1975 Maserati Khamsin by Bertone
RM | Sotheby's - MONTEREY 2016 - The Riverside International Automotive Museum Collection
- Offered from the Riverside International Automotive Museum Collection
- One of just seven Khamsins finished in Giallo
- A U.S.-specification example; delivered new to Los Angeles
- Highly original throughout; believed to have fewer than 20,000 actual miles
- Featured on an episode of Jay Leno’s Garage
Introduced as production of the Ghibli was coming to a close, Maserati unveiled the Khamsin at the 1973 Paris Motor Show. Offering 2+2 seating, the Khamsin was fitted with Maserati’s 4.9-liter DOHC V-8 engine, which was capable of producing 320 brake horsepower, leading to a top speed of 172 mph. This would be the first Maserati with a unitary construction bodyshell, and also the first front-engined Maserati with a four-wheel independent suspension. Maserati borrowed hydraulic braking, clutch assistance, and power-steering systems from parent company Citroën, which gave the car’s road manners a sophisticated feeling. The driver’s seat and headlight pods were also hydraulically actuated.
According to information provided by Maserati Classiche, this particular Khamsin was produced in April of 1975 as a U.S.-specification model, finished in Giallo over black and equipped with a five-speed manual gearbox. Furthermore, it is one of just seven finished in Giallo, of which only two or three remain. According to records provided by Maserati historian Marc Sonnery, this particular Khamsin was delivered new to Los Angeles and sold new to Russel C. Schmidt in Mount Clemens, Michigan. Interestingly, Schmidt bought another Khamsin at the same time and had it converted in his home state into the famous one off Khamsin Spyder. In December of 1986, D. Waterman of Motorcar Gallery in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, visited Schmidt and bought both Khamsins. While the Spyder was sent to Florida, Schmidt’s yellow coupe was sold locally and later purchased by a gentleman in Tennessee. He took part in a track day with it at Virginia International Raceway, falling in love with its handling and performance, as did a professional racing instructor who sampled it that day and was hugely impressed.
This gentleman then put it up for sale and it was purchased by Doug Magnon for inclusion in the Riverside International Automotive Museum. Soon after its return to California, Doug had a European bumper kit installed, bringing it back to the smooth stunning original European design. It was featured in an article in a U.S. magazine. In May of 2013 at the suggestion Marc Sonnery, Doug got together with Jay Leno for a test drive of the car on his YouTube channel, Jay Leno’s Garage. As of June 2016, it had been seen by 382,000 viewers on YouTube, making it the most viewed Khamsin in the world.
Currently, the car displays less than 19,200 miles on its odometer, all of which are believed to be original. Very well preserved throughout its life and in the museum’s ownership, the Khamsin presents very nicely throughout and would make a wonderful weekend driver. The car is accompanied by a set of owner’s manuals, parts manuals, and some Khamsin promotional material.
As the last Maserati constructed under Citroën management, the Khamsin holds an interesting place in the company’s history. With only 430 produced, they are seldom seen but have a passionate following of enthusiasts and owners. Highly original and with the added provenance of having appeared on Jay Leno’s Garage, this Khamsin would be an interesting addition to any collection of Maseratis, just as it was for the Riverside International Automobile Museum.