Cheap Italian: 1986 Maserati Biturbo

1986 Maserati Biturbo

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This low miles 5 speed Biturbo is listed on Kijiji in Calgary, Alberta for $3,500. It’s got 35,000 KM, or about 20,000 miles. It is a survivor and runs and drives except the previous owner lost the keys. He also took the interior apart to put in speakers and never finished the job. Thanks to Dean B. for sharing this interesting find with us.


These Maserati Biturbos do sell cheap. This Spyder with an automatic and 42,000 miles just sold on eBay for $1,050. The timing belt broke and the original owner parked it years ago. The second owner “repaired” the engine but then had difficulties with the fuel system. It sat in the Arizona sun so the interior and top will need attention. Someone got a good deal, perhaps? At least it comes with keys.

1986 Maserati Biturbo Interior

The interior looks pretty nice in this coupe. It appears just the door cards were removed, so with any luck it will be a simple task to make the interior original again. Finding new door panels might be a challenge, but thankfully the originals are in the truck and look good!

1986 Maserati Biturbo Coupe

The paint is said to be original and looks pretty nice here. There is no rust. It seems a tuneup and new keys are all that’s needed to have a fun driver. I remember driving a new convertible version and it was great fun except for the cowl shake. Rust free cars like these must be rare. It will be interesting to hear what makes these Biturbos so cheap. So what do you think of these Italians?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Squad41

    This is the absolute correct car for anybody in need of a lobotomy.

    Like 1
    • mark

      That is the funniest comment I have ever read on here. Good one!!!!!

      Like 0
      • Dave Wright


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    • Robert

      I don’t often LOL Squad41, but I just did!

      Like 0
  2. Doyler

    A yes. A cheap Maserati. What could possibly go wrong?

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  3. Scotty G

    We all know that the most expensive exotic car that a person can buy is the cheapest exotic car that they can find.. For the experienced Maserati mechanic this would be a fantastic car, for anyone else, maybe not so much.

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    • mark

      I am not familiar with Maserati vehicles however if what I have heard and read about them is true there is a very good reason that all Maserati mechanics are very experienced…………..

      Like 1
      • Scotty G

        Ha, well done, sir. I think you’re right.

        Like 0
  4. Bobsmyuncle

    “It will be interesting to hear what makes these Biturbos so cheap”

    I have absolutely no first hand knowledge, however half an hour on Google will provide two things; evidence of countless VERY low mileage cars (usually not running) for sale and ownership horror stories.

    As to the one with the broken timing belt… INTERFERENCE ENGINE!

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    • David Frank DavidAuthor

      “INTERFERENCE ENGINE!” indeed. I’d like to know what the owner did to “repair it”. Is there anything short of a complete rebuild, if the engine is actually salvageable?

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      • Bobsmyuncle

        I was wondering the same thing!

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  5. Dan

    I have always loved this car especially the interiors. But I would never touch one of these with a 10′ pole. There is a reason they go so cheap. The only person that paid a lot of money for these was the first owner. When they found out how much junk these cars really were they couldn’t even give them away! I don’t think 20 years has improved the reliability much.

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  6. Doug Towsley

    I was offered one along with my kit car shell i bought. I already had a good donor car, However was very tempted. I researched them, and the one I was offered had an amazing leather interior, It had a blown head gasket, which is very common, they had heating/cooling issues which is fairly easy to address if you research it. Once sorted, the Motors are quite powerful and fun, good 5 speeds. Fun cars to drive.
    They all had issues but research shows the fixs and not too bad. I was sorely tempted, And for a kit car project it was an ideal donor car. In my opinion, these cars are heavy and not that attractive on the exterior, By mating one of these with a lightweight and exotic kit car shell you solve a lot of issues, weight and appearances. Dont overlook one of these if you can be a bit creative, they have a LOT to offer for very affordable prices. Would I restore one of these stock? Nope, but as a donor for a sports car or kit car, its an excellent platform if you do the mods and fixs. Heck, after years of restoring vintage British sports cars these things problems and issues are relatively minor. Hello,,,? Heard of Lucas, Prince of Darkness? Lord of insufficient light? 3 positions of a Lucas switch is OFF, Dim, & Flicker.

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  7. mark

    So by the comments on here could we agree that a Maserati could only be considered a reliable daily driver if your current daily driver is a Yugo?

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  8. Dave Wright

    Well, to be clear. There are good Maseratis just not the cheep junk that Fiat tried to pass off as a Maserati in the mid 80’s. My 1966 Mistral was wonderful and well known as being more reliable than the comperable Ferrari. The late cars seem to be fine as well. They were very common when I was in Italy last fall and most were not new. The Biturbos were over complicated and poorly built. Add poor support and mechanic training, you have a perfect storm of junk.

    Like 0
    • DolphinMember

      Dave, the ’60s vs. the ’80s makes all the difference. Maserati in the ’60s was the real Maserati, and those cars are rapidly appreciating now because they had a great name on them, they were pure elegance, and they were designed and built properly and ran well.

