Renowned as a top contender for the title of ‘most handsome car of the 1960s’, Maserati’s Ghibli made its debut as a coupe at the Turin Motor Show in November 1966. Designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro at Carrozzeria Ghia and named after the Sahara Desert wind, it rivaled the Ferrari Daytona in straight-line performance, boasting a top speed close to 170mph (275km/h) while offering a more affordable price and arguably superior aesthetics.
Measuring over 4.5 meters long and 1.8 meters wide, the Ghibli’s most striking feature was its remarkably low height, achieved through a combination of dry-sump lubrication for the engine and limited suspension travel for tire clearance.
Sharing a shortened version of the Quattroporte saloon’s chassis, the Ghibli adopted a live rear axle setup, surprising many by opting for leaf springs and a single locating arm over more complex suspension systems. Powering the Ghibli was Maserati’s revered four-cam, 90-degree V8 engine, initially in 4.7-liter form and later in a 4.9-liter ‘SS’ variant to meet stricter emissions standards.
Despite minimal gains in horsepower, the Ghibli remained a performance marvel, reaching 100mph (160km/h) in under 16 seconds, thanks to its abundant torque. Even fifty years after its debut, the Ghibli continues to stand as one of the most captivating sports cars ever made, rivaling the legendary Ferrari ‘Daytona’ and offering remarkable value for enthusiasts.