It’s been sixty years since Maserati unveiled the 5000 GT at the Turin Motor Show, where it became the star of the event. Now, the Italian carmaker is celebrating this iconic model’s anniversary by reminding us why it’s so special.
For starters, this is a limited edition, with only 34 units ever being built at the Viale Ciro Menotti plant in Modena. The 5000 GT was also built to the specific request of the Shah of Persia, Reza Pahlavi, who felt as though the 3500 GT wasn’t powerful enough.
Upon hearing this request, Maserati technical director at the time, Giulio Alfieri, realized that he would have to completely redesign the car in order to comply with this customer’s demands.
Initially dubbed the AM103 project, it eventually became a new car, powered by the V8 engine of the 450S, albeit with its bore increased so as to boost displacement to almost 5.0 liters. The first bodywork meanwhile was built by Carrozzeria Touring, although almost all the leading Italian coachbuilders such as Pininfarina, Bertone, Ghia, Vignale, Allemano and so on contributed at one point or anothet.
Thanks to the 5000 GT, Maserati proved that it could create a prestigious automobile, aimed at VIP buyers seeking exclusivity as well as performance.
Speaking of which, the 4.9-liter V8 engine produced 325 HP at 5,500 rpm initially, though after 1960 output was increased to 340 HP at 5,800 rpm. Initially, it was mated to a four-speed gearbox, with a five-speed one being made available from 1963.
With a weight of 1,500 kg (3,300 lbs), the Maserati 5000 GT could max out at roughly 270 km/h (168 mph).