In case you didn’t know already, Maserati’s Ghibli is celebrating its 55th year this month and the blustery Italian can still turn a few heads even in 2021…
Whenever there’s a discussion surrounding Italian classics from around the swinging 60s and 70s, three desirables are always the center of attraction; namely the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona, Lamborghini Miura, and the mighty Maserati Ghibli.
While the Ghibli made its debut two years before the Daytona, the North African wind-inspired gran turismo car has always remained true to its exclusive, luxurious style, power, and comfort/racing mantra – for which the marque has always stood for.
This was a car that not only rivalled the feisty Daytona for straight-line performance with a top speed close to 170mph, but it also stood head and shoulders above most things in the style department too. A bonnet that was long enough to be continued, merged with a perfectly sloped roofline, overshadowed only by a wide-mouth grille and Maserati’s proudly displayed logo at the front of the vehicle.
The design was entrusted to Ghia, which then had Giorgetto Giugiaro on its creative design team. The most significant design cue – the marker of a decisive change from the Ghibli’s predecessors – was the integration of the volumes: there was no distinction between the car’s body and the passenger compartment; they were neither separate nor overlapping, rather they were joined together as a single surface. While the lines were geometric and taut, Giugiaro’s hand ensured that the sense of stiffness could be smoothed out.
The most obvious new stylistic feature was the front, decidedly original for Maserati: the headlights were retractable and the very slim grille occupied the car’s entire front. The Trident logo remained in the middle, albeit smaller than before.
Maserati Ghibli – 55 Years Young
After it was unveiled at the Turin Motor Show on 3 November 1966, the Ghibli was launched in the market in 1967. The following year, its interior was restyled and could also be fitted with automatic transmission if requested, as well as a 5-speed manual gearbox. From 1969, the Spyder version also became available, which could be equipped with a hardtop; one year later, both models were also offered with a 4,900-cc engine, taking the name Ghibli SS. In this configuration, the car further strengthened its solid market position.
In all, between 1967 and 1972, 128 Ghibli Spyder and over 1,200 Ghibli coupé models were produced: one was purchased by Henry Ford (the founder’s grandson), who would place it in the lobby of the Ford Product Development Center in Detroit, as an example to follow and a source of inspiration.
The Ghibli has and always will be been considered an iconic car. So much so, in 2013, Maserati decided it was time to unveil a new model, bringing back the Ghibli name for a sports saloon and thus starting another success story.
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