31 October 2012

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Lot 146

1970 Maserati Ghibli Spyder

  • Chassis no. AM115/S 1161

Sold for £257,600

330 bhp, 4,719 cc DOHC V-8 engine, five-speed manual transmission, coil spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 100.4 in.

• One of only 125 spyders built

• Original interior; equipped with numerous options

• Numbers-matching; documented maintenance records

The Maserati Ghibli was the hit of the 1966 Turin Italy Automobile show. Designed by the brilliant young Giorgetto Giugiaro while working for Ghia, the Ghibli was conceived to serve the same market as the Lamborghini Miura and the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 ‘Daytona’. Production of the Ghibli began with a fastback coupé in April 1967, joined by the spyder in 1969. A race-bred, mid-mounted 4,719-cubic centimetre V-8 engine with dry-sump lubrication and two chain-driven camshafts per cylinder bank powered the Ghibli, producing 330 horsepower.

The first of the V-8 Maserati GT cars, the Ghibli could accelerate from 0–60 in 6.8 seconds and topped out at 154 mph—both remarkable figures for that time. It could be ordered with either a five-speed ZF manual transmission or a three-speed Borg-Warner automatic. The car’s tubular frame was derived from those of the Mexico and the Quattroporte sedan. The Ghibli featured disappearing headlamps, leather sport seats, and either alloy wheels or the optional and desirable Borrani wire wheels. Production ultimately totalled 1,149 coupés and only 125 spyders.

Although it was capable of supercar performance levels comparable to the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona, the Ghibli is also known for its drivability at low and high speeds, as well as its predictable, balanced, and forgiving handling characteristics, a feature attributable to near-perfect weight distribution and a low centre of gravity. According to a recent road test in Classic & Sports Car magazine, “The truth is, you could learn to drive in this car or you could learn your racing lines in it.”

Offered here is an outstanding example of a well-maintained, original, and matching-numbers 1970 Maserati Ghibli Spyder. It is attractively finished in Celeste Blue with its original senape hide interior, and it also features a new black convertible top. For the driver, it is equipped with the desirable five-speed manual transmission and is understood to run and drive as well as one would expect. The odometer shows just over 41,000 miles, which appear to be from new and which attest to the car’s current condition. It is also fitted with nearly all the desirable options when ordered new, including Borrani wire wheels, air conditioning, tinted glass, electric windows, power steering, and the original radio and antenna. The original and unused spare tyre and tool roll are also in the boot.

This rare Ghibli spyder has been mechanically restored at a cost of over $50,000 from 2003–2010. The work has been documented and was performed by Dew Luxury Motorcars in Sterling, Virginia. Receipts and invoices are available upon request. It is no surprise that Ghibli spyders are strongly gaining in popularity as worthy alternatives to their contemporary competition, the Ferrari Daytona. This particular car, with its handsome colour scheme, is certainly a prime example.

Alexander Weaver

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California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

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Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

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California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

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Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

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Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

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Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

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California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more