Only three classic Maseratis will grace the stage at RM Sotheby’s Monterey auction in late August, but the legendary Italian marque will have a stronger presence as part of the auction house’s annual London sale at Battersea Park on September 5. During that sale, six trident emblem–bearing sports cars from the 1960s and ’70s—all from a prominent private collection—will cross the block. The showing will set a new mark for the most classic Maseratis consigned during the auction’s 12-year history.
Headlining that collection is a 1962 Maserati 5000 GT, one of only 34 built and the fifth of 22 examples commissioned with custom coachwork by Allemano. The bodywork features sleek lines, which have since grown synonymous with the model. The car has an intriguing ownership history—it was originally sold to the future owner of the Italian racing team Scuderia Brescia Corse, and it is believed that Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh later owned the car, which may have inspired the hit single “Life’s Been Good,” which includes the lyrics: “My Maserati does one-eighty-five, I lost my license, now I don’t drive.”
Projected to sell for as much as $1.5 million, the car is likely to attract a wide spectrum of buyers due to its classic styling and prominent ownership history. Shelby Myers, the global head of private sales for RM Sotheby’s, also suggests that the vehicle’s pristine condition will entice a lot of bids. “It’s somebody who likes traditional forms and traditional designs,” Myers says of the prospective buyer who will likely be interested in the car. “And they’d recognize this 5000 GT as an example of that traditional styling. But they’d also want a car that’s turnkey and something that they can immediately get into and drive.”
Equally alluring, a 1972 Maserati Ghibli SS 4.9 Spyder from that private collection will also cross the block in London, where it is projected to sell for as much as roughly $1.4 million. The vehicle was originally owned by the royal family of Qatar and is one of only four Ghibli SS 4.9 Spyders built with a right-hand-drive configuration. According to Myers, the car checks off two very important boxes. First, its comprehensive, concours-level restoration by McGrath Maserati was completed earlier this year (Myers acknowledges that some restoration shop waiting lists are currently years long). Second, the car has yet to grace the lawns of the world’s most prestigious concours events, so any public exposure is guaranteed to drum up added excitement. “There’s a certain appeal to collectors when they can buy a car and take it to Villa d’Este or Pebble Beach and it’s never been seen by the public, so to speak,” Myers says. “With the advent of the Internet, it’s harder to find those cars that haven’t been seen or shown a lot.”
Two Ghibli SS 4.9 Coupes from the early 1970s will also be offered for sale. A left-hand drive example from 1970 features Maserati’s popular Rosso Rubino paint scheme and, according to RM Sotheby’s, could sell for more than $300,000. The other example, a 1971 Maserati Ghibli SS 4.9 Coupe, in the less common right-hand-drive configuration, is further distinguished by its distinctive Verde Gemma paint color and tan interior.
“Color makes such a difference on any car, and the color is what makes this car special,” says Myers. “It screams 1970s. You can almost envision a shag carpet in that color. It’s very cool that this is a period correct color combination, and it looks spectacular.” According to the auction house, the car could sell for more than $330,000.