1961 Maserati 5000 GT Coupe by Ghia AM103 018 escapes the desert

Unique Ghia-bodied Maserati 5000GT spent half a century in the Saudi Arabian sun

Barn Finds

The only Maserati 5000GT with Ghia coachwork has been consigned to auction after nearly 50 years of exterior storage in Saudi Arabia’s unforgiving sun. Although largely complete, only a glance is needed to see the scope of the work the car now requires.

1961 Maserati 5000 GT Coupe by Ghia

1961 Maserati 5000 GT Coupe by Ghia

Early in the Seventies it made its way to Saudi Arabia in the hands of Rubayan al-Rubayan, who seems to have parked it outside soon after and barely used it. After his death a few years ago, his heirs moved the car indoors to prevent further damage – there’s apparently an Arabic message in spray paint on one door saying the car is abandoned and due to be scrapped.

Andy Heywood of McGrath Maserati has heard rumours of the car’s whereabouts for two or three years, ‘It was genuinely thought to be lost for a long time, and I’d say it’s the biggest Maserati find since the A6G in the Baillon Collection. I’d love to get the job of restoring it.’

Chassis AM103 018 was designed by Ghia’s Sergio Sartorelli for Ferdinando Innocenti. It’s not known when Innocenti sold the car but it’s thought that it passed through other owners in Italy, changing colour from its original silver to a mid-blue, the remnants of which are evident.

The car has been given a $500k-$700k estimate for the RM Sotheby’s auction in Monterey on 17th August, where a sleek ex-Briggs Cunningham 5000GT by Michelotti is pitched at $700k-$850k.

The unique Maserati has a probably genuine odometer reading of just 15,561km

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