1971 Maserati Ghibli SS
8-cyl. 4930cc/335hp 4x2bbl Weber
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
The Maserati Ghibli was an Italian gran turismo produced from 1967 to 1973. With its long, sleek Giugiaro-styled steel body and aggressive posture, the car debuted at the Turin Motor Show in 1966 to much fanfare.
Ghiblis share their underpinnings and mechanicals with the Mexico 2+2 coupe and Quattroporte sedan, and power came from a dry-sump, twin-cam 4.7-liter V-8. The engine breathed through four twin-choke Weber carburetors, produced 310 horsepower and 341 ft-lb of torque, and was mated either to a ZF five-speed manual or three-speed automatic transmission. Top speed was rated at 154 mph, with 60 mph coming in just under seven seconds.
The Ghibli benefitted from four-wheel disc brakes, with double wishbone suspension, coil springs and an anti-roll bar up front, and leaf springs and an anti-roll bar in the back. Twin 13-gallon fuel tanks fed the thirsty V-8. With a curb weight of 3,637 pounds, it was no lightweight, but no one ever seemed to lament a lack of performance.
As if the standard Ghibli weren't enough, in 1969 Maserati unveiled the Ghibli SS, which carried the same powerplant, but enlarged to 4.9 liters. Horsepower was bumped up accordingly, to 335, and the SS topped out at 175 mph, making the car the fastest production Maserati. SS Ghiblis came fully loaded, with niceties such as leather seating, tinted power windows, a heated rear window, air conditioning, and more.
Also available in 1969 was the Ghibli Spyder and SS Spyder. Mechanically, each was identical to the coupe on which it was based, but while the hard top car was a 2+2, the Spyders were strictly two-seaters. A factory hard top was available, though only a handful were ordered so equipped.
In 1970, minor changes appeared on the Ghibli, with revisions made to the headlights, dash, and headrests.
In 1973, the Ghibli's final year of production, only SS variants were offered. When the model gave way to its Khamsin successor, a total of 1,170 coupes had been built, and only 125 Spyders—25 of which were SS models.
While the Maserati Ghibli may have lacked the V-12 cachet of its Ferrari Daytona rivals, the gorgeous gran turismos never lacked for power, sophistication, or admirers. The same can be said today.