The Maserati Ghibli Is 57 Years Old–A Timeless Design Looks As Beautiful As Ever

Maserati is celebrating the 57th anniversary of the Ghibli. On November 3, 1966, the Maserati Ghibli made its debut on the world stage, at the Ghia stand at the Turin Motor Show. A new interpretation of the concept of a gran turismo car, the two-seater coupe was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro. The name recalled a warm wind in North Africa that carries with it a great deal of sand; the decision to take its name was no coincidence, given the car’s speed and the ‘heat’ of its technical and stylistic specifications.

A timeless design, the Maserati Ghibli remains a milestone in the world of gran turismo sports tourers

In its presentation of the Ghibli, Maserati debuted a car with a sporty yet unostentatious impression: the engine was newly designed, based on the knowledge from the well-known 8-cylinder used in the Mexico. It was capable of developing 330bhp in its 4.7-litre version and was followed by an even more powerful 4.9.

To leave more room for style by lowering the height of the hood, the engine was equipped with a dry sump—a solution used solely in racing, and was mounted on a tubular chassis, in a very low-down position. This solution gave the car its typically assertive and slender appearance, one of the cornerstones of its success.

It is that understated, yet very elegant front end that characterised the Ghibli over the preceding models from that Italian maker of supercars

The design was entrusted to Ghia, which then had Giorgetto Giugiaro as design chief. The most significant design cue—the marker of a decisive shift from the Ghibli’s predecessors—was the integration of the volumes. There was no distinction between the car’s body and the passenger compartment; they were neither separate nor overlapping, rather they were joined together as a single surface. While the lines were geometric and taut, Giugiaro’s hand ensured that the sense of stiffness could be smoothed out.

With a beautiful-proportioned stance, the only note of criticism could be the excessively sloped rear fastback section

The most obvious new stylistic feature was the front, decidedly original for Maserati: the headlights were retractable, and the very slim grille occupied the car's entire front. The Trident logo remained in the middle, albeit smaller than before.

The side view enhanced the slender line of the Ghibli: a long, low bonnet, a heavily inclined windscreen, perfect proportions with no superfluous decoration. The triangular rear pillar took on its own identity, becoming an iconic component, later taken up in other successful models from the Trident brand.

The famous trident badge of Maserati within a very slim and wide grille

The changes from the past could also be seen in the conception of the two-seater interior, where the instruments were built into an overall design that prevailed over the individual components. The result was a gran turismo car that remained true to the exclusivity, luxury style, power and comfort for which Maserati cars have always stood out, while also reflecting the marque's motorsport history.

Typical three-spoke sports steering wheel for the Ghibli

After it was unveiled at the Turin Motor Show on November 3, 1966, the Ghibli was launched in the market in 1967. The following year, its interior was restyled and could also be fitted on demand with automatic transmission, as well as a 5-speed manual gearbox. From 1969, the Spyder version, which could be equipped with a hard top, also became available; one year later, both models were also offered with a 4.9L engine, taking the name Ghibli SS.

The Maserati trident badge on the wide C-pillar acts as a subtle piece of ornamentation

In all, between 1967 and 1972, 128 Ghibli Spyder and over 1,200 Ghibli coupe models were produced: one was purchased by Henry Ford (the founder’s grandson), who would place it in the lobby of the Ford Product Development Center in Detroit, as an example to follow and a source of inspiration.


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