Betcha haven’t laid eyes on one of these Maserati beauties before?
The Maserati 5000 GT, a bespoke 2+2 coupé, which made its debut at the Turin Motor Show — is celebrating its 60th anniversary.
Better known as the The Shah of Persia, the big coupe was built on the request of Reza Pahlavi — you guessed it, the Shah of Persia.
Just 34 of the cars were built at the Viale Ciro Menotti plant in Modena, with bodywork added by Italy’s top coach builders of the period.
The Shah was a big fan of high-performance sports cars and test-drove a 3500 GT towards the end of 1958.
He was reportedly “delighted” with the car, but wanted more performance of course and Maserati was happy to oblige.
But Maserati technical director at the time, Giulio Alfieri, realised the car would have to be completely redesigned to satisfy the request.
The resulting AM103 project, continued through during 1959, and was in effect a new car and not merely a customisation.
Heart of the design was the V8 engine from the 450S (the famous Maserati racing barchetta), bored to displace almost 5.0 litres.
And so, the 5000 GT was born.
Only three of that special version were ever produced., with bodywork by Carrozzeria Touring.
The next year, in 1960, the 5000 GT was exhibited at the Geneva Motor Show, with a few revisions to the engine.
Its great success led to the production of a number of cars for prestige customers.
They included Prince Karim Aga Khan (car with bodywork by Carozzeria Frua), Fiat boss Gianni Agnelli (Carozzeria Pininfarina), industrialist Ferdinando Innocenti (Carrozzeria Ghia), film star Stewart Granger (Carrozzeria Allemano) and Mexican President Adolfo López Mateos (Carrozzeria Allemano).
|Model||Type 5000 GT|
|Engine||Eight cylinders, V – 90°|
|Displacement||4937,8 cc (from 1960: 4941,1 cc)|
|Bore and stroke||98,5 mm x 81 mm (from 1960: 94 mm x 89 mm)|
|Power||242kW at 5500 rev/min. (from 1960: 250kW at 5800 rev/min)|
|Valves train||Dual overhead camshafts per bank|
|Valves||Two per cylinder|
|Ignition||Double with two Marelli or Lucas distributors|
|Engine lubrication||Forced with pressure pump|
|Clutch||Dry twin discs|
|Gearbox||Four speeds + R (from 1963: five speeds + R)|
|Front suspensions||Coil springs and telescopic shock absorbers|
|Rear suspensions||Semi-elliptical leaf springs and telescopic shock absorbers|
|Brakes||Power-assisted front discs and rear drums|
|Track||Front 1390 mm ; Rear 1360 mm|
|Body||Two doors Coupè, 2+2 seats|
|Dry Weight||1500 Kg|
|Max. Speed||260-270 Km/h|
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