A poorly executed previous body restoration had left the body of the second-last right hand drive Ghibli SS looking like a bad photocopy of the original. But nobody could have predicted how bad until the paint came off. Pop-rivets, dexion shelving supports and spectacular amounts of filler meant that the coachbuilders had a challenge on their hands. The owner of this car could have decided to cut his losses, but he was made of sterner stuff and committed fully to the restoration.
While the body was being reconstructed at our preferred partner, Prestige Restoration, McGrath Maserati stripped all the sub-assemblies, including the 4.9litre V8 engine. Failing oil pressure and an overheating issue had finally forced the car off the road and a full rebuild was expected. What was not expected was the need to correct a casting fault in the original engine block, which meant that the 90 degree V8 was not quite 90 degrees! This had been corrected when new by making bespoke cylinder liners and we copied Maserati’s original solution. With all the other obligatory engine work completed and resplendent with newly re-crackled cylinder heads, we put the engine to one side.
A new wiring loom was built in-house at McGrath, which corrected another interesting anomaly. The wiring into the doors that operated the electric windows had been crossed over and extended in the original loom, correcting the mistake of an Italian electrician who didn’t know his sinistra from his destra. More proof of the handbuilt nature of these cars.
When the body returned in its stunning new paint – verde gemma, and original colour – the build could begin in earnest. A complete re-trim in tobacco leather and some subtle modifications to provide ports for sat nav and phone charging completed the interior and needless to say, all of the chrome was re-plated.
When completed in 2011, ‘Kermit’ as it was immediately christened had a baptism of fire, as the owner set off immediately on a successful 3000mile trip to Italy and then over to Austria to take part in an International Maserati Rally. It proved not only the thoroughness of the McGrath restoration, but also what fantastic Grand Touring cars these Ghiblis really are.
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If you are interested in discussing a forthcoming Maserati restoration, please contact us