The Khamsin was Maserati’s flagship grand touring car that replaced the Ghibli and was more elaborate than other cars in the range. It featured a large V8 with a pleasant body style by Bertone and a well appointed interior. One of the most controversial features was the rear bodywork which was completely transparent, offering no luggage privacy. Khamsin was the name of a hot Sahara Desert wind.
Marcello Gandini was responsible for the Khamsin’s shape and used the Lamborghini Uracco as a starting point. The overall shape was that of a fastback with enough room for the 2+2 seating. The rear glass portion was inspired by the the Lamborghini Marzal and Espada. In 1975, Maserati added a grill in the front nose which affected both European and American models.
Since the Khamsin was made as a grand tourer, it came equipped with power brakes, power clutch and power steering. Some of these systems were sourced from D-series Citroën hydraulics, who owned Maserati at the time. This was the choice of Giulio Alfieri who designed the car and it was also one of the last Maseratis produced under Citroën’s control.
Much of the suspension and braking systems were similar to the Bora and Merak with a double-wishbone setup and Citroën SM power brakes. The engine was a long-stroke version of Maserati’s V8 that 320bhp at only 5,500rpm. This was mated either to a ZF 5-Speed manual or 3-speed Borg-Warner automatic transmission.
Maserati exported around 150 4.9-liter Khamsins to the States with side marker lights and an emission control system taller final drive ratio that restricted top speed in favor of acceleration. From 1975 to 1977 the US-spec Khamsin was fitted with large rubber bumpers for and aft which seemingly designed as an afterthought. US importer Bob Grossman attributed poor sales to the new look.
Emerson Fittipaldi did a thorough test of the Khamsin in Quattroutte in 1974, where he thoroughly enjoyed the car, it’s braking system and the engine.
The first pre-production Khasmin appeared at the 1972 Turin Motor Show and it motivated a series of 450 car to follow. 150 of these ended up the States from 1975 onwards.
Series Production Car
1974 – 1982
1972 Turin Motor Show
DOHC, 2 Valves per Cyl
4 Weber Carburetors
4930 cc / 300.85 in³
93.9 mm / 3.7 in
89 mm / 3.5 in
238.6 kw / 320 bhp @ 5500 rpm
64.91 bhp per litre
190.48 bhp per tonne
480 nm / 354 ft lbs @ 4000 rpm
body / frame
Aluminum Body over Tubular Steel Frame
Starburst Aluminum Alloy
Citroen Discs w/Power Assis
Citroen Discs w/Power Assis
Coil Springs, Shock Absorbers
Coil Springs, Shock Absorbers
1680 kg / 3704 lbs
64770.0 mm / 2550 in
36576.0 mm / 1440 in
37287.2 mm / 1468 in
4-Speed Automatic or 4-Speed Manual
Single Dry Disc
~275.14 kph / 171 mph
0 – 60 mph
0 – 100 mph
0 – 1/4 mile
Chassis & Sales
AM120-1298-Dating from mid-way through the production cycle and delivered in December, 1977, this immaculately presented Khamsin must be one of few of its kind to have been given a comprehensive restoration. The Maserati was found in Florida by Italian auto aficionado and restorer Gary Bobileff as an undamaged very low mileage example with just over 12,000 miles covered. It was chosen by him as the basis from which to restore it to be the best possible example of its breed and for his own use. It was purchased by the current owner from Bobileff shortly after completion of this work. Sold at Bonhams’ Greenwich Concours d’Elegance-Collectors’ Motorcars and Automobilia sale for $52,650 USD.
