Story and Photos Mike Spicer
When a friend asked me to meet him at his airplane hanger to take photos of his 1968 Maserati Ghibli I jumped at the opportunity. He’s owned this car for 30+ years and stores it under the wing of his airplane along with a few other classic cars. Pulling the cover off the car I get my first look at the red paint and nice design of the car. He immediately fires it up and we walk around to inspect for leaks or any other obvious long term storage issues.
I can tell the car has been loved and taken care of over the years and the original interior has a comfortable look like your favorite baseball glove. Climbing into the cockpit I take inventory of all the switches and gauges to get acquainted with the layout. The seats are comfortable and the cabin is roomy. Behind the front seats are two small cushions that are considered back seats making this a 2+2 but they are nothing more than pads to cover the rear storage compartments. I have seen some small back seats before but it is crazy to think anyone would ever sit on these.
Now that the 4.7 liter V8 is warmed up it is time to take it out for a spin. Driving on the clear airport tarmac the car comes to life and I feel for a moment I am piloting a vintage aircraft. I can sense the car is appreciating the exercise so I put the pedal down and open it up a little. The Ghibli responds well and lets out a very sweet sound from the exhaust pipes. It is clear by now this is not a dainty little Italian sports car but rather a large powerful grand tourer.
Once I got use to the car it was obvious the long wheel base design would be suited well for extended high speed drives on the autobahn. Plenty of room for luggage in the back, two people could easily take the Ghibli for a road trip. In the city or through the countryside the car would be great for both.
The car does have a thirst for fuel and with that in mind they equipped the Ghibli with two 13 gallon gas tanks. There are two elegantly sculpted gas caps on each side of the car just behind the rear side windows. This is an early car so the dash is filled with toggle switches that make you feel like you’re a pilot.
After my day driving and photographing the Ghibli I take notice that the collector car market is going crazy for these cars. Ghiblis are popping up at every auction and prices are climbing faster than price guides can keep up. Only 1,170 coupes and 125 Spyders were produced (1967-1973) so that makes them pretty rare and obviously worth collecting. Many grand tourers are coming into their own in the marketplace and it is great to see these beautifully designed cars on display.