1969 Maserati Ghibli
The Maserati story is a fascinating one. It is the story of a family with daring, courageous and forward-thinking ideas. The story starts with Rodolfo Maserati, a railway engineer who was employed by the Italian monarchy and the father of seven sons who all had a passion for engine design and racing cars. The Maserati brothers all became involved in the automotive industry in some way or another, however, it was on the 1st of December 1914 that Alfieri, Ettore and Ernesto Maserati officially opened Alfieri Maserati Workshop in Bologna, Italy.
Maserati chose the trident logo to adorn its cars. Its design was based on the Fountain of Neptune in Bologna’s Piazza Maggiore. The colours chosen for the logo were also the colours of Bologna, red and blue.
The business was focused on repairing, servicing and preparing cars, however, the World War cut business short and it wasn’t until 1926 that Maserati built its first car, the Tipo 26.
It was all about motorsport back then and in 1937 the Orsi family acquired ownership of Maserati which was in desperate need of financial backing to be able to survive. During the Orsi years Maserati grew from a boutique but very successful race car builder to one of the world’s leading manufacturers of hand built sports and GT cars. Orsi sold to Citroen in 1969 and subsequent owners of Maserati included the Italian State, De Tomaso, Fiat, Ferrari and Fiat Chrysler.
Maserati built its first road car in 1946 even though times were tough in post War northern Italy. The car was the Maserati A6 – where ‘A’ was for Alfieri and ‘6’ for the number of cylinders. The initial reception of the car was positive and a ‘production’ Maserati A6/1500 was then shown at the 1947 Geneva Motor Show.
This was a significant milestone in the Maserati legend and subsequent models included the A6G/2000, 3500 series cars, 5000GT, Mistral. Quattroporte, Mexico, Sebring and Ghibli. Maserati also continued to build very successful race cars that dominated tracks around the world including the 250F, 300S, 150S, 450S and the Birdcage.
The Maserati Ghibli (Tipo AM115) was first shown at the 1966 Turin Motor Show in November of that year. The car was designed by a then 27 year old Giorgetto Giugiaro, who was working with Ghia at the time. To this day the Maserati Ghibli remains one of his finest creations. It is named after a hot dry wind that blows across the Sahara Desert. The first cars rolled off the production line in March 1967. The Ghibli was a resounding success for Maserati and throughout six years of production 1295 examples were built, comprising 1170 coupes and 125 spyders. The Maserati Ghibli was powered by a 4.7 litre V8 engine delivering in excess of 300bhp. In 1969 Maserati offered the option of a 4.9 litre V8 engine with slightly bigger carburettors that delivered a few extra horsepower. In reality there was very little difference between the performance of a standard Ghibli or an SS.
There is no doubt that the flagship Maserati took it up to the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona and the Lamborghini Miura back in the day, out selling both cross town rivals. There have been many comparisons written over the years between the Maserati and the Ferrari and many journalists rate the Maserati as the better car. What is not debatable is that the Maserati Ghibli offers incredible value today, being worth around one third of the Ferrari Daytona.
Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer for sale a 1969 Maserati Ghibli.
The Maserati Classiche documentation on file confirms that this particular car was completed on the 15th March 1969 and despatched to Rome in Italy. It was fitted with Maserati’s 4719cc engine, a 5-speed manual gearbox and Campagnolo cast wheels. The car was finished in the most stunning colour combination of ‘blue pervinca’ (periwinkle blue – Salchi code 106A55) with a white interior (Connolly code PAC.1544).
The original Italian “Carta di Circolazione per Autovettura” (vehicle registration card) tells us the car was delivered new to Giovanni Buitoni from Rome on 31st May 1969. The vehicle registration card also tells us the car passed through a few owners in Italy before it was sold to John Louis Mozzone in May 1973. The recently married Mr Mozzone was from East Bentleigh (Melbourne) in Victoria and he and his wife were on their honeymoon when he saw the car for sale in Rome. He purchased the car and he and his wife took it on a three month trip through the UK and Europe, taking it as far as Loch Ness in Scotland. They subsequently brought the car into Australia.
There is a copy of the Melbourne Harbour Trust Commissioners Port of Melbourne wharfage document on file, dated 9th September 1973, which confirms the car was imported by Mr. Mozzone. The car was loaded at the port of Genoa in Italy and it arrived into Melbourne aboard the ‘Fresenburg’.
