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Coachwork by Ghia
Formerly the Property of Abba Kogan
Giorgetto Giugiaro confirmed his rightful place in the automotive design pantheon early in his career with a number of notable designs. None of these is more well regarded than the car he drew for Ghia, which became the Maserati Ghibli. Elegant, refined, and strong in equal measure, its shape epitomizes the character of the Italian GT. Launched with a 4.7-liter version of Maserati’s potent four-cam V-8, the engine was later enlarged to 4.9 liters for the “SS” model.
This 4.9 Ghibli SS coupe was delivered to its first owner, M. Pierre Cornet, by main dealer Etablissements Thépenier of Saint-Cloud, France, in September 1971. M. Cornet, Directeur General of S.O.L.E.P., was a loyal Maserati customer having owned many including a prior Ghibli. It is believed that M. Cornet retained the car until 1985, when it was sold to a Dr. Polony. In 2002, the coupe was purchased by noted international collector Abba Kogan, who registered the car in the UK. The current owner obtained the Ghibli from Mr. Kogan in 2005.
Maserati Classiche certified, this car comes complete with a wealth of fascinating factory-supplied copies of documentation and correspondence that confirm the current specification. The car is tracked through every stage in the production and delivery process, from the original order form dated August 7, 1971, through letters and telegrams between the dealer and the Maserati factory, to the internal order sheets and test documents through the final invoice and French customs documents. It even includes a copy of M. Cornet’s business card.
Under current ownership the Maserati has seen meticulous service and judicious, but spirited, use in vintage rally events and diligent exercising along the winding roads of lower New England. When purchased by the current owner, the Ghibli was painted a very attractive dark metallic green. During strip down for restoration, it was discovered that this was not, as had been stated at the time of purchase in 2005, the original color. Discovered instead was a pale blue, which was confirmed by Maserati Classiche department documents. The decision was made to return the car to the correct original color, Celeste, a soft light metallic blue. During this inspection, the restorers determined that the Maserati required mainly cosmetic restoration work at that time, so the majority of work performed was of that nature. During this process, the interior was completely re-trimmed in black leather as delivered. All brightwork trim was either re-chromed or polished to as-new condition, the alloy wheels painted the correct silver shade, and the engine compartment exactingly detailed to factory-new condition. This work, completed in early 2013, was carried out to a national concours level by Automotive Restorations of Stratford, Connecticut.
The result of the work is stunning to behold. Not surprisingly, in March of this year at its debut concours outing, the Ghibli earned an Amelia Award at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance in the very competitive Sports and GT Cars (1963–1974) class. Furthermore, to prove that it possessed both beauty and brawn, the Maserati completed its fourth running of the New England 1000 rally in May 2013.
A large binder containing receipts for all service work done from September 2005 to the present is available for review and accompanies the sale of the car. That work is also well documented from start to finish through images on a flash drive. That the Ghibli is one of, if not the most beautiful cars built between 1965 and 1975 can scarcely be challenged. To be able to own a freshly restored example of the ultimate 4.9-liter specification that has proven itself on the show field and the rally route is an opportunity that comes to few. Savvy collectors have “discovered” the Ghibli and interest has been steadily increasing for these icons of style, which is sure to delight its next owner.