Thursday, January 8, 2015

Maserati Khamsin

Now this it a footnote in Maserati sports car production, not only was it the first Bertone styled Maserati but more importantly it’s the only true wedge the company ever produced. It may have been a Kneejerk reaction to the ground breaking Lamborghini Countach, styled by Marcello Gandini of Bertone, only a few years before who also penned this.
The Khamsin was debuted as a prototype at the 1972 Turin Auto Show, and went in to production in 1974. Sitting between the 2+2 Ghibli and the mid-engine two seat Bora, both of which had been in production for 4 years or more and therefore missed the “wedge” revolution of the late 60’s / early 70’s . It was designed from the start to be a four seater Grand Tourer, a concept that was in high demand from customers.

Now let’s get down to what was under that slippery body, 4.9ltr V8 producing 320bhp, through either a 3 speed auto or 5 speed manual gearbox, add to that near perfect 50/50 weight distribution, double wishbone suspension all round and anti-roll bars. What does all that mean? Well this was no slouch and could easily handle being thrown through the twisty stuff on a jaunt across Europe with easy and comfort. Just what a GT car should be able to do. Over its production run from 1974 until 1982 435 of these stunning cars found homes.

The one below was on the Maserati Club stand at last year’s Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, helping celebrate the companies 100 year birthday. It was just stunning from that asymmetrical grill on the bonnet to those floating rear lights and that chiselled shoulder along the side lifting slightly at the rear, just perfect and so well balances. As you may have guessed I was very taken with it.



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