The Maserati 5000GT is among the most eminent, charming, powerful and exclusive cars of the decade of 1960. The first of only 33 total cars were made upon order of the Shah of Persia in 1958 and it was equipped with the most powerful engine of the company, the one of the 450S. A V8 motor with four overhead camshafts, four racing carburetors and 16 spark plug configured for use on the road, producing 420 hp.
The 5000GT became the top elitist car in the world when launched in 1959 and soon its reputation became bigger and bigger. Of course here it should be noted that none of the 5000GT is identical to another, but also it was the car that exceeded every Ferrari in speed, driving feel and exclusivity.
The first 5000GT was able to reach 277 km/h, an extreme speed for a Grand Tourer of 1959. Nicknamed “Shah of Persia”, the first car was created in collaboration with Carozzeria Touring, that also designed a unique grille, inspired by the Baroque Persian architecture. The 33 pieces of the 5000GT, besides Touring, were also built in collaboration with other top companies of the era: Pininfarina, Ghia, Frua, Bertone, Monterosa and Michellotti.
The interior of the 5000GT featured leather, a wooden wheel that was built by Nardi and decorations in brushed steel. The car’s engine was available with a four-speed or a five-speed manual transmission.
The second car that was delivered by Maserati, similar to that of the Shah, was introduced in 1959 at the company’s stand at Salone di Torino and was purchased by the South African billionaire Basil Read. A 5000GT was also bought by the then President of Mexico, Adolfo López Mateos, another one by Aga Khan, several princes, the star of Hollywood, Stewart Granger and the American billionaire and sportsman Briggs Cunningham, whose car will be auctioned on Friday, August 18th. The 5000GT of Cunningham, was sculpted by Michelotti and is the most aerodynamic car of the series.