Weekly Historical Car
Maserati 5000 GT
The first car in the Tipo 103 series, was the Shah of Persia, delivered to Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who had been impressed by the Maserati 3500. He commissioned Maserati's chief engineer Giulio Alfieri to utilize a slightly modified 5-litre engine from the Maserati 450S on the 3500GT's chassis. Carrozzeria Touring developed the superleggera tubing and aluminum body of the two-seater coupe. The second car, also by Touring, was displayed at Salone dell'automobile di Torino 1959.
Specifications for the first 5000 GT were:
- Maserati 450S-derived V8 cylinder, four-OHC, 4937.8 cc,
- Lucas mechanical injection or four 45 DCOE Weber carburetor (325 bhp at 5500 rpm),
- mechanical Magneti-Marelli ignition, dual spark plugs and dual fuel pump
- 4-speed ZF (later 5-speed)
- Front discs, rear drums (later all-discs)
In 1960 the engine got some modifications: received a displacement of 4940cc with a bigger stroke and a smaller bore and were fuel injected; in the new configuration engine developed 340 bhp. After the first body by Touring, the main body partner since 1960 became Carrozzeria Allemano which did 22 of the cars, designed by Giovanni Michelotti. Other builders were Pietro Frua (3), Carrozzeria Monterosa (2), Pininfarina (1), Ghia (Sergio Sartorelli) (1), Giovanni Michelotti (1), Bertone (Giorgetto Giugiaro) (1) and Carrozzeria Touring (2 more).
In 1961 Bertone made a 5000 GT, designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro. The car had Tipo 104 chassis and different engine, therefore purists don't qualify it as a true 5000 GT. It still counts toward total 34 units.
The 5000 GT was sold at prices around USD 17000 (twice the cost of a Maserati 3500), and in many respects individualized to the desires of its celebrity buyers, including Aga Khan, Italian industrialist Gianni Agnelli, sportsman Briggs Cunningham, actor Stewart Granger, Ferdinando Innocenti(Ghia-bodied 5000 GT), Basil Read, count Giuseppe Comola, and president Adolfo López Mateos. Over time, some of the cars were added to Alfredo Breners collection, that was auctioned in 2003.