1979 Maserati Kyalami 4.9 – Manual *** Understated Sophisticated Classic ****


Details

Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer for sale an extremely rare factory, right hand drive Maserati Kyalami. This particular car was built in the most desirable specification, being powered by Maserati’s 4.9 litre engine mated to a 5 speed manual gearbox. This car is one of only 10 examples ever produced in this configuration. This is a matching numbers example.

Maserati has confirmed this Kyalami was produced on 26th July 1979. It was delivered new into the UK and was sold through Modena Concessionaires Ltd in West Bromwich. The car was delivered in ‘verde medio’ (light green) with a ‘fungo’ (beige) interior. It was first registered on 23rd December 1982 and carried the plate BEA 71Y. The first owner is noted as Mr Michael Harris from London, UK.

The car had a few subsequent owners before it was acquired by Anthony Michaelson of Musical Fidelity fame from Wembley, UK in May 1988. The DVLA records on file confirm the car was repainted blue in his ownership. Michaelson enjoyed the car for five years, selling it in September 1993 at Coy’s auction.

In April 1999 the car was acquired by Troy de Leon from Warfield, UK. In his ownership a significant amount of work was done to the car. An invoice on file from Rossi Engineering in Sunbury-on-Thames dated 25th April 2000 confirms the engine was removed from the car and rebuilt, a new exhaust system was fitted, the bumpers were repainted, new front springs were fitted and the AC was recharged. The invoice noted the odometer showing 87,547 km at the time.

In June 2001, with the odometer reading 93,866 km, the gearbox was rebuilt by J.W.F. Motors in Wokingham, UK.

In September 2001 the car was repainted in its current colour of ‘rame metalic’ by Evans Auto Repair Services in Warfield, UK. The invoice confirms this was major project. Necessary rust repairs were completed, which involved new metal work as required. Under seal was applied to both sills, all the wheel arches, the front wings, the front apron, the rear wings, the inner arches, the arch guards and under the spare tyre bay.

In May 2004 the car was sold to Rupert Wilkes from Wisbech, UK. There is an MOT test certificate on file dated 9th March 2004 and at that time the mileage was noted as 99,201 km. Wilkes used the car sparingly throughout his ownership, as confirmed by the subsequent MOT test certificates and the Statutory Off Road Notifications (SORN) on file. An MOT certificate dated 8th February 2007 notes the mileage as 99,932 km, and one dated 22nd December 2009 notes the mileage as 99,959 km.

The current Melbourne based owner acquired the car in May 2018 and at that time the odometer showed 807 km (100,807 km). He initially kept the car in the UK before eventually importing it into Australia in 2021. There is an import approval on file for the car.

Before the car was shipped to Australia the clutch and spigot bearing were replaced, the carburettors were stripped, cleaned and rebuilt, the fuel tanks were removed and cleaned. The car was also serviced and all the fluids were changed. All that work was completed in April 2021.

After the car arrived in Australia a problem with the AC compressor was identified and in May 2023 the car was sent to Maranello Purscang Motors in Brunswick, Victoria to address this issue. A new A/C compressor was sourced and fitted. Some other minor issues were also addressed and the car was issued a roadworthy and subsequently registered in Victoria.

Today the odometer reads 1,362km (101,362 km).

We love the understated, yet classical look of the Maserati Kyalami.  We think the colour choice of ‘rame metallic’ is absolutely perfect for this car. This period colour emphasis the lines on the car and gives it quite an elegant appearance. It also contrasts well with the beige interior.

Even though this car was repainted some 20 years ago, the paint work has held up well and it presents today with a strong depth of colour and nice gloss finish. On closer inspection, we noticed a few small imperfections on the car. Most noticeably, there is a small scratch on the right rear guard, a small a chip on the driver’s side mirror and a small chip on the lower part of the driver’s door. There are also a few small chips on the edge of the driver’s door. The car looks stunning in the photos, but even better in the flesh!

All the external trim is similarly well presented. The bright work on the car is minimalistic, but a feature and it is in good condition. The badges are in good condition with only the slightest sign of some wear around the edges of the Maserati badge on the bonnet. The glass is all in good condition and the same can be said for the lenses both on the headlights and the tail lights. The bumpers on these cars are often cracked and show with minor damage, but on this car they present well.

