Boosted, Literally: $550 Chrysler Maserati

Jeff LaveryBy Jeff Lavery

The Chrysler TC by Maserati was, by many accounts, a bit of a sales disaster. Strong competition and a high price tag, with minimal features to justify said price, all combined to sink the project before it had any chance of achieving momentum. Despite this, and limited crossover of significant parts and components, this TC here on eBay is a theft recovery that is now a dirt cheap project for the model’s small but passionate contingent of fans. 

This example was both boosted by a thief and its power delivery. Right here was one of the model’s biggest failures, that of sticking the Daytona-derived turbo four-cylinder into a car with a significantly higher price tag. Later models could be equipped with a Maserati-built motor and a manual transmission, which are arguably the most desirable examples. As per why the thieves didn’t yank a motor that could be sold to any number of other Mopar project car owners, we’re not sure – but the headlights and grill were deemed theft-worthy.

Inside, the gauge cluster was swiped and the steering column damaged to the point of needing full replacement. The mileage is relatively low at just under 60,000, and the interior looks downright decent besides the remnants of what looked like a fairly ruthless smash-and-grab. It’s hard to imagine a car like this ending up in lot somewhere in Las Vegas, after the program to build these Maserati-designed coupes supposedly received millions of dollars of investment from Chrysler to bring them to fruition.

The theft also included the rear corner lights and trunk latch, as well as the brake booster. Perhaps someone from the Mopar world can enlighten us as to why these specific parts were removed from such an obscure car, especially since items like the headlights don’t likely cross-over to other models. The TC does have a good running motor according to the seller, and with the low Buy-It-Now, this will likely serve as an excellent parts car for one of the remaining owners of these unusual and often maligned coupes.

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Comments

  1. RayT Member

    Have to wonder how the seller/flipper knows the engine runs, considering the throttle body hanging loose…. And is that hole on the firewall where the brake booster/master should live?

    My guess is that someone had a TC (or stole one) that needed those exact parts, and simply grabbed a donor instead of wasting time with a Chrysler dealer. Shouldn’t be that hard to find the missing engine bits, but the rest? The “lucky” buyer might have to steal another!

    5+

  2. Steve R

    It’s a parts car worth 50% of the value of its individual components, at best.

    Steve R

    2+

  3. Dave Wright

    There must be some rusted cars somewhere to get the parts from to complete this car. I like K cars a lot but these were too expensive. 2.2 turbo is a good engine.

    4+

  4. Dan

    There is one in a junkyard near me that is more complete than this. Has been there for a couple of years. Apparently parts are not really needed.

    2+

  5. Klharper

    Looks like it is ready for lemons racing

    3+

  6. Elrod

    I can’t believe somebody actually STOLE this care… Owner was probably dancing in the street.

    4+

    • That Guy

      My thoughts exactly. On the list of “most frequently stolen cars” this must be near rock bottom.

      There’s a Coen Brothers movie in this somewhere.

      2+

  7. Ray

    Your assessment of why the Chrysler Maserari TC was a marketing disappointment is mostly in error. The TC was announced about two years before it actually arrived, production issues in Italy having delayed the delivery to U S dealers. Meanwhile, the new ’87 Chrysler LeBaron Coupe and convertible were under development and ready for market about the same time the TC finally arrived..

    Looking almost identical to the casual observer, but roomier and selling for less money doomed the TC to the too little too late category. Had they been brought to market on schedule, I think the cars would have been successful as the limited production upscale personal luxury car they were intended to be.

    0

    • Dave Wright

      I don’t disagree with your point but I think it is a matter of degree. The history of luxury economy cars is not good. Look at Cadillac’s attempts over the years. The idea of an expensive luxury economy car just doesn’t have a large market. It has been proven over and over.

      4+

    • Reginald R McNair

      I had followed it development with the hope of purchasing one. But by the time it was released for sale. It had lingered in the development phase longer than needed. With the design changes from made after it’s the initial concept ruin it’s overall look, making it no more than an overpriced LeBaron. What a waste of resources, to end up looking like it did.

      1+

  8. charlie

    The first year was the Maserati engine, it was trouble prone and expensive, after that the Chrysler engine which was underpowered but reliable. But the interior was very nice. And yes, the bean shaped Le Baron took home the bacon, and, to my mind, as I have noted here before, if you get the V6 a very inexpensive way into the hobby for a very good car at a price that can only go up, and you can drive, drive, drive it, top up, top down, whatever you want.
    Dark green with tan leather.

    0

  9. Ben T. Spanner

    There is a cheap one posted on Craigslist under Ft Myers FL. The car is located in Naples FL at a towing yard. It runs and has a Florida title. $800 with hardtop.

    0

  10. grant

    Easy to figure this one out. Find the guy selling a freshly restored TC and you’ve got your thief.

    1+

  11. PAPERBKWRITER

    Bet it wouldn’t take Dick Tracy to find the thief since there aren’t to many of these cars around.

    0

  12. jrc

    so much for the theft prevention standards as per body tag

    0

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