Auction Sales History
1975 Maserati Khamsin AM120190 – sold for €162,400
The car on offer was sold new in 1975 in Paris by Thépenier to its first owner, Dr Peron of Neuilly who registered the car on 23rd February 1976. He kept the car to his death in 1981. At that date the car went into storage until last year, when it was purchased by the current owner from Dr Peron’s widow. This Khamsin is in an exceptionally original condition and still has its paper labels on the Campagnolo wheels and the chassis numbers in chalk on the interior of the doors! A mouse seems to have damaged one of the two rear seats. The car is straight out of the 1970s with its four long-range headlamps and its distinctive design. The engine was not restarted, but is not fronzen. Between 1975 and 1980, the car covered 22,377 km, and it has only a few thousand more today! This is a great opportunity to experience an almost untouched Khamsin, one that has hardly seen any use and was sold new in France. Auction Source: Rétromobile 2015 by Artcurial Motorcars
1977 Maserati Khamsin Coupé AM120US1142 – sold for €195,500 AM120US1142 was sold new via the US west coast distributor Maserati Automobiles California Inc. in 1977. One of exactly 100 US 5 speed versions, it was originally Giallo fly (fly yellow) one of only seven Khamsins in that spectacular shade, all of them US models. Little is known of its early history however what is certain is that it received the T top modification when new. Auction Source: 2015 Les Grandes Marques du Monde au Grand Palais
1974 (1977) Maserati Khamsin Coupé AM1200018 – sold for €44,080
Marc Sonnery, the dynamic president of the Maserati Khamsin Registry confirm us that this car had been delivered when new by Thepenier, the french importer and it is the second sold here out of the 29 th imported by Thepenier. The car was the fist used and test driven in France by the journalist Jean Paul Thevenet for the magasine “l’Automobile” in august 1974. The car was orange then with black interior. It remained a test car for the importer and was sold in 1975 to its first owner with 10 000 km on the clock. Jean-Claude Bajol acquired this car in November 2005, at an auction organized by Mr Poulain at Paris’ Palais de Congrès. At that time the sale catalogue mentioned that since 1978, the car had had only two owners. It also indicated that the carburetors were overhauled and the fuel pump replaced in 2001 by Forza Automobile. At the time, the odometer showed 33,928km, against 35,107 today, just 1,200km more. In 2001 this car was the subject of a report in a special issue of the magazine Auto Retro. Midnight blue in colour, the body shows that it has been in use. The interior features black leather upholstery in its original condition and the dashboard is very complete with all accessories, and includes a Blaupunkt radio connected to two speakers mounted behind the seats. The headliner, beige, needs to be replaced. Given its serial number, this car has been the eighth Khamsin to have been produced and rolled out of the factory in 1974, though the registration certificate indicates the date of registration some three years later. Unfairly underrated, the Khamsin is one of the finest of all the V8 Maseratis produced before the de Tomaso era. For sure this highly historical car will be more than welcome at the forthcoming Khamsin Quaranta International Celebration for the 40th anniversary of the model next June. Auction Source: 2012 Artcurial Motorcars à Rétromobile
1975 Maserati Khamsin AM120188 – sold for €73,123
The car presented here (only third-hand) was shown on the Maserati stand at the Geneva Motor Show in 1975 (according to expert Guillaume Cognet), then owned by Maserati’s Geneva dealer until 1988. The bodywork has been restored by Etablissements Lecoq (invoices for over €27,000), with repairs to the axle-units, shock absorbers and brakes effected by Isotta Auromobiles for over €22,000. The engine has been adapted for unleaded petrol. The wheels and tires are new, as are the red leather interior and pale grey carpet; the Blaupunkt radio is original. It comes with its service booklet and maintenance records. Auction Source: 2010 Artcurial Sport & GTs au Mans Classic
1977 Maserati Khamsin Coupé AM120-1298 – sold for $52,650
Dating from mid-way through the production cycle and delivered in December, 1977, this immaculately presented Khamsin must be one of few of its kind to have been given a comprehensive restoration. The Maserati was found in Florida by Italian auto aficionado and restorer Gary Bobileff as an undamaged very low mileage example with just over 12,000 miles covered. It was chosen by him as the basis from which to restore it to be the best possible example of its breed and for his own use. It was purchased by the current owner from Bobileff shortly after completion of this work.