1972 Maserati Ghibli SS

The Maserati Ghibli is one of those grand touring cars that epitomizes everything that was great about Italian design in the 1960s and 1970s. Long, flowing lines and sumptuous details are the hallmarks of this machine. This particular Ghibli is a desirable one. Not only is it the later, higher horsepower SS model, but with the 5 speed manual, black paintwork and Borrani wire wheels, it certainly looks the part.

1972 Maserati Ghibli SS

Designed by a young Giorgetto Giugiaro while at Carrozzeria Ghia, the Maserati Ghibli has been referred by some as the most beautiful sports/GT car of all times. Even if you do not agree with that strong of a statement, there is no denying the Ghibli is certainly a very striking and handsome car whose timeless design has aged very well. Even today, when driving a Ghibli, people stop and stare at the car's beautiful lines.

Powered by a dry sump V8 engine and fed by four Weber carbs, the Ghibli delivers the performance you would expect from an Italian exotic. Its closest competitor, and the car it is most often compared to, is the Ferrari 365 GTB4 Daytona. Both are large front engine cars. Both were for 2 people and were built in the similar years (1967 - 1973). Both were priced about the same (the Ghibli was a little more expensive) and built in similar numbers (about 1150 each). Where the cars differ is in their character. The Daytona was optimized for performance while the Ghibli towards being a “gentleman’s GT cruiser”. People that own both cars generally agree that the Ghibli is the better car for regular driving and rallies. If going around the race track is your thing, go for the Daytona. Of course there is also the matter of price, as today the Ferrari Daytona is MUCH more expensive; both to purchase and maintain.

The exterior styling of the Ghibli is equally matched by a gorgeous interior. The Ghibli all leather interior is quite spacious and can easily accommodate tall drivers. One famous Ghibli owner was basketball star Wilt Chamberlain. This particular 1972 Ghibli SS is a three owner car with only 33K miles. Sold new in Los Angeles and had always been there until I purchased the car 4 years ago from the second owner. I then sold it to its third owner. The car is currently in at my house near Atlanta, Georgia area. Has all the desirable features you normally would want on a Ghibli SS; the larger 4.9 liter engine, Borrani wire wheels, power steering, 5-speed, AC and rare quad exhaust. Ghiblis look very good in black, and this car is no exception!

The interior is very nice and mostly unmolested. It still has the original front carpets with the logoed heel pads. Luckily nobody ever installed a modern radio nor were extra speakers cut into the door panels. No signs of accidents or rust. Paint is good but not show quality. Mechanically this car is sweet! Engine was recently rebuilt by Terry Girone; who use to work for the Maserati imported in the Northeast and also was the service manager of the Atlanta Ferrari/Maserati dealer. I have owned about 15 Ghiblis and I must say this is one of the best running one I've driven. Oil pressure is great. Coolant temperature stays constant, gearbox shifts well, brakes work as expected. Engine compression is between 150 and 160 psi across all cylinders, which is excellent. Gauges, switches, lights, clock in working order. AC was recently serviced. Between the engine rebuilt, the AC work and a few other items the previous owner spent over $44,000 in the last 3 years. Receipts come with the car.

Ghiblis are great rally cars as they are comfortable for long drives and quite reliable for an exotic. Included is the original jack with bag, receipts, and factory supplied owner’s manual. The owner’s manual is the rare 4.9 liter version in English and Italian. Note: State of Alabama does not issue titles for cars build prior to 1974. Car is sold with Bill of Sale and a certified letter from Licensing Director which explains the State law.

Prices for Ghiblis tend to range anywhere between $75,000 and $120,000 these days, and the Spider variants command much more than that, given their rarity in comparison to their hardtop sibling. Given this example’s provenance, I’d say $80,000 to $90,000 is probably in the ballpark of what this owner is looking for. With the work and money invested in it, it certainly would be worth it. This is truly an honest car for the discerning collector.

-Paul

2001 Lamborghini Diablo 6.0

The job of succeeding the Lamborghini Countach was never going to be an easy one. Chrysler's takeover of Lamborghini took place in 1987, and with it, the final stages of development of the Countach replacement, the Diablo, fell under the watchful eye of Detroit. Tom Gale and the design team at Chrysler decided they didn't like Marcello Gandini's original design and smoothed out the sharp edges a bit. The era of Chrysler ownership was short lived, and by the end of the Diablo's life, Audi had taken the reigns. The last iteration of the Diablo is what we see here, a final year, 2001 Diablo with the 6.0 liter V12, revised interior fittings and all wheel drive system.

