Frank Sinatra wasn’t the only celeb to own this sweet 1970 Maserati Ghibli
Frank Sinatra may be the most famous owner of a sweet 1970 Maserati Ghibli on offer at Barrett-Jackson’s upcoming Las Vegas auction, but he wasn’t the only celebrity to park the Italian sports car in his driveway. Nor is Sinatra’s Ghibli the only high-end automobile on offer that was once owned by a Vegas legend.
Sinatra, who famously performed at Sin City hotels and casinos as a member of the star-studded Rat Pack, is known in automotive circles for his love of cars—vehicle of all kinds, too, from the luxurious Continental Mark II to a 1985 Chrysler LeBaron wagon.
Sinatra was actually the second owner of the silver-over-black Ghibli (VIN AM1151564), having purchased it from his son-in-law, Wes Farrel, in 1973. Ol’ Blue Eyes registered the gran turismo in his name and added his personal license plate, FAS IV.
With its long, sleek, Giugiaro-styled steel body and aggressive posture, the Ghibli debuted at the Turin Motor Show in 1966 to much fanfare, and it went into production the following year. By 1970, Maserati had made only slight revisions to the headlights, dash, and headrests.
Sinatra’s Ghibli is powered by a dry-sump, twin-cam 4.7-liter V-8 engine, which breathes through four twin-choke Weber carburetors and produces more than 300 horsepower and 341 ft-lb of torque. Mated to a ZF five-speed manual transmission, it was said to have a top speed of 154 mph.
The car also benefited from four-wheel disc brakes with double-wishbone suspension, coil springs, and an antiroll bar up front, plus leaf springs and an antiroll bar in the back. With a curb weight of 3637 pounds, the Ghibli was no featherweight, but no one ever seemed to find its performance lacking.
Sinatra kept the Ghibli for only a few years before selling it to actor George Hamilton, who later sold it to Dave Thomas, founder of the Wendy’s fast-food chain.
A 1970 Maserati Ghibli carries an average value of $220,000 in #2 (Excellent) condition and $244,000 in #1 (Concours) condition—without a celebrity pedigree. Barrett-Jackson is selling the sports car without reserve.
Also taking center stage at the June 17–19 event are two cars from 79-year-old Vegas legend Wayne Newton. The first, a 1981 Mercedes-Benz 380SL roadster, was customized by Niko-Michael Coachworks of Port Washington, New York. It features handmade moldings with gold inlays, gold accents on the roof that look like Egyptian hieroglyphics, hand-fabricated body panels, a retractable hardtop, and a 3.8-liter fuel-injected V-8 engine. The second Newton car is a two-tone, brown-and-white 1979 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow II, powered by a 6.75-liter V-8 engine that’s mated to a three-speed automatic transmission.