• Crisp Italian styling combined with responsive, sporty performance
• Impressive history file
• A real rarity which will stand out at Italian car events
Maserati introduced the Ghibli name for a rakish, V8-powered 2+2 grand tourer introduced in 1967. When that came to an end, the name was retired until Maserati resurrected it in 1992 for another 2+2 coupé, this time powered by a twin-turbocharged V6 and sporting sharp wedge styling.
Unveiled at the 1992 Turin Motor Show, the new Ghibli’s interior and basic body shell were carried over from the old Biturbo, which formed the basis for every new Maserati model from 1981 to 1997. With the Ghibli, though, the styling was improved considerably and the engines updated. Two engines, both 24-valve twin-turbo V6s, were available in sizes of two litres and 2.8 litres. The larger engine was produced for the export market, mated to a five-speed manual gearbox, although a four-speed automatic was an option.
To go into greater detail, the engine was the most up-to-date incarnation of Maserati’s all-aluminium alloy, double overhead-cam, 90-degree V6 with four valves per cylinder. Two water-cooled IHI turbochargers helped increase its power output considerably, with an air-cooled intercooler on each cylinder bank. It made use of Weber-Magneti Marelli IAW electronic fuel injection and electronic ignition, and the manual cars were furnished with a Getrag ZF five-speed. For effective braking, ventilated discs were used all round, and servo-assisted power steering made manoeuvring the car quite effortless.
Although the engineering was a selling point enough in itself, Maserati did not scrimp on luxuries. The Connolly leather upholstery and burr elm trim made the interior a stylish and comfortable environment, in keeping with the latest high-end vogues. It was a car in which the sharp-dressed, style-conscious individual could make a discreet statement about their wealth and taste.
‘One careful owner’ may be the boast of any number of disingenuous used-car salesmen, but since the first owner of this car was Roger Epsztajn of Hendon, lifelong Maserati enthusiast and former Maserati Club Chairman, we feel confident in saying that it would have been a fair description of this car until the point he sold it, but its excellent appearance would suggest that subsequent owners have been equally careful.
Mr. Epsztajn ordered his car from Meridien Maserati, the well-known showroom in Lyndhurst, Hampshire, where he gave his 1989 Maserati Biturbo in part-exchange. He specified the car in Dark Aquamarina with Cloud Grey full leather upholstery, with the metallic paint and automatic gearbox cited as optional extras. After placing his order, he went to collect the car in person from the Maserati factory at Modena so he could have an invigorating run home across the great driving roads of Italy and France.
Mr. Epsztajn wrote an article on the subject of collecting his new Maserati, which was obviously the source of much excitement, and there is a photograph of the car being driven through the gates of the Maserati works.
Epsztajn kept the car until at least 1997, but it had changed hands by 1999. By 2020, the Maserati was in the ownership of a Mr. Warrender of Perth. The vendor bought it from him on 21st January of this year, but is now offering it for sale as he is downsizing his collection.
In addition to a current V5 and a handwritten record of the work undertaken by Epsztajn, this Maserati includes a comprehensive run of MoT certificates from 2004 to the present, with the current MoT expiring in November, plus an additional one from 2001. Also present are the original sales invoice and a copy of Mr. Epsztajn’s article and the photograph of the car being driven through the Maserati gates.
There is a very large collection of invoices dating from 1994 to 2020, which show that well in excess of £30,000 has been spent on the car over the years to see that it has always remained in prime condition.
As you’d expect from a car that has been well cared-for all its life, the interior survives in fantastic condition. The leather has matured very nicely, with some creases appropriate for its age but no splits or cracks, and the rear seats are especially well preserved. The attractive flecked carpets have been kept scrupulously clean, and the dash and doors, complete with their handsome elm trim, are in the very best condition. We were especially drawn to the beautiful gold Maserati clock in the centre of the dash, which still keeps time and looks more like the sort of timepiece one might expect to see on the wrist of a supermodel than inside a car.
Bidders will note that the original radio has been replaced by a more modern Pioneer unit.
Having been subjected to some cosmetic refreshment over the course of its life, including a partial repaint, the exterior of the Ghibli really looks fantastic. While we have to stop short of calling its outward appearance perfect, it certainly is extremely good, and you’d not want a better car unless you were planning on collecting concours trophies.
The dark metallic blue sparkles like sunlight reflected in the waves off the Amalfi Coast, and the various fixtures and fittings are all in very good order. The wheels and chrome badges have picked up some superficial blemishes over the years but, as we say, they’re as good as anyone could realistically hope for in a car that’s 27 years old. The only fault that bidders ought to be aware of is a crack in the nearside rear light lens, but it should not be too difficult to source a new one.
Under the bonnet, the Maserati has a very clean engine bay, which makes its testa rossa V6 all the more stirring a sight. It is suggestive of Italian passion and power, and its appearance is not at all deceptive. It idles quietly and somewhat serenely, but lets out a bark when your foot goes down and then, with the automatic gearbox to change gear for you, you can motor along at ease while the car does all the work.
The brakes stand out for being particularly responsive, and we believe they will bring the car to a very quick stop if necessary. The power steering is so light that it seems to require almost as little input as the gearbox – the car really does want you to let you sit back while it drives you wherever you want to go.
On the car’s most recent MoT test in November, 2020, it passed without trouble save for the advisory note that the power steering pipe/hose as slight seepage.
Sharp, crisp and clean, like the best Italian tailoring, the Maserati Ghibli is an especially tempting prospect, because it not only looks good but, with its unconventional arrangement of straight lines and sharp angles, there is also something quite fascinating about it. Unmistakably a product of the same design school which produced icons like the Lancia Delta and the Alfa Romeo 164, it’s a style which encourages contemplation.
Depending on how you like to use your cars, the Ghibli presents plenty of opportunities. For one thing, it could be used as a daily-driver, if you fancied. If you’d rather keep it for shows, it’s such a rare and unusual sight that you’d be sure to attract a crowd of enthusiasts. Then again, if you just want to enjoy driving it, when international travel is back on the agenda, why not celebrate with a little jaunt abroad to the Italian Riviera, allowing a wry grin to spread across your face as you weave effortlessly along those sun-drenched coastal roads?
A very similar car, the Quattroporte IV was recently featured in the new Bond Film, No Time to Die, so why not pick yourself up the prettier Coupé version of that car - the Ghibli before prices rocket as a result?
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