Custom coachbuilt cars are like private jets. You think you’re living the lap of luxury sipping a cocktail in first class ... and then you realize the one-percent of the one-percent has its own bartenders and tarmacs.
Similarly, a Maserati GranTurismo (with its starting price of $134,300) sure seems impressive. That is, until a Sciàdipersia drives up.
The new coachbuilt coupe, unveiled at this year’s Geneva International Motor Show, comes courtesy of Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera. The Italian coachbuilder’s design begins with the aforementioned Maserati, keeping the rolling chassis, but adds a body “hand-built exclusively to order,” writes Touring.
Sciàdipersia (4 images)
Inspiration for the grand tourer came from two places, the first of which is the Orient Express. The Sciàdipersia’s expansive glass roof and Foglizzo leather interior harken back to the epitome of luxury long-distance travel.
But the other source material is even more grandiose.
“The gentleman who commissioned the Sciàdipersia travels frequently and wanted a special car in which to cover long distances with maximum ease and comfort,” Louis de Fabribeckers, Touring’s head of design, told Classic Driver. “So, we decided to make a link to a car from our history, the 5000GT — not in terms of design, but in terms of concept.”
Never heard of the 5000GT? It was commissioned by, no kidding, the last Shah of Iran.
Sciàdipersia 2 (3 images)
Otherwise known as the Shah of Persia (a direct translation of “Sciàdipersia”), Mohammad Reza Pahlavi dreamt up his coachbuilt Maserati in 1958. As Classic Driver writes, “... he persuaded Maserati to drop the 5.0-litre V8 engine from the redundant 450S racer into a 3500GT chassis, before having the entire car clothed with a lavish body by Carrozzeria Touring in Milan.”
Only three of them were produced, but anyone interested in the Sciàdipersia is in luck: a whopping 10 iterations of this new GT will be built.
The price has not yet been released, most likely a combination of the endless customization possibilities and the Shah-level wealth necessary to contemplate the purchase.
Should you find yourself in that company, Touring is currently accepting inquiries.