The Quattroporte as a nameplate is now nearly 60 years old!
The first one was spawned out of a specially built 5000GT for the Aga Khan in the early 1960s. The Prince was renowned for ordering bespoke cars and he loved Maserati. The 5000GT was a two door coupe and Maserati could see demand for a four door vehicle so the Tipo AM107 was born.
Pietro Frua was commissioned to design the car although the vehicle was constructed by Vignale. It was introduced to the world in 1963 at the Turin Motor Show with production starting the following year. It was fitted with a 4.1 litre V8 producing 260hp driving through either a 5-speed ZF or 3-speed Borg Warner automatic gearbox. The automatic box was an option.
Like many European cars, it had single headlights in Europe and twin lights in the US. For the first two full years of production, Maserati built 230 units before a Series 2 was introduced.
In 1966, the Series 2 was launched with an option of engines: the original 4.1 and a new 4.7 litre V8 with the model name AM107/4700. The interior was redesigned from the Series 1 and the US spec twin headlights became standard - it wouldn’t have made sense to have two different styles, although many other European manufacturers still kept the two styles. Importantly, the main change was the suspension was revised to cope with the extra power from the 4.7.
546 of the Series 2 cars were built with a total of 776 of the Tipo AM107 cars built. Production ended in 1969, however, in true Maserati style, a few more specials were built!
In 1971, the Aga Khan was up to his old tricks by ordering a Quattroporte I based on the newer Indy platform with an even larger motor: a 4.9 litre V8. Frua designed and built the car and plans were to build a limited run. By this time Maserati was owned by Citroen and they gave the model a name: Tipo AM121. Only 2 were actually built - Chassis 002 was bought by the King of Spain and Chassis 004 went to the Aga Khan in 1974 - three years after he ordered it!