2001 Lamborghini Diablo 6.0

2001 Lamborghini Diablo 6.0. Very unique Lamborghini Diablo 6.0 Coupe finished in custom Verde Ithaca over black leather interior. This car has been completely redone top to bottom and is documented. Photos do not reflect the true beauty and depth of this amazing color! Factory installed options include:

6 speed Transmission
Clear Engine Bonnet
Branding Package
Black brake calipers w/Lamborghini script
Black leather w matching Verde Ithaca piping
Tinted Windows
FACTORY Wheels Available
Fresh Engine out Service
New clutch

The lime green color of this Diablo reminds me of a similar color that was offered years prior on the Miura. Values on Diablos have been strong, with earlier examples hovering around the $100,000 mark with late model examples in the mid $100,000 range. A later model, Audi influenced Diablo would certainly be a bit more easier to live with, but then again, that really isn't the point when it comes to Lamborghinis. It's about flamboyance, raw power and sheer outrageousness, which this green monster has in spades.

-Paul

1980 Fiat X1/9

With the popularity of mid-engine sports cars gaining traction in the late 1960s, Fiat sought to get in on the action and devise a replacement to their rear engine 850 Spider. With styling conceived by Marcello Gandini at Bertone, the X1/9 used the all new single cam engine from the front drive Fiat 128, which was handy, as this powerplant was set up having a transaxle, which made conversion to mid-engine use a rather easy affair. At the start, the car’s body was manufactured by Bertone with final assembly carried out by Fiat, and towards the end of the car’s life, the production shifted entirely to Bertone, with the car being transitioned to the “Bertone” badged in 1983 with the exit of Fiat from the US market. The car was marketed in the US until 1987 by Malcolm Bricklin and his company, International Automobile Importers, Inc. The X1/9 soldiered on until 1989 and has garnered a legacy of a lightweight, good handling compact, if a bit susceptible to the usual rust and teething issues that plague Italian cars of the period. This example for sale in Ohio is a Fiat badged X1/9 and beat the odds as a 69,000 mile survivor.

1980 Fiat X1/9

1980 FIAT X1/9. VIN# : 128AS000133787. MILEAGE: 69,498. These X1/9 are hard to find and are listed on Yahoo's ten most desirable used vehicles that are impossible to find. You want to talk about a rare beauty...this 1980 Fiat X1/9 is it. This one has been well maintained as you can see from the pictures. It runs great and there are no issues.

Since the Fiat 500 came to the US last year, I’ve noticed a few Fiat dealers peddling vintage models of the marque, no doubt as a tactic to get people interested in the history of the brand and appreciate the qualities of current offerings. Since it is for sale at a dealer, the almost $8,000 price doesn’t surprise me. If this was from a private seller, you might be able to snag this car for about $2,000 to $3,000 less. If this example is rust free, it, along with the Lancia Scorpion/Montecarlo would be about the cheapest way into a mid-engine Italian vehicle. The color and US spec bumpers are not to my taste, but it is nice to see clean examples of this sporty runabout are still out there if you search hard enough.

-Paul

2000 Ferrari F550 Maranello

The Ferrari F550 Maranello is one of my favorite exotics from the past two decades. In an era of bulbous and ill-proportioned aesthetics, the F550 showed that hope wasn't lost when it came to automotive design. The fact that it has a V12 engine and enough room for two and their luggage for a weekend getaway makes the package even sweeter. This low mileage example is a six speed manual and has lived most of its life in sunny Florida.

2000 Ferrari F550 Maranello

2000 Ferrari F550 Maranello. VIN # ZFFZR49B000119548. Silver exterior with black leather interior. Only 11,400 miles. Major service done! Leather rear shelf. Power Daytona seats. Factory CD changer in trunk. All books and keys.

At $78,500, this F550 is right in the heart of current market values, especially given the low mileage of this example. With a recent service completed, it should allow potential suitors to rest easy for at least another 10,000 miles or so and allow some time to set aside some cash for the next big service. I never grow tired of these F550s. Twenty to thirty years from now, I believe they will reach the same cult status as the legendary Daytona. They will be remembered as the last of a breed from an era when fuel prices were a fraction of what they will inevitably be and when a proper grand touring coupe meant a big engine and a proper manual gearbox.

-Paul

1981 Lancia Beta Zagato

The Lancia Beta was the first new car that Lancia developed after Fiat took control of the company in 1969. Introduced in 1972, this model would go on to set record sales for Lancia, but also garner a reputation for being a rust prone vehicle. This reputation would taint the company so badly that Lancia would pull out of its largest export market at the time, the United Kingdom, a little over ten years later. One of the last new Lancias to be sold in the US market is the car you see here, the Beta Zagato. Built on the Coupe's chassis with a targa roof, it was an interesting collaboration in that the car was designed by Pininfarina but built by Zagato. In total, a little over 9,000 of these open roofed Betas were built before Lancia ceased US sales.

