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Lot 356: Maserati Khamsin Coupť

Collectors' Motor Cars, Bonhams (30 April 2012)

Maserati's final major introduction while under CitroŽn control, the Khamsin (named after a hot Sahara Desert wind) debuted at the 1972 Turin Show and entered production in 1974. Styled and built at Bertone, the attractive, unitary construction, 2+2 hatchback body was all steel and the front-engined Khamsin featured all-independent, double-wishbone suspension similar to that of the mid-engined Bora and Merak. Its state-of-the-art suspension and a 50/50 front/rear weight distribution combined to endow the Khamsin with near-perfect balance, and if its grip level was ultimately inferior to the Bora's then the Khamsin's conventional layout made it easier to control on the limit. CitroŽn's hydraulic technology (as found in the Maserati-engined CitroŽn SM) was employed to power the brakes and steering - the latter in particular being rated as highly effective by testers - and also to raise the concealed headlamps. The power unit was a longer-stroke, 4.9-litre version of Maserati's familiar quad-cam V8 developing 320bhp at a lowly 5,500rpm and a lusty 354lb/ft of torque at 4,000 revs. A five-speed ZF manual gearbox or three-speed Borg-Warner automatic were the transmission options, and when equipped with the former the Khamsin was good for around 240km/h (150mph). Although seemingly less extravagant than the mid-engined Bora supercar, the Khamsin was nevertheless Maserati's biggest-engined and most expensive offering at the time of its introduction, and thus could justifiably claim to be its top-of-the-range model. By virtue of its front-engined layout the Khamsin offered greater practicality, providing a roomier and more comfortable interior and superior luggage carrying capacity. Only 430 examples of this most exclusive and consummate Grand Routier had been made when production ceased in 1982. Owned first by the vendor's company before passing into his private ownership, this manual transmission Khamsin was purchased from MTC in London and serviced routinely by them and then Bill McGrath until it was laid up in 1993. Only 23,000 miles have been covered from new. 'OUV 49R' must be one of the very few supercars fitted from new with a tow-bar. The latter was specified to facilitate the towing of a small caravan, which the vendor says the Maserati did effortlessly, barely noticing it. Described as in generally good condition, though in need of re-commissioning following its lengthy sojourn off the road, the car is offered with its original order sheet, assorted MTC correspondence, instruction manual, parts list and Swansea V5 registration document. Apart from the aforementioned tow-bar, a full stainless steel exhaust system is the only notified deviation from factory specification.

Lot Details
Auction Collectors' Motor Cars
Bonhams, The Royal Airforce Museum, London, UK
TypeCar
Lot Number356
Estimate£38000-£43000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£38000
Hammer Price (inc premium)£43700
Year1976
Condition rating3
Registration numberOUV 49R
Mileage-
Chassis number120 335
Engine number120 335
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2