Maserati 5000 GT: A Significant Automobile


Maurice Khawam


If you are a Maserati Fan you must to have this book to complete your library of these great cars – it is the only book on the 5000GT. Author Maurice Khawam traces the design and development history of the Maserati 5000 GT in order to eliminate the confusion that existed about this model.

Beginning by setting the scene with a technical description and brief competition history of the V8-engined Maserati racecars and a summary of the economic realities that forced the cancellation of the racing program the book explains the resultant surplus of V8 motors. The book presents the whole design and development history along with technical specs. Aside from minor mechanical differences it is the custom coachwork by eight different stylists that distinguishes these cars from each other and also from other cars of the time. It is on this subject that the book advances the body of knowledge the most. Based on a thorough examination of factory records and correspondence with owners the author is able to describe each and every chassis in great detail and suitably illustrated. Throughout, most of the photos are not identified by chassis number and a reader with very specific interests would do well to start with Table 3 which lists all 36 cars by chassis number, body and date along with various other data points and is followed by several pages of notes cross-referenced to table entries.

Another key feature of the book is a comparative design analysis of each of the eight coachbuilders by the American designer Tom Tjaarda. He is eminently qualified to render such a critique. He not only worked for several Italian coachbuilders himself at just that time but was Ghia’s head of design from 1968-1977. Comments about 13 cars by their seven current owners and a discussion of the other V8-powered production Maseratis and concept cars up to the present day round out the book. Appended are a graphic representation of the 5000 GT family tree and, very clever, a map of the world indicating the trade winds and race tracks after which Maseratis are named. Also of note, the Forewords are by Adolfo Orsi, Jr. (son of Omar Orsi who became managing director in 1937) and Giulio Alfieri  who as chief engineer was a key figure in the development of racing and production cars in the 1950s and 1960s.

Photos by David Gooley