      The Maserati of the ’80s was owned by Alejandro de Tomaso, who let’s just say, didn’t do the name any good. Maserati went to Fiat in 1993, so Biturbos are pure de Tomaso…..unfortunately.

      I have heard it said a long while back that he was not a man you would want to cross, or know too well either. But of course I have no idea whether any of that is true. I guess what we do know to be true is something about his Biturbos.

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  9. Doug Towsley

    Theres lots of variations of Biturbos, some good things and some bad, no lack of information as well on how to address some of the problems. An educated buyer and owner can eliminate the negatives associated with them. As i said, as a donor car for a custom project, they have a lot to offer. While everyone can trash talk them all they want, go ahead, it keeps them cheap and affordable. Some very nice kit car projects out there as well, combined you would have a sweet ride

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    • Bobsmyuncle

      I’m SURE there is a TON of urban myth associated with the model. After all it sold from 85 to 93 or so.

      And these days the Internet is a fantastic resource to hook up enthusiasts that can share knowledge.

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  10. AW240Z

    As a former owner of a BiTurbo, everything you need to know can be found here in this episode of Top Gear:


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    • Bobsmyuncle

      LOL that took far longer than I expected.

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    • Dave Wright

      Great clip……..I love those guys. Somehow, the American version didn’t live up to the Orignal.

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  11. Adam Wright

    There is a reason they are all low miles, they never ran! Worst car I ever bought for $350 was one of these nightmares.

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  12. MountainMan

    As a kid I would ride my bike to the Maser dealer and admire these when they were new. Now many years later I have recently been tempted by one on my local CL that is super cheap…project of course. The interiors are pretty sweet and from what I hear they are great on the rare occasion they run and drive properly. I figure they are very similar to a boat, happiest days of ownership are the day you buy and the day you sell

    Like 0
  13. Glenn

    ” Maserati Bi Turbo ” is Italian language and it translates into ” EXPENSIVE JUNK “

    Like 1
  14. Julles

    jaguar e-types had a similar reputation
    back in the 60s and early 70s corvettes weren’t worth much.
    so why are there so many with low mileage mint original
    why keep a worthless car you don’t drive
    the right people bought these cars and now worth 6 figures
    italian cars are exploding
    maybe we should take another look

    Like 0
    • Doug Towsley

      I agree with you Julles, If you read up on the history of the Biturbos, towards the end of production they worked out most of the issues but the car suffered from its reputation. In a sexy kit car body, Or,, how about one of those Fiat convertible sports cars? Be a potent little package. I used ot have a Fiberfab Jamaican, loosely based on the Lamborghini Muira, it was considered by many to be one of the most stylish kit car bodys out there. I wanted more curves,,(heheh,, well my wife has curves too!) so i sold it and bought a Fiberfab Banshee or Caribee (They used both names) and building that.
      Forward thinkers are looking ahead. My old friend, Cliff “The Sandy Bandit” Mahjors spent large sums of money in the 70s and 1980s and purchased ALL of the US warehouses and distributors with all the Triumph, BSA and Norton inventorys. People said he was crazy. Years later, he sold the inventories for Millions of dollars. Uncle Cliffy always told me,,, “Money dont mean S**t!, Gold, and vintage vehicles will always have value and will always grow, but cash doesnt S**t!” My own piles of vehicles continue to gain in value, my 401k hasnt done much, and since the beginning of the year has backslid in a major way. Sure wish i had the cash and storage room back in the 70s and early 1980s, Im not much of a Mopar guy but would have bought up all those Cudas and Challengers, and anything else like that. I showed my Dad before he died, A spread sheet comparison for when we bought a NEW Chevy suburban in 1972 if instead we had spent alittle more and bought a Chevelle with all the bells and whistles fully optioned what it would be worth today if preserved. He was astounded!

      Like 0
  15. Alastair

    I purchased a 1984 Maserati Biturbo Coupe, manual 5 speed out of a garage like this, rust free and in good physical shape. It had 44,000 miles and its V6 Twin Turbo wasn’t running, it was a blown turbo. I paid $1,000 and had it towed to the repair shop in San Diego. I decided to rebuild the motor in case of any hidden gremlins, with a new turbo it was around $6,000 to do everything. It really wasn’t a lot of money for the joy I got out of the car. I spent many a fine day ripping it around the freeways and back roads of California between San Diego and Santa Barbara and points beyond. I truly enjoyed it and it was comfortable, insanely fast, performed beautifully, handled great on the curves and has one of the most beautiful interiors of any car ever. No one really knew much about it, it was a great sleeper and would do around 140 MPH with 0 – 60 mph 6.1 seconds. Now compare that to the same year 1984 Ferrari 308 GBT Quattrovalvole which does 0 – 60 MPH in 6.5 seconds. These cars are vastly under rated and worth putting time into.
    I had it appraised properly and insured it. I would probably still have it if my mechanic hadn’t had an accident with it as an old guy pulled a sudden U-turn in front of him. I made money and picked up the paper to find another toy.
    So would I do it again? No, I had my fun, but if you wanted to get a car that you could thoroughly enjoy and race the heck out of for a few thousand I think I would say go for it.

    Like 0

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