1979 Maserati Kyalami 4.9 Litre (manual)
The Maserati story is a fascinating one. The Maserati brothers were all 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 Bolgna, Italy. The business was focussed 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.
Maserati chose the trident logo to adorn its cars. Its design was based on the Fountain of Neptune in Bologna’s Piazza Maggiore.
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’s first road car, the A6/1500 was shown at the 1947 Geneva Motor Show.
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. Under de Tomaso’s watch the first new Maserati was the Kyalami, so named after the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit in South Africa where a Maserati powered Cooper T81 had won the 1967 South African Grand Prix. The Kyalami was based on the De Tomaso Longchamp. Pietro Frua was commissioned to re-style the car and give it that traditional Maserati look and feel. The Kyalami was seen as a true successor to the Mexico. It was built from 1976 through until 1983 and during this time only 201 cars were built. Of these only 50 cars were built with the most desirable specification, being powered by the bigger 4.9 litre V8 engine and fitted with a 5 speed ZF manual gear box. Of these 50 cars, a mere 10 were built with this specification in right hand drive.
Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer for sale 1 of the 10 factory right hand drive Maserati Kyalami’s in the most desirable specification. This particular car is confirmed by Maserati Classiche as being a factory right hand drive example built for the Australian market that has a production date of the 20th June 1979. It was fitted with a 4.9 litre V8 engine (with carburettors) and a 5 speed ZF manual gearbox. The car was finished in ‘argento’ (silver) with a black interior, the colour scheme the car wears today.
This car has its original books and the service book notes it was sold through Maserati agent Talbot Motors in Melbourne to Blackall Moffitt Pty Ltd. It is rumoured that Blackall Moffitt may have purchased three Kyalamis for their senior executives at the time. The delivery date is noted as the 1st August 1980. The car was originally registered as AVU 626 (in Victoria). It was sold in 1984 and remained in the same ownership for the next 34 years. The car was sparingly used during this time, attending the occasional Maserati Club event in the early days and used for Sunday drives. The odometer today reads 55220 km which is understood to be original. Ill health forced the sale of the car and it was acquired by a Sydney based Maserati enthusiast some 18 months ago. The car been sitting for many, many years and it had suffered through a lack of use. Its new owner embarked upon a major recommissioning of the car which involved removing the engine and gearbox. There are receipts on file for a significant sum for work which included: overhaul the carburettors, installed new timing chains & guides, the cam shafts were removed & checked, overhaul water pump & oil pump, overhaul the cooling system including the radiator, replaced all fuel hoses, a new clutch was fitted, the flywheel was machined, hydraulics were overhauled, the brakes serviced, the gearbox was flushed, cleaned & serviced, new leads were fitted as well as a host of other jobs. At this time the bottom end was checked and found to be in good condition.
A change in the owner’s circumstances has resulted in him making the difficult decision to part with his Kyalami. His decision was ‘last in, first out’!
Today the car presents really well for an incredibly original car that is 40 years old. The paintwork looks to be original, though the car has had a number of touch ups, most noticeably the bonnet which has been repainted at some stage. The car looks stunning from say a meter, though on closer inspection there are small stone ships and blemishes evident. There is evidence of some rust in the bottom of the doors, most likely cause by blocked drain holes, though the sills and underside of the car look to be structurally excellent. All of the exterior trim, badges and the glass are in good condition. The only exception is the driver’s door glass does have a scratch, though it looks like it would polish out.
Inside the cabin is also incredibly original and in very good condition. The alcantara dash has faded but it is in fabulous condition. All of the leather is good with no rips, tears or damage, though it is a little dry and will benefit from further conditioning. We have noticed a major improvement since we have treated the leather on receipt of the car. All of the instruments and controls are in good condition and are a feature on this Maserati.
The car starts easily once the Weber carburettors have sucked enough fuel. The big V8 barks to life, something it has probably seldom done over the last decade. The car has travelled very few miles since it was recommissioned and it really needs some miles under its belt to complete the process. On our recent test drive the car performed well with all the major functions performing as expected. The car desperately needs a new exhaust system, a final tune and a new set of tyres to complete the recommissioning process.
We see the Maserati Kyalami as somewhat of a sleeper and it offers a fabulous opportunity for the Maserati collector or astute classic car buyer. The look of the car is understated and indeed subtle but wherever you go people look with an inquisitive stare. Most don’t know what it is but they do know it is something special. And make no mistake these cars are ’just fabulous’ to drive!
Where do you find another one like this?
Accompanying the car is the original books, build information from Maserati Classiche, some old registration documents, other miscellaneous documents, the recent receipts for all the recommissioning work, tool kit and jack kit.
– an Australian delivered factory right hand drive example
– the car is in the most desirable specification with the 4.9 litre V8 engine and 5 speed manual gearbox.’
– 1 of only 10 factory right hand drive cars built in the above specification.
– finished in its original and desirable colour scheme of ‘argento’ (silver) with a black interior.
– fully matching numbers.
– the car has its original books, including its service book.
– big $ just spent recommissioning the car.
Listed price AUD $125,000.
- Maserati Kyalami
- 55220 km