Named after a hot wind in the Egyptian desert, the moniker sure suited the Khamsin, a grand tourer powered by a front engine dry sump 320bhp V8, down to the ground. Most Maseratis of the Seventies were stunners but this one was smoking hot.
In case you were wondering, Maserati isn’t the only carmaker to name its models after the perceptible natural movement of the air, there have been many others; Ford had the Zephyr, there was the Scirocco from Volkswagen and even boutique brand Pagani called its carbon-fibre clad supercar the Zonda, but for Maserati it’s a firm tradition and the elaborate Ghibli successor was the Trident’s flagship between 1974-82. Around this period, Citroen was a majority stakeholder and the Khamsin featured a lot of the French carmaker’s ground-breaking technology including its self centering power steering but best of all was the hydraulically assisted clutch which made rowing the five-speed manual in traffic very easy. A three-speed automatic was optional and many ticked the box for it while a lot of the chassis components and brakes were similar to the Bora and Merak.
Designed by Marcello Gandini, it resembled the Lamborghini Uracco and Espada a tad; the prototype amazed the public when it was revealed at the 1972 Turin motor show — the large rear window was especially eye-catching as were the sharp lines and overall wedge shape.
It wasn’t just great to look at, it had the performance to match; the naturally aspirated 4.9-litre with four Weber carbs produced the peak of its powers at 5,500rpm and with 480Nm of torque on tap not to mention a curb weight of just 1,680kg, it made sure it glued you to the plush leather seats when you nailed the throttle.
Concours examples can fetch up to Dh700,000 and those in fair condition can be had for around half that figure.