Maserati only built 128 examples of the Ghibli Spyder, designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro for Ghia, making it a highly sought-after roadster and an icon of its time. This Ghibli – bearing chassis number AM115/S 1001 – wasn't merely one of them. It was the factory prototype, the one which the Modenese automaker displayed at both the Turin Motor Show in 1968 and the Geneva Motor Show in '69. The production models that followed featured some subtle changes, particularly to the trunk, filler caps, and door handles. But rather than hold on to the prototype, Maserati sold this yellow show car when it was done with it.
The roadster was bought by one Ruggiero Capuano in 1969, who had it for six years before selling it to Libero Girardi, an Italian-American and Ferrari mechanic in Rhode Island, who in turn transferred ownership to John Ferro, his son-in-law. Ferro drove it for over a decade before putting it in storage for the better part of 30 years. Its current owner bought it from Ferro, took it out of storage, and put it on the concours circuit, picking up numerous trophies along the way.
Having been properly stored, the Ghibli Spyder never required much restoration, and remains in highly original condition. That ought to make it a hot item even among the other notable lots that RM Sotheby's has lined up for Monterey this year. Though the auction house isn't saying how much it expects the prototype to sell for, Sports Car Market records that a Ghibli Spyder (also in yellow) was sold by Artcurial in Paris last year for over $ 1 million. Considering the provenance and condition of this prototype, we'd expect it to sell for even more.