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In 1999, an international panel of 132 automotive journalists chose Giorgetto Giugiaro as their Automotive Designer of the Century.
Though he worked for Ford, Mazda, Lotus, himself, and others throughout his lengthy career, Giugiaro did some of his best work for one of his home country’s most memorable marques, Maserati, while working for design shop Ghia.
At Ghia, Giugiaro helped design stylish Maseratis like the Ghibli SS 4.9 Coupé and Ghibli SS 4.9 Spyder, both of which are models that will be available at the RM Sotheby’s London Sale as part of the auction house’s “An Important Maserati Collection” sale.
Offered as individual sales, the six-pack of classic Maseratis from the ’60s and ’70s that Sotheby’s will be auctioning off has Giugiaro’s fingerprints all over it.
Let’s check ’em out.
1962 Maserati 5000 GT
The 13th of just 34 total 5000 GTs built by Maserati, chassis No. AM103 026 rolled off the line just after New Year’s Day in 1962. Owned by a pop singer who called himself Little Tony as an homage to Little Richard, this muscular Maserati made its way across the pond in the ‘70s and found its way into the garage of Joe Walsh of the Eagles.
Although it can’t quite top out at 185-MPH top speed Walsh sang about “Life’s Been Good,” the Maserati was almost certainly the car the rock guitarist was singing about.
Another owner who took control of the car after Walsh, Kenneth McBride, also waxed poetic about chassis No. AM103 026 in Maserati 5000 GT, A Significant Automobile by Maurice Khawam. “‘The fuel injection works smoothly, the beast idles quietly, and roars when you bury the throttle,” McBride said in the book. “The acceleration from 50 to 150 mph is smooth, seamless, and inspiring; the best road-going Maserati ever built.”
1970 Maserati Ghibli SS 4.9 Coupé
Finished in Rosso Rubino paint with a white Connolly leather interior, chassis No. 1668 was equipped with a 4.9-liter engine, five-speed ZF transmission and bolt-on Campagnolo wheels when it left the factory in April 1970.
Bought by an Australian, the car was converted to right-hand drive by a drag racer with a customization shop. The Ghibli SS passed through a number of hands and remained Down Under until 2012 when it underwent a three-year refurbishment at McGrath Maserati in the UK, that included a return to its original LHD configuration.
Used as the cover image for a feature in the November 2017 issue of Auto Italia magazine, chassis No. 1668 is still finished in its original factory color scheme and has received as-needed maintenance from McGrath since its original refurbishment was completed in 2015.
1971 Maserati Ghibli SS 4.9 Coupé
Thought to be one of the last of 425 Ghibli SS Coupes that were built, chassis No. 2506 was delivered in October of 1971 with an optional 4.9-liter V8 providing more 15 foot-pounds of torque and an extra 25 ponies compared to what was offered by the 4.7-liter engine that came standard.
One of only 12 Ghibli SS coupes delivered with the 4.9 engine, chassis no. 2506 came equipped with other hot features such as power steering, a Bonaldi brake booster, Veglia gauges, and dashboard rocker switches.
Recently restored to factory specifications by McGrath Maserati, this Ghibli SS has accumulated more than 4,000 miles on its odometer driving around Europe since its restoration.
1972 Maserati Bora 4.7
A former resident of both the United Kingdom and Australia, chassis No. AM117 161 returned to the UK from Down Under to get a full restoration which was completed over the course of three years.
Rare to begin with, this Bora 4.7 is only one of 42 that was built to right-hand-drive specs. While the car’s history is somewhat of a mystery, its rarity and level of restoration make it desirable as an investment or for limited everyday use.
1972 Maserati Ghibli SS 4.9 Spyder
Originally registered to a member of Qatar’s ruling family of Sheik Hamad bin Ahmad bin Ali Al-Thani, chassis No. AM115/S49 1251 was sold in a resident of Switzerland who then imported it to the UK.
Completed restored inside and out by McGrath Maserati in 2018 and once again decked out in its original colors, this open-topped Spyder is an even more free-wheeling version of the Ghibli coupe.
Prized for its rarity and powerful performance, this vehicle is said to have “Concours potential.”
1974 Maserati Quattroporte
Commissioned by Prince Shah Karim Al Hussaini after he saw a similar Maserati model at the Geneva Motor Show in 1972, this vehicle was built for the prince for his personal use and registered in Switzerland.
The Quattroporte somehow made it into the possession of the prince’s horse racing jockeys (beats a paycheck) before being bought by the Musée International de l’Automobile Genève.
Thereafter, chassis No. AM121 004 was owned by a number of Maserati collectors around the world but is now back in the UK and recently underwent a two-year mechanical restoration – including an engine rebuild – and interior retrimming at McGrath Maserati.