Cars We Sold

1968 Maserati Ghibli Coupe AM 115 Serial Number 652


Lead photograph of 1968 Maserati Ghibli Coupe AM 115 Serial Number 652

We are pleased to offer 1968 Maserati Ghibli Coupe s/n 115-652, an unusually user-friendly example of the iconic 60’s era Italian supercar. Introduced at the 1966 Turin Motor Show and named after a Sahara Desert wind, the Ghibli features stunning good looks with a long, low and sleek hood line and a compact cabin blended nicely into the abrupt cutoff Kamm tail rear. Power comes from Maserati’s race-bred, dry-sumped 4.7-liter V8 fed by four Weber carbs, evolved from the 450S sports-racer, and first seen in road-going guise in the 5000 GT. The mid-front-mounted 4,719-cubic centimeter V-8 engine features quad chain-driven camshafts, producing 330 horsepower and acres of torque, while a ZF five-speed manual and a diff put the power to the ground. Thanks to power steering, a silky-smooth ZF five speed, a light clutch and A/C, the Ghibli is user-friendly and easy to drive. The Ghibli easily outpaced the Ferrari 275 GTB for straight-line performance — its top speed was good for 160 mph, and with 1,149 Ghibli coupes sold, the Ghibli easily outsold the combined 275 GTB and GTB/4 production and also outsold the total Miura production when new. While the Ghibli was capable of the supercar performance levels of the 275 GTB/4 and later Daytona, the Ghibli was also known for its drivability at both low and high speeds, as well as its predictable, balanced, and forgiving handling characteristics, attributable to near-perfect weight distribution and a low center of gravity. Dry-sump lubrication enabled the engine to be mounted deep in the chassis, permitting the low hood line, while a stiff suspension ensured that the tires did not foul the wheel arches.

Maserati Ghibli Coupe s/n 115-652 has had only two owners in the last thirty-eight years, and was restored by Claus Groth of Thousand Oaks, California. Claus had it stripped and painted, the engine was rebuilt and Claus did the meticulous finish work and assembly. Claus Groth was well-known in the Maserati world for being a diligent and accomplished engineer for the Maserati cause, solving many design flaws and missing-parts issues. His two Maseratis (this Ghibli and his Bora, now owned by Kerry McMullen, the owner of MIE) were always known as the finest pair in the country, winning multiple awards. As just two examples of his dedication, Claus published an updated electrical circuit diagram which is orders of magnitude better than the version in the Factory manual, and that is still offered for sale by MIE, based on this very Ghibli. Additionally, the current owner still has engineering drawings of the windshield wiper bushings Claus had made at local machine shops. The current owner also has the compiled Ghibli information binder with part numbers, exchanges, drawings for unobtainable parts Claus Groth had made and other information. In 1997, Ghibli s/n 115-652 was sold to the current owner, an engineer who has lovingly maintained it for the last two decades. Ghibli 115-652 has been shown at Concorso Italiano a dozen times in the past 20 years, and has been across the stage at Concorso twice to win awards, plus double enteries at both the Hillsborough Concours twice and the Palo Alto Concours.

1968 Maserati Ghibli Coupe s/n 115-652 is amazingly well sorted and user-friendly. Unlike virtually every other exotic that is trucked to us, the owner of Ghibli s/n 115-652 left his home in the Silicon Valley area at 6:15 A.M., drove to Monterey to pick up a friend, driving a total of 420 miles down Highway 101 through mid-day L.A. traffic; dropping off Ghibli s/n 115-652 at our warehouse in Costa Mesa at 2:30 in the afternoon, with only a stop for lunch and two gas and pit stops! While with the current owner, Ghibli s/n 115-652 has been treated to user-friendly updates such as electronic points and an MSD6 electronic ignition (hidden behind the right front wheel); plus a pre-oiler which stores a quart of oil and dumps it into the head when the ignition switches on (also hidden behind right front wheel); plus a radiator overflow header tank and a much improved interior blower fan (again, both hidden behind the right front wheel). A 16″ radiator fan has replaced the original Ducellier twin fan motors, while modern headlamp relays prevent electrical system overloads. All original parts are available upon request. Included with the car are all service and parts receipts listed on the history page, the instruction manuals for various accessories fitted to the car, such as the electronic ignition, MSD, pre-oiler info and the original Becker Radio manual and more, plus all ownership documents. Also included are the original tools, tool roll, jack and jack kit plus an MIE reprint of the owner’s manual, the parts manual, the service manual, the electrical system schematic and the information binder compiled by Claus Groth.

Ghibli s/n 115-652 is finished in period-correct Alfa Rosso Amaranto (Burgundy metallic) with black leather, and is fitted with the elegant Borrani wire wheels, the original ZF five-speed gearbox, power steering and A/C. The twenty five year old paint is in amazingly good condition except for the usual very minor stress cracks where the rear glass meets the roof line. The body is very straight with excellent panel fit and the doors close like Italy’s answer to a Swiss vault. The hood, the front bumpers and lights, the rear deck and rear lid all fit as new and all glass and chrome are in excellent condition. The frame, the floor pan and all lower panels are rust, dent and damage free. The black leather interior and black carpets have an excellent patina with only minor surface wear and compression due to use. The seat bolsters remain full and firm. Like all Ghiblis, the seating position is low and arm extension ample which makes for a comfortable fit for both long legs and basketball players. The dashboard features an expansive array of instruments and a wood trimmed wheel. The top dashboard surface is finished in a contrasting fabric material consistent with the original specifications. The center console houses the original Becker Mexico radio.

Under the hood, the very nicely finished 4.7 liter quad-cam engine is nicely sorted and has been restored with the correct factory finishes, including proper hosing, wrinkle finish cam covers, proper air cleaner paint and correctly bundled hoses. As yet another illustration of Groth’s attention to detail, in the info-binder there is a paint-code for the deep red Trident emblem in the middle of the airbox. The engine fires to life quickly, with an excellent raspy punch. Power in all gears is quite impressive, delivering on the torque promise of the race-bred engine. The ZF gearbox is smooth and reliable, the 4.7 liter quad-cam delivers acres of torque at low RPMs and willingly uses all four Weber carbs to deliver a very strong top end. The suspension and brakes have been sorted out very nicely, so Ghibli s/n 115-652 is a pleasure to drive in city traffic or the highway.

Having just completed a 420 mile trip that passed through greater LA bumper-to-bumper traffic, this very sorted Ghibli, with its power steering, factory 5-speed manual transmission and striking color combination, truly lives up to the tradition of high speed GT cars it set when debuted at the 1966 Turin Motor Show. Giugiaro, Ghia and Maserati created this masterpiece of design to serve both performance and beauty. 50 years later, a superb example awaits its next owner eager for high-speed rallies, casual touring or enjoyable show events. Comes with the original tools, tool roll, jack and jack kit plus an MIE reprint of the owner’s manual, the parts manual, the service manual, the electrical system schematic and the information binder compiled by Claus Groth. Fly in for an inspection and test drive, you will be impressed. Priced right at $249,500 or best offer.

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