London | Lot 128
1972 Maserati Ghibli SS 4.9 Spyder by Ghia
An Important Maserati Collection
£850,000 - £1,150,000 GBP
| London, United Kingdom
5 September 2018
- Offered from an important Maserati collection
- Just one of only four Ghibli SS 4.9 Spyders built to RHD specifications
- Originally owned by the royal family of Qatar
- Fully restored to its original colours by McGrath Maserati with completion in 2018
At the Turin Motor Show in October 1968, Maserati introduced an open-top version of the Giorgetto Giugiaro-penned Ghibli coupe that was appropriately dubbed the Ghibli Spyder. With the top down and absent of a fastback roofline, Giugiaro’s spider design effected a particularly elegant and pure interpretation of the original motif. In production through 1972, only approximately 125 Spyders were built, and 45 of these cars were equipped with the more powerful 4.9-liter engine that began production in 1970 under the Ghibli SS badge. The apogee of luxury and performance in a 1960s Maserati open touring car, the Ghibli SS 4.9 Spyder is now prized by Modena enthusiasts for its rarity and powerful performance.
As confirmed by Maserati Classiche, of the 45 Ghibli SS 4.9 Spyders built, chassis no. 1251 is one of only four Ghibli SS 4.9 Spyders built to right-hand-drive specifications. Built in February 1972, the Ghibli was finished in Bianco Polo paintwork and trimmed with an interior of blue Connolly leather and fitted with Campagnolo wheels. The car was shipped to Slough, Great Britain, and distributed to Citroen UK London, where it was sold to its first owner, Sheik Hamad bin Ahmad bin Ali Al-Thani, a member of the ruling family of Qatar.
As confirmed by a copy of its Qatari registration printed mostly in Arabic, the Ghibli was registered in July 1972 to the sheik’s Doha address. In late 1979, the Maserati was dispatched to Modena for an authentic restoration to factory standards and following completion of the refurbishment, the car was sold in 1984 to Jean-Claude Caveng, a resident of Switzerland who imported the car to the UK in March 1986.
Later in 1986, the Spyder passed to an intermediary dealership, and the car then received substantial attention from Maserati expert Bill McGrath, who dialled in the mechanical elements and ancillary systems, and installed bolt-on Borrani wire wheels. Around this time, chassis no. 1251 was the subject of a cover feature for the September 1986 issue of Classic and Sportscar magazine, in which the Ghibli Spyder was favourably compared to a Ferrari Daytona Spyder.
In September 1987, the Ghibli was purchased by Vincent Isaacs of Middlesex. He continued to retain McGrath’s to service and maintain the car as needed for the first few years of his ownership, as demonstrated by a thick stack of invoices. In 1993, Isaacs opted for a full cosmetic restoration, entrusting Moto Technique of Surrey to correct some coachwork issues which included repairs to metal work in the front and rear wings. Moto Technique also refinished the car in dark blue, and trimmed the interior in ivory leather.
In February 2004, the Maserati was sold to the consignor, a marque collector residing in Brisbane, Australia, via Terry Healy of Oldtimer Australia, and the car was exported to Australia shortly thereafter. After enjoying the Spyder for several years, it was decided that the car would undergo a concours-level restoration, for which he shipped the car back to McGrath Maserati in April 2012. Recently completed in time for its current offering, the no-expense-spared restoration included a bare-metal refinish in the original colour scheme of Polo Bianco paint over blue leather. Furthermore, the car has now been formally exported from Australia and reregistered in the UK.
This superlative SS Spyder is very well documented, including several decades worth of invoices, registrations, former owners’ correspondence and a build record from Maserati Classiche. Offering stylish and powerful cruising as well and concours potential at numerous events, chassis no. 1251 would make a superb addition to any collection of Italian sporting machines or open touring sports cars and is without doubt one of the most interesting Ghibli SS 4.9 Spyders offered for sale in recent memory.