The wheels are generally in good condition, though if you look closely there are a few small bubbles under the paint and there is a small chip on the edge of the left front wheel. They are shod with ‘as new’ Michelin 205/70 VR15 XWX tyres which are date stamped 1621 (week 16, 2021).

Open the sweeping door and you are welcomed by a very elegant, functional, yet very Italian interior. First impressions are good. The interior appears to be original and overall it is in very good condition. The leather seats present well, are firm and provide ample support. The seats show some patina, but there are no cracks or tears in the leather. A good leather treatment could easily bring them up a level. The rear seats appear to have been rarely used, if at all and are still in excellent condition. The dashboard in a Kyalami is a real feature and it presents well. The dashboard is covered in Alcantara and that is not an easy material to keep clean. In this car it presents well and there is no discolouration except for a small area on the right bottom of the dashboard.  All the instruments are clean and present well. They all appear to be in good working order.

In preparation for our test drive, we make ourselves comfortable behind the Momo leather steering wheel. It is surprisingly easy to find a comfortable driving position in the car. The seats are extremely comfortable, the visibility is excellent and the steering wheel as well as all the controls are in the right place.

It is with great anticipation we insert the key into the ignition to fire up the big V8. After allowing the fuel pump enough time to fill the carburettors you turn the key further to start the car. The engine cranks over easily and it fires up quickly with a bark. There is no need to use the throttle, the engine just catches and it immediately settles into a smooth idle. The engine sounds absolutely fantastic. It is kind of an Italian muscle car!

Whilst you could listen to the Maserati symphony all day, this car needs to be driven. Out on the wide open road is where it really belongs. This car is really a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Whilst it is happy to cruise along in traffic, it relishes some open road with some open throttle! It is then that Maserati’s 4.9 litre V8 comes to life . . . that Maserati sound is ‘just something’. One needs to remember it roots go back to ‘the car of kings’ the 5000GT and the mighty 450S race cars. The engine in this car pulls like a train. It feels strong and the power delivery is surprisingly smooth. Whilst a Kyalami with an automatic gearbox is a nice car to drive, we just love the 5 speed manual gearbox and in this car it is very easy to use. The clutch is reasonably light, but with a good feel and the gear changes are smooth both up and down the box. This car handles well and the suspension feels firm, yet the ride is incredibly smooth and it easily absorbs any bumps in the road.

All too soon our test drive comes to an end. A Maserati Kyalami is not a small car, yet it is easy to drive and very comfortable. It is just a delight to drive and so much fun!

It is immediately obvious that the target market for this car was the successful business man or woman back in the day. They would have appreciated the finer things in life, but wanted a car that offered the sophistication and class of a sports car combined with the refinement and practicality of a luxury saloon car.

This Maserati Kyalami is just a fabulous car that we are genuinely excited to offer for sale. The overall condition and presentation of this car is consistent with a car has been cherished by its previous owners. The car offers incredibly good value for money and it is reluctantly offered for sale by its current owner. It is ready for its next custodian to use and enjoy.

Highlights:

  • Super rare car, being one of only 10 factory right hand drive Maserati Kyalami’s built with the desirable 4.9 litre engine and the manual gearbox.
  • Matching numbers chassis and engine.
  • Well presented in a unique and stunning colour combination of ‘rame metallic’ with a beige interior.
  • Extensive history file.
  • Ready to use and enjoy.

Price $-.

Background

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.

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.

Orsi sold to Citroen in 1969. 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 and production spanned 8 years from 1976 through until 1983. Maserati production numbers are often a point of contention, however, it is understood that only 201 Kyalamis were built. Of these, surprisingly 44 were factory right hand drive. 30 of the right hand drive cars were destined for the UK market, 7 for the Australian market, 4 for the South African market and 3 for Hong Kong. Of the 44 right hand drive cars, 21 were fitted with the 4.9 engine, of which 10 were fitted with a manual gearbox and 11 with an automatic gearbox.


Specification

  • -
  • Maserati Kyalami
  • 1979
  • Two Door Coupe
  • Manual
  • 01,362 km
  • 4930cc

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