Italy's Muscle Car
Patina: 1969 Maserati Ghibli SS (Photo Essay)
Maserati is a legendary carmaker resurrected. After decades of false starts and forgettable collaborations (the 1980s Chrysler TC comes to mind), the Italian marque that made its name in racing between the World Wars is now firmly back in the hearts and minds of motoring fans. Despite the company’s seductive new releases, there is one Maserati that remains arguably the most beautiful and the company’s last great car before the dark interlude that was the 1970s and ‘80s:– the Ghibli.
Photos by Gishani for Gear Patrol. Thanks to Maserati owner, John Dockendorff.
Released in 1967 at the Turin Auto Show, the Ghibli was Italy’s answer to America’s muscle car, with a long hood, torquey front-mounted V8 and rear wheel drive. It was a classic GT car, begging for sporting drives on winding country roads, with its spacious cockpit and room for a couple of suitcases in the back. The car’s perfect lines and shark nose look like they were drawn in about three swooshes of a pencil by renowned Italian designer, Giorgetto Giugiaro when he was working at Italian coachbuilder, Ghia.
Under that long hood of the rare 1969 Ghibli SS pictured here lives a thirsty (11 mpg) muscular (350 hp) 4.9-liter V8 that could rocket the car to 60 miles per hour in under seven seconds even 40 years ago and cruise at 140 all day long. The sound emitted from its cocky upturned ANSA Marmitte pipes is pure music, albeit more hard rock than Italian opera. Maserati may be back but they still don’t make ‘em like they used to.