1981 Maserati Kyalami 4.9 Litre
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 Bologna, 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 75 cars were built with the most desirable specification, being powered by the bigger 4.9 litre V8 engine. Of these 75 cars only 21 were RHD (10 with a manual gearbox and 11 with an automatic gearbox).
Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer for sale a rare factory right hand drive Maserati Kyalami with the desirable 4.9 litre engine. This particular car is confirmed by Maserati Classiche as being supplied new into Hong Kong. It has a production date of the 25th February 1981. It was fitted with a 4.9 litre V8 engine (with carburettors) and an automatic gearbox. The car was finished in ‘celeste chiaro’ (light blue) with a dark blue interior.
This Maserati Kyalami was sold new in Hong Kong by Maserati agent Italian Motors. The first owner was in fact a director of one of the holding companies that owned Italian Motors. He enjoyed the car for some ten years, mainly as a weekend car, covering around 19,000 km in this time.
The car changed hands in 1991 and it was sold by Reliance Motors LTD for HKD 438,000. In 1996 the owner emigrated to New Zealand and he took the car with him. He subsequently moved to Australia in 2001, again with the car. There is an Import Approval on file dated 10th October 2001. It remained in continuous ownership through until November 2017 when it was acquired by its current owner. The car had been parked up for some years and it required recommissioning. This work was significant and it included: a major service, replacing perishable items such as fuel hoses, overhaul the brakes, overhaul the cooling system, overhaul the gearbox, replace wheel bearings, overhaul the starter motor, overhaul the HVAC system, electrical repairs and other miscellaneous works.
This car has been impeccably maintained throughout its life as evidenced by the receipts on file. In 1998 the car had an engine rebuild and at the time the mileage was c38,000km. The interior was re-trimmed in 2011.
Today the car presents really well for an unrestored car that is almost 40 years old. The paintwork looks to be original, though the car has had a number of touch ups on most panels. The car looks stunning from say a meter, though on closer inspection there are small stone ships and blemishes evident. Importantly the car looks to be structurally very good. All of the exterior trim, badges and the glass are in very good condition.
Inside, the cabin is also in very good condition. The alcantara dash is a feature on a Maserati Kyalami and it is in fabulous condition. All of the leather is good with no rips, tears or damage. All of the instruments and controls are also in good condition and are another feature on this Maserati.
The car starts easily once the Weber carburettors have sucked enough fuel. The big V8 barks to life, with a mighty roar. This car has been used in the last two years as its makers intended – and that is to be driven! The current owner has clocked up around 10,000 km in his time of ownership, which has included a few long trips where the car has performed faultlessly. This car has been sorted and it performs exceptionally well on the road. The engine pulls strongly and the gearbox is very smooth up and down the box. The car handles and stops as one would expect of a high performance GT car.
The car has a thick history file that confirms its current mileage of 73,984km to be genuine.
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!
Accompanying the car is an original owner’s manual, build information from Maserati Classiche, a massive history file with some old registration documents & receipts dating back to 1991, other miscellaneous documents, the recent receipts for all the recommissioning work and a jack kit.
– A rare factory right hand drive example
– The car is in the desirable specification with the 4.9 litre V8 engine and automatic gearbox.
– 1 of only 11 factory right hand drive cars built in the above specification.
– The automatic transmission is the highly regarded Chrysler Torqueflite transmission which has the usability as a manual change .
– Finished in its original and desirable colour of ‘celeste chiaro’ (light blue).
– Fully matching numbers.
– Big $ recently spent recommissioning the car.
The car is fully sorted and ready for its next owner to enjoy. It has just passed a Queensland roadworthy inspection.
Listed price AUD $115,000.
- Maserati Kyalami
- 73984 km
- 4930 cc