Upon arrival in Australia the car was converted to right-hand drive as back in those days you were not allowed to drive a left-hand drive car on the road in Australia. The car was subsequently registered in Victoria as LTE 186. Mr Mozzone kept the car for the next 10 years or so. At the end of his ownership the car was repainted yellow. Unfortunately, the car then developed a mechanical problem and Mr Mozzone could not afford the repairs so he sold the car.
This Maserati Ghibli was then acquired by two well-known classic car enthusiasts who repaired the car and on sold it. The car subsequently passed through two owners, the second being Michael Duigan who acquired it in the early 1990’s. Duigan was a long term owner of the car before it was sold at a Shannons Sydney auction in January 2007 to a Melbourne based orthopaedic surgeon and well known car enthusiast and collector.
At that time the car was in need of some work and its new owner sent it to respected Melbourne based classic Maserati specialist Mario Lombardi. Over the next six months a considerable sum of money was spent mechanically freshening up the car. There is an excellent history file with extensive receipts for work done over the years confirming that this car has been meticulously maintained and improved throughout its life. The most significant work undertaken was an engine rebuild in 2007 and a new clutch was fitted in June 2021. More recently, the car has been repainted in its STUNNING original colour of ‘blue pervinca’ (periwinkle blue) by GT Motors in Bowen Hills (Brisbane).
Today this Maserati Ghibli presents exceptionally well and it drives even better!
Having just been repainted, the paint is obviously in excellent condition. All the chrome, exterior trim, badges and glass are in very good condition. The Campagnolo cast wheels have also recently been refurbished and they and are a real feature on this car. The wheels are fitted with period correct Michelin XWX tyres, date stamped week 46 2017.
The interior of this car is simply stunning. A highlight of any Maserati is the dash, instruments and controls. On this car they all present exceptionally well and everything looks to be in working order. Being an early Ghibli, this car has the toggle switches, which are a real feature. The beige leather trim contrasts the blue exterior of the car perfectly and both are complimented by the timber steering wheel and gear knob. The leather seats (which have been subtly rebolstered to provide additional support), door cards and centre console are beautifully presented. There are no rips or tears. The dark brown carpets are in very good condition. The boot area is clean and tidy and it looks to have been hardly used, if at all.
Under the bonnet the engine bay is also clean and very well presented. This car retains its original ‘matching numbers’ engine. The big V8 starts easily and it makes ‘a great noise’! It certainly doesn’t have that ‘muscle car rumble’ but it has an edge, and a classy edge at that. There is no doubt this car means business! The engine is surprisingly smooth and the car is very easy to drive. You sit low in the cabin but the visibility is good in all directions. After a few miles you feel right at home. This is definitely a GT car and not a sports car as such. Having driven a few Ghiblis there’s no doubt that the engine in this car is very strong with loads of power on tap. The 5 speed ZF gearbox is notchy but easy to use. It gets better as it warms up. The steering is firm, but not heavy and quite direct. The Maserati Ghibli is quite a big car at almost 4.6m long, however, it handles well and it is best suited to sweeping ‘B roads’ rather than hairpin bends. The car is surprisingly smooth on the road (it’s not harsh like a Miura by comparison) and its brakes are more than adequate to pull up all 1,640kg firmly and in a straight line. The more we drove this car the better it got!
The car has air conditioning which is currently being overhauled. It also has some subtle improvements to make it a more usable classic, including: improved insulation to keep the heat out of the cabin, a stainless-steel exhaust system and upgraded cooling system.
Over the years this car has carried the following registration numbers: LTE 186 (Vic), FOS 938 (Vic), QDI 970 (Vic), VV1 409 (vic), XKE 142 (Vic), GHI 115 (Vic) and 67665H (Vic).
- confirmed by Maserati Classiche as delivered on the 15thMarch 1969 and sold new into Rome, Italy.
- the car was delivered new in a fabulous colour scheme of ‘blue pervinca’ (periwinkle blue) with a white interior.
- recently repainted in its original colour by GT Motors in Bowen Hills.
- matching numbers chassis and engine.
- this car has been in Australia for most of its life and comes from 13 years of continuous ownership with a major enthusiast/collector.
- known history from new.
- desirable early car with the toggle switches and five speed gearbox (many Ghiblis were fitted with an automatic gearbox).
The Maserati Ghibli was Maserati’s flagship in the late 1960’s / early 1970’s and a direct competitor to the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona and Lamborghini Miura. The prices of Daytonas and Miuras has gone through the stratosphere and a Maserati Ghibli presents incredibly good value in today’s market.
Finding a ‘matching numbers’ Maserati Ghibli in this condition offered for sale in Australia presents a unique opportunity.
- Maserati Ghibli
- 29,000 km