Starting in 1969 Maserati offered a Spider version of the Ghibli. The clean lines that characterised Giugiaro’s design were a visual delight, the classic proportions of the front-engine configuration with a long bonnet and steeply raked windscreen produced this effect. It was strictly a two-seater. The fabric roof folded away neatly underneath a rear deck panel behind the seats and could be raised or lowered in just a matter of minutes. A stunning factory hardtop with large windows made the car a practical companion for all seasons, although only between 20 and 25 Ghibli Spyders were ever sold with it, making it an accessory that is in high demand amongst collectors today.
Along with the Simùn prototype, the Ghibli Spyder was one of the last projects Giugiaro worked on for Ghia in 1967 before setting up his own consultancy. In the 4.7 guise, the Ghibli Spyder was capable of reaching speeds of 250 kph (156 mph).
In 1973, the new V8 unit was immediately made available on the Spyder and the cars that were fitted with it were identified as a Ghibli Spyder SS. With 335 hp and a 270 kph top speed (169 mph) to match its stunning looks, it was one of the most desirable production cars in the world at that time. It was also one of the most expensive. Of just 125 Ghibli Spyders sold in the five years that the model was available, only a fifth were to SS spec – which today makes it a universally recognised and much sought after classic, to such an extent that more than a few coupés have been transformed into Spyders down the years.
As on the coupé, an automatic gearbox could be fitted upon request and a significant number of Ghiblis were sold with it, as the United States was always the model’s main market. At the Turin motor show in late 1970, minor changes were introduced to the Ghibli model line up, mainly involving the headlights, dashboard and headrests
1968 Maserati Ghibli Spyder Prototype AM115/S 1001 – sold for $990,000
A piece of automotive history; perhaps the most significant Maserati Ghibli. The first Ghibli Spyder, as verified by Maserati Classiche. Introduced to the world on the Ghia stand at the 1968 Turin Auto Show. Pictured in the February 1969 Road & Track feature on the Turin Auto Show. Used by Maserati for development of the production Ghibli Spyders. Displays a number of unique differences from the production spyders. Known ownership history from new. Auction Source: RM Sotheby’s Monterey 2015
1970 Maserati Ghibli 4.7 Spyder by Ghia – sold for $797,500 Two Florida owners and 49,000 miles from new. From the collection of Bill Warner, the chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. Still powered by its original engine. Beautifully restored; exceptionally well documented. One of the very finest examples in existence. Auction Source: 2015 Amelia Island by RM Sotheby’s
1969 Maserati Ghibli Spyder 115S1043 – sold for $407,000
One of only 125 spyders built. Five-speed manual gearbox. Continuous ownership for 30 years. Fresh cosmetic restoration. Elegantly and attractively refinished in its original colors of Graphite Metallic with black interior, it also features a new black convertible top. For the driver, it is equipped with the desirable five-speed manual transmission and is understood to run and drive as one would expect. The odometer shows just over 57,000 miles, which appear to be from new, and attests to the car’s well-preserved condition prior to the restoration.
Maserati’s own paperwork confirms that Ghibli chassis 1229, a right-hand drive 4.9 SS finished in Giallo and with Borrani wire wheels, was manufactured in September 1970 for ‘Salon Di Londra’ (the Earls Court Motor Show). After being displayed on the Maserati stand, the factory-built Spyder was sold by importers MTC Cars on 1 February, 1971 to a Dr. Collins. Collins had the factory add power steering in 1972 and changed the colour of the car to silver.
The ownership trail is clear and well documented. Chassis 1229 was subsequently owned by J.J. Baynes of West Byfleet in Surrey, then M.D. Schimmel of Highgate in London between 1975-1983, by which time the mileage had risen to 25,000.
During this period, the car was restored in the workshops of marque specialist Bill McGrath. His seven pages of notes and four-page invoice detail extensive work carried out from March 1980 to May 1982, which included a return to the proper original shade of yellow and re-covering the seats in Connolly leather. The next owner was Maserati Club Secretary Michael James Miles of Andover, Hampshire, who also compiled a detailed record of work carried out between 1983-1996.