60 years ago, in 1959, Maserati launched the gorgeous 5000 GT 2+2 coupé at the Turin Motor Show. 60 years on, the Modena luxury car maker is celebrating the Maserati 5000 GT 2+2 coupé 60th anniversary, but we have absolutely no idea the marque is celebrating with what.
What we read from the press release was, the automaker is celebrating it. That’s it. No recreation of the superlative ride of its time or whatsoever. Absolutely weird. It is a tribute by mentioning, I guess.
Anywho, only 34 cars of this model were built at the Viale Ciro Menotti plant in Modena. But the limited numbers and where the 34 units were built is not the point. It was how the car came about that was the interesting bit.
Here’s the story straight from the horse’s mouth:
“Reza Pahlavi, the then Shah of Persia, and a great enthusiast of high-performance sports cars, test-drove a 3500 GT towards the end of 1958 and was delighted with it. However, he requested an increase in performance, and Giulio Alfieri, Maserati technical director at the time, realised that the car would have to be completely redesigned to satisfy this prestige customer’s demands. The resulting AM103 project, continued through during 1959, and was in effect a new car and not merely a customisation: the heart of the design was the V8 engine of the 450S (the famous Maserati racing barchetta), with its bore increased to upgrade its displacement to almost five litres.”
Thus, the Maserati 5000 GT 2+2 coupé was born. Not surprisingly, the car was nicknamed “Shah of Persia” in honor of this special customer. As far as special version is concerned, only three were ever built.
Maserati 5000 GT 2+2 coupé itself was produced during two periods: 1959 and 1964. It was powered by a meaty 4,937.8cc (from 1960, it was 4,941.1cc) V8 engine with 325 HP on the tap (340 HP from 1960).
It was a DOHC engine paired to a 4-speed (5-speed from 1963) gearbox. It had a dry weight of 1,500 kilograms. Performance figure is not known, but it had a top speed of 260-270 km/h (162-168 mph).
All images courtesy of Maserati S.p.A..