1971 Maserati Ghibli SS 4.9 by Ghia

Courtesy of Bonhams

The Ghibli was Maserati’s first supercar. Launched in 1966 and named after a hot wind blowing across the Sahara Desert, the Ghibli was styled by the young Giorgetto Giugiaro, then working at Ghia. The mechanical design was the work of Maserati’s chief engineer, Giulio Alfieri.

This example, a 4.9-liter SS version, was delivered new in Rome in April 1971, having been ordered by a Mrs. Pasquini through Maserati’s flagship dealership, Autosport in Bologna. Mrs. Pasquini specified a particularly lurid shade of metallic green “Verde Gemma” with a white Connolly hide interior.

Later in its life the car found its way to Germany, but its most interesting history has been with the immediately preceding owner, who was president of the U.K. Maserati Club; Alexander Fyshe bought the car in 1989 to add to his collection. Having always wanted a Ghibli, Alex immediately knew that this matching-numbers example was a long-term car, and he commissioned a restoration with marque specialists McGrath Maserati.

Appreciating the need for the highest quality and attention to detail, Prestige Restorations was chosen as the bodywork partner, and the car spent the next four years in restoration. Alex specified his personal choice of Rosso Cordoba exterior paint and a new Connolly leather interior in Crema.

On completion, the Ghibli debuted in 1993 at the Silverstone Festival, where it won the Maserati Club Annual Concours. This would be the first of many concours trophies the car would win, as it was widely acknowledged as one of the very best. The Ghibli would also feature in various magazines and books, including Maserati Heritage by Sparrow/Ayre and Quentin Willson’s Cool Cars.

Each year, Alexander took the car on the Maserati International Rally, visiting Austria, Switzerland, Sweden and, of course, Italy, on numerous occasions over the course of the next 20 years, proving that it always drove as well as it looked. The quality of the restoration was such that even today the car still looks magnificent and has the reputation of “the one to beat.” Maintained throughout by Bill McGrath, its last public appearance while in Alexander Fyshe’s ownership was at the Maserati gathering for the Centenary at Silverstone in 2014.

The current vendor has continued to maintain it in exemplary fashion. Indeed, on a recent test-drive, the Ghibli performed impeccably. Accompanying documentation consists of the restoration invoices, a U.K. V5C registration document and comprehensive Maserati Classiche Documentation. At half the price of a Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona, its direct competitor, the Ghibli 4.9SS is one of the more interesting Grand Tourers of the 1970s.

Rarely does a Maserati of this quality, provenance and reputation come to the market.