1981 Lancia Beta Zagato

1981 Lancia Beta Zagato, 3rd owner. Approximately 27K miles on rebuilt engine. New starter, clutch, exhaust. 5K miles on timing belt, shocks, motor mounts. Recently rebuilt steering rack. Seats reupholstered in cloth, Pirelli P-6000 185/65-14 tires. Many interior/exterior trim pieces replaced. Car runs well. Paint good, new top. Professionally maintained. Many spare parts. California car. Never driven in rain, always garaged. Shop manuals, original owners manual, original tool kit. All work receipts. $3500 or best offer, price negotiable.

At $3,500, this is possibly one of the cheapest points of entry into classic Italian car ownership, without having to dump a ghastly amount of money on a full restoration. Few of these Zagatos survive today and the ones that do are often rusted out and on their last legs mechanically. While not the fastest cars out there, these Betas are known for their good handling and if this car has lasted this long without suffering at the hands of the tin worm, it should be able to survive another 30 years with proper maintenance.

-Paul

1971 Fiat 500 Mare

The Nuova 500 spawned a multitude of variants, from the racy Abarth versions to a small six seat van. One of the most interesting bodystyles was an open roof model with a canopy and without side doors. Known as the Jolly, these cars were built by Ghia and had a chopped windshield and wicker seats. Another open roofed beach cruiser, the Mare (or "sea" in Italian), was built by Carrozzeria Holiday in much more limited numbers. Only 50 were built, and they did not have the canopy roof of the Jolly and featured cloth instead of wicker seats. This example for sale in Canada is a wonderful example of an extremely rare Fiat.

1971 Fiat 500 Mare

Italy's location on the Mediterranean Sea meant innumerable beachfront cities and resorts. There was a brisk trade in beach buggy conversions of regular cars by the many specialist coachbuilders throughout Italy at the time. Without roof or doors the cars are basic in the extreme. This simplicity, however, remains their most endearing feature, giving these cheeky runabouts a sense of fun and mischief comparable only with the later Mini Moke. As you would expect the car is in excellent condition and finished in blue with a matching blue and white interior. These cars were only built to order by Holiday for VIPs and the hotels of Capri and the Amalfi coast. The body builder Holiday was also responsible for building the Twingo beach buggy. Much rarer than a Jolly, this is a highly desirable and rare little Fiat is perfect for trips to the beach and is sure to get you noticed. $49,000

The asking price for this Mare is about $15,000 over what similar Jollys have recently brought at auctions. Not too surprising, given this car's exclusivity and that a Ferrari dealer is offering it for sale. This car looks to be in almost better than new condition and the color combination is sure to win many admiring stares at the shore.

-Paul

1974 Lamborghini Jarama GTS

At first, the Lamborghini Jarama appears rather pedestrian, but upon closer inspection, you start to appreciate the details of this vehicle. The exaggerated greenhouse, air ducts and long, low hood begin to suggest something more extraordinary than your average fastback. Just 328 Jaramas ever left the factory, making this one rare rare machine. This example for sale in Switzerland is a later GTS version with the 365 horsepower V12 engine and 5-speed manual gearbox.

1974 Lamborghini Jarama GTS

Beige leather with brown alcantara. Very good interior condition. Alcantara on the dashboard, new carpet.

It is hard to imagine that one would utter the world "beige" and "Lamborghini" in the same sentence, yet this two tone color combination works extremely well on this seventies design. These are awesome grand touring machines that hardly get the respect they deserve, as one can see in the $56,000 asking price. This is a lot of Lamborghini for the money and I would wager to say values will begin to creep up as people begin to recognize the significance of these cars.

-Paul

1950 Lancia Aurelia B50 Cabriolet

Lancia could be likened to Italy's answer to Citroën. They were a company that introduced a series of firsts in terms of automotive technology and always marched to the beat of a different drum. Only five years after the end of World War II, the Aurelia was released. This was a remarkably advanced vehicle that included the first production V6 engine, an innovative rear mounted transaxle with inboard brakes and radial tires. Today, these are extremely rare cars that are under appreciated for not only their pioneering technical merits but racing heritage. This example for sale outside of Philadelphia is an older restoration but is in good cosmetic and mechanical condition.

