A very special Maserati Kyalami goes under the hammer next month with prestige auction house RM Sotheby’s in Essen, Germany. The Kyalami was the first new model developed under the Alejandro de Tomaso ownership, and this particular car was retained by the Maserati factory for testing and development and later owned by Alejandro de Tomaso, former owner of Maserati.
Named after South Africa’s Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit, the Maserati Kyalami was introduced in 1976. Using the DeTomaso Longchamp as a Basis, Pietro Frua was given the task of redesigning the car to give it a distinctively Maserati personality. First shown at the 1976 Geneva Motor Show, only 210 examples were built between 1976 and 1983.
The restyling was not limited to the exterior, the interior was also upgraded to incorporate classic Maserati elements such the steering wheel and instrumentation. A four overhead camshaft Maserati 90° V8 was utilized to power the car.
An exceptionally early production example, Kyalami chassis no. 006 was originally finished in Celeste Chiaro over Senape leather, and completed by the factory on 30 November 1976, Information provided by Maserati Classiche confirms that the car remained in the Modena area after delivery and was actually retained by the factory for testing purposes and later owned by Alejandro de Tomaso himself. Originally finished in Celeste Chiaro over Senape Connolly leather, there is an additional factory notation that the car was fitted with a Borg Warner automatic gearbox in July 1988.
After leaving its native Italy, the car was sold to the Netherlands in 1993 and would remain there through 2007. In 2011, it was purchased by the current owner and has been well preserved in his collection amongst other Maseratis. Recent service work includes €25.000 spent on a mechanical overhaul and some bodywork in 2015 by Fa. Schiemenz in Bonn followed by another €20.000 spent on overhauling the transmission on 2016.
Arguably one of the most compelling cars of the De Tomaso era, the Kyalami is a fascinating part of Maserati’s history, and this example is even more interesting than the rest.