1979 Maserati Khamsin
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.
Maserati built some fabulous cars during Citroen’s ownership (including the Indy, Bora, Merak and Khamsin), however, times were tough and the company struggled financially. Citroen placed Maserati into liquidation in May 1975 and it was ultimately saved by the Italian government and Alejandro de Tomaso took control shortly thereafter.
The Maserati Khamsin, named after a desert wind that blows across northern Africa, was introduced at the 1972 Turin Motor Show and shown as a concept car on the Bertone stand. Designed by Marcello Gandini, it was Bertone’s first work for Maserati and the innovative and unique design received rave reviews. The oil crisis of the early 1970’s almost killed off the Khamsin before it went into production, but it survived and the first cars rolled off the production line in 1974. Over 9 years of production Maserati built only 430 Khamsins, of which very few were Australian delivered, factory right hand drive examples.
Oldtimer Australia is delighted to confirm the sale of a 1979 Maserati Khamsin. This Australian delivered, factory right hand drive example is fitted with the extremely rare and desirable combination of the 4.9 litre engine and 5 speed manual gearbox. The Maserati Classiche documentation on file confirms this car was completed in June 1979 and remains in its fabulous and original colour scheme of ‘Celeste Chiaro’ (Light Blue) with a ‘Fungo’ (Beige) interior.
- Maserati Khamsen
- 4930 cc