1950 Lancia Aurelia B50 Cabriolet

One of approximately 265 cars originally built and one of only a handful still known to exist in its original Pinninfarina alloy body work. No two cars were finished exactly the same and all were built to order. Finished in a dark blue over terracotta colored interior with gray carpets and beige top. The car is matching numbers according to the previous owner who purchased the car in 2005 from Auto Classic in Turin, Italy. Prior, the car was owned by the same family for over 20 years. During that ownership it was restored, then sold as part of the estate in 2004/2005. This car is an example of an older restoration (approximately 18-20 years old) and was completed to a very high standard. While the car currently lacks appropriate documentation as to its owner/restoration history (we are currently researching this further) it is evident through thorough inspection that the car is very correct and has been well cared for.

The car is currently up to date with new brakes, clutch, and transmission input shaft seal. Cosmetically this car has seen a complete restoration, and has aged nicely to that of a 2- driver. The body is 100% straight and corrosion free with those imperfections one would assume in a 20 year old paint job. There are a few blemishes here and there, but nothing of major concern. The chrome is all there with proper stampings and has recently been replated. All chrome inserts, emblems and original badges and bits are present. The body is straight with excellent hood, door, and trunk gaps. The wheel covers are in nice shape as well. The top appears to also be the same vintage as the restoration but is in no need of attention either, it's excellent. All windows appear to be original and crack/fade free. The rubber molding is showing its age in spots and could use replacing if deemed necessary but ultimately can still be enjoyed the way it is. The interior cosmetics are consistent with the exterior; they show moderate use but are in excellent condition with plush leather both front and rear with exceptional fit and finish throughout. Dash is complete including the original Condor radio; everything is in excellent condition with very nice patina. The interior includes many original pieces including an ashtray behind the front bench. Door jams are free of any paint chipping or related blemishes, door open/close is flawless. All interior bits work appropriately, all gauges work, windows go up and down etc... The trunk is clean and consistent with the rest of the car. Again, no rust or issues in the trunk.

Mechanically this car is completely up to date with new clutch, brakes, and seals where needed, as well as a complete tune up to run very well. It is believed that this examples Aurelia V6 (B10 series with 56 HP) did receive a complete rebuild at time of restoration, as evident by its superb running condition. The undercarriage shows no issues and is very straight and correct. Overall everything is in excellent order, appears to be up to date with nothing out of place, very nice floors and chassis rails with no issues. The car runs, drives, shifts and stops without any issues; all lights are in working order. Tires are still very usable and are free of any major rot. Overall this is a very rare opportunity to own a 1950 Lancia B50 Cabriolet in excellent driver quality condition. A comprehensive detail has been completed inside and out and underneath to ensure a turnkey opportunity for any collector. Included in the sale is an original color sales brochure and top cover.

While not a concours example, I always appreciate cars from this era that appear to have been used and enjoyed, rather than being locked away in a museum or collection. The asking price precludes most normal collectors from enjoying this classic, but it's nice to see such a complete example of a forward thinking vehicle on these shores.

-Paul

1969 Lancia Flavia

Subaru may have popularized the idea of a front engined, front-wheel drive sedan with a horizontally opposed four cylinder engine, but it surely wasn't the first vehicle to feature such a layout. Once again, that technical tour de force that is Lancia strikes again. Introduced in 1961 with a 1.5 liter engine and four-wheel disc brakes, the Flavia was a very advanced vehicle for the time. This example for sale is advertised on eBay Germany but is located in Culver City, California. It is an original example and represents the final year for the Flavia with a larger, 1.8 liter engine with Kugelfischer mechanical fuel injection.

1969 Lancia Flavia

1969 Lancia Flavia 1.8 Iniezione. Light gray (original paint), original burgundy interior. Vehicle is totally unrestored. Engine is running. Vehicle with euros KM speedometer etc. Last inspection in 1993 and since then parked in a warehouse in the desert. California black license plates that have always been on the car. Mechanical fuel injection. Price includes shipping and tax levies released Rotterdam.

At about $7,800 USD, this is a very neat alternative for Italian car enthusiasts to the contemporary Alfa Romeo Giulia. These Lancias were rather expensive in their day and known for their attention to detail and over engineering. Hopefully someone stateside can snatch this up before embarking on a boat back to the home continent.

-Paul

1972 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS

The Dino was a turning point in the history of Ferrari. Named after Enzo Ferrari's late son Alfredo (whose nickname was Alfredino), this nameplate was meant to brand a whole new variety of Ferraris, namely those without 12 cylinder engines. The 246 nameplate in this case represents the engine capacity and number of cylinders, in this case a 2.4 liter V6. Creating 175 horsepower in US trim, this engine would also see service in the Fiat Dino and Lancia Stratos. The Dino was Ferrari's best selling model up until this point and are highly sought after by collectors. This car represents the first year the Dino was available with a removable roof and while not a perfect example, has potential.

