Maserati 5000 GT

Maserati 5000 GT

1959 to 1965

The Shah of Persia, Reza Pahlewi, was instrumental in getting the project started. 1957 had been a landmark year in which Maserati had largely dominated sports racing competitions with the mighty V8-powered 450S, whilst also launching the 3500 GT straight-six production coupé. Shah Reza Pahlewi wanted a combination of the two: marrying the road car’s chassis with the racing car’s engine. Maserati duly obliged, however both the chassis and the engine were modified to ensure the car would meet the marque’s exacting standards in terms of refinement, usability and reliability.

For the first two 5000 GTs built in 1959, the competition engine was bored out from 4.5 to 4.9 litres but otherwise it was unchanged, retaining four gear-driven overhead camshafts, and dry sump lubrication. Fed by four twin-choke carburettors and with twin-plug ignition, it produced between 345 and 350 bhp at 6,000 rpm. A more civilized version of the V8 appeared at the Geneva Motor Show in spring 1960, with quieter chain-driven camshafts and wet sump lubrication. Whilst maintaining a similar displacement, the bore was reduced and a longer stroke introduced via a new crankshaft to ensure a better spread of torque throughout the rev range. This production version produced 330 bhp. Lucas indirect fuel injection became available in 1961. The last major improvement in the car’s running gear came in 1963 with the adoption of an all-synchromesh ZF five-speed gearbox.

The car’s top speed varied between 248 and 272 kmh (155 to 170 mph) depending on the individual engine tuning, gearbox, final drive ratio and body style. The body of the Shah’s car was produced by Touring of Milan, and seven other coachbuilders contributed various coupé bodies to the prestigious chassis. Allemano’s design was the “standard” version, as 22 cars were fitted with it. In 1960 Giovanni Agnelli purchased a unique 5000 GT with a Pinin Farina body, whilst two years later the Aga Khan bought a 5000 GT with stunning Frua coachwork (see One-offs and Concept Cars for details on the other versions).

Technical specifications

Model 5000 GT
Maserati internal code Tipo AM103
Production start 1959
Number Produced 34
Ignition twin-plug, two Marelli or Lucas coils
Lubrication forced lubrication, total draining
Transmission 4-speed + reverse synchronised, rear wheel drive, twin dry plate with flexible coupling and hydraulic drive (5 speed ZF on later cars)
Reduction 1:3.54 (6 others available on request)
Gear ratios I= 2.73:1, II= 1.75:1, III= 1.22:1, IV= 1:1, R= 3.875:1
Chassis tubular steel or aluminium ladder-frame platform chassis
Front suspension double wishbones, coil springs, Girling or Koni telescopic dampers and anti-roll bar
Rear suspension longitudinal leaf springs, Girling hydraulic telescopic dampers and anti-roll bar
Brakes servo-assisted discs all round from 3rd car produced, hydraulic
Steering worm and sector
Cooling system water-cooled, centrifugal pump
Length 187.40 inches (4,760 mm)
Width 66.93 inches (1,700 mm)
Height 51.97 inches (1,320 mm)
Wheelbase 102.36 inches (2,600 mm)
Front track 54.72 inches (1,390 mm)
Rear track 53.54 inches (1,360 mm)
Dry weight 3,642 lbs (1,652 kg)
Tyres front/rear 6.50x16 Pirelli or 6.00x16 Firestone (from 1963, 205x15)
Wheels steel or wire wheels, 5.00x16
Top speed 161.5-168 mph (260-270 kmh)
Bodywork two-door, 2+2 coupé
Fuel tank 21 Imperial gallons / 26.42 US gal. (100 litres)
Production dates 1959-1965
Engine 90° V8
Bore and stroke 94x89 mm (3.7 x 3.5 inches)
Total displacement 4,941.133 cc (301.52 c.i.)
Displacements (unitary) 617.641 cc
Compression ratio 8.05.01
Maximum power 325 bhp at 5,500 rpm
Maximum torque 45.66 Kgm (330 lbs/ft) at 4,000 rpm
Timing gear two valves per cylinder, four overhead chain driven camshafts
Fuel feed naturally aspirated, four Weber 45 IDM carburettors (Lucas indirect fuel injection from 1960)