you all about that in the January 2015 issue of CAR Malaysia!

(all images source: maserati.com)

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