1972 Ferrari Dino GTS

First a little history. This US spec car was manufactured in June of 1972 and first registered in late December of that year. The odometer show 48229 miles and that is accurate. It has been under the same ownership since 1975 (second owner) and is now being offered for sale by the family trust. It has the original “Pink slip” and retains the original blue plates, last being registered in California in 2005. When purchased the car was yellow and the owner had an extensive color change performed in the late 70’s. The car was maintained well, used sparingly but regularly until it was put into storage 5 years ago. It was garaged and only used in good weather never having the top fitted. It is in decent running condition but does need some work and it has some details that are not correct.

Now the good points. It is a California car that does not appear to have any rust or rust repairs. The body is generally in very good condition and shows no signs of having been in a significant collision. The paint is no longer perfect but at first glance it looks stunning. The doors both open easily and close with sweet light click. The gaps and panel fit are very good all over. Glass is in very good shape, no scratches or chips; all the chrome has a deep luster. The electric windows function well. The interior is clean and looks mostly original although the seats may have been re-upholstered. The grey carpet is in good order and overall there is not a lot of sun damage showing the car was not left outside.

The car starts, runs and drives well the clutch being light and the gears shifting nicely, even when cold. The engine does not knock or have any other unwanted noises. It also does not smoke excessively and indicates 85lbs on the oil pressure gauge at 5000 rpm hot. There does not seem to be any overheating issues, although it has only been driven sparingly and local since coming out of storage. On the road the engine sounds great, having decent power and dropping to a fairly low idle once warm. The gauges all function with the fuel gauge being a bit intermittent may have a sticking sender unit. The brakes pull the car up straight without any fuss and there is no unwanted noise from the suspension. The hand brake holds firmly and is adjusted correctly. The steering feels light and precise; I think one of the nicer points of these cars.

Now the negatives, The paint has been spot repaired in places, the two most obvious being an area about the size of a dinner plate on the top of the right front fender that was caused from a bicycle falling on it. The second area is a round patch the size of tennis ball on the bonnet. There is evidence of minor accident damage on the left front fender extending back onto the door. There is an area in the wheel well where the tire has just kissed the fiberglass panel and rubbed the paint off – see pictures. There are a number of small chips and imperfections some that have been touched up and some not. The front shows some larger nicks, I think evident in the pictures and under the front there are a couple of dents under the bumpers and the lower panel has been damaged from parking mishaps. There is a small indentation in the top of the driver’s door that could probably be taken out by a good dent removal guy.

The interior door panels are a little tired and the door shut panels have been chrome plated, not left body colour as stock. The interior mirror is misty and the quarter lights (windings) are missing their catches. The heater fan switch is missing its plastic pad and the choke lever (never used) appears to be stuck. The AC fans operate but do not produce cold air and the heater is unresponsive. The wipers, washers and indicators do not function, possibly a fuse?

The engine burbles badly on de-acceleration possibly due to some missing emission equipment, diverter valve, ignition retard unit. It also does not have its carbon canister. It does have the air cleaner assembly, although not fitted in the pictures. There is also the odd spitting from the carbs at and just above, idle, obviously after sitting so long it needs a good tune-up. The engine does not have a bad misfire. It has had a non-standard fuse box fitted to the rear bulkhead along with some new insulation. The engine compression was checked and number 2 cylinder has a lower compression than the others and on further inspection, doing a leak down test it appears that the exhaust valve on that cylinder is not seating properly. It could settle down with driving more or of course it could get worse! First gear synchro is a little unforgiving unless you are going very slowly, but all the other gears including second (a common problem) are excellent. There are some oil leaks, causing a little smoke at a stop as it contacts the exhaust. Obviously after sitting as long as it has I would recommend replacing the fuel and cooling system hoses and some of the rubber mounts and bushings are reaching the end of their life. The steering rack shows some wear, a common problem I am told. The solid state fuel pump needs to be mounted better and the hoses secured.

So that is the full story on this car, not perfect but still a beautiful head turning classic Ferrari that will continue to appreciate. It is a very honest car with a known history, quite a local celebrity in fact.

Dinos in average condition tend to run anywhere in the $125,000 to $150,000 range. Mint, concours examples will reach closer to the $200,000 mark. The seller seems a bit optimistic, given bidding has reached $145,000 without the reserve being met. There are a number of odds and ends that need attention here. If one could procure this Dino at around $100,000 to $115,000, it would be a good buy for the enthusiast looking to tackle a bit of light restoration work and, once it is over, have a classic Ferrari that one wouldn't be afraid to use.

-Paul