Throwback Thursday: 1969 Maserati Ghibli 4.7

The Sixties were a golden age for performance cars and sports cars, as technology blossomed and stylists were given free rein to come up with sexy-looking, sleek body styles. Maserati was no exception, with its V8-powered Ghibli two-seater. The Ghibli has since been named as one of the top ten sports cars of the Sixties (in the magazine Sports Car International), and outsold its contemporaries the Lamborghini Miura and Ferrari Daytona. Giugiaro designed the Ghibli’s body, with its low, shark-shaped nose and low profile; under the hood was a 330-horsepower  4.7 liter V8 engine.

The Ghibli could sprint to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds and top out at 154 mph – not so impressive by today’s standards, but remember that many of the mechanical features common on today’s cars were introduced 40-plus years ago with cars like the Ghibli. The Ghibli’s V8 featured hemispherical combustion chambers, four chain-driven overhead cams and four four-barrel twin-choke Weber carburetors, with a 5500 rpm redline. Compared to an American V8 of the time, the Ghibli’s engine was almost impossibly complicated and advanced.

Less than 1400 Ghiblis were produced over a six-year span, making them incredibly scarce and valuable today; in ’70, the Ghibli SS was released , with a 335 horsepower engine that makes it even more rare and valuable. The Maserati Ghibli was as temperamental as any Italian car, thirsty for gasoline and impractical for a daily driver, but that’s not the point, is it? The point is that it was a sexy, exotic Italian sports car that made a statement everywhere it went, and could absolutely burn up the Autostrada.