27 Years Stored: 1980 Maserati Quattroporte

Jeff LaveryBy Jeff Lavery

The Maserati Quattroporte sedan rarely appears as anything other than a non-running project. This 1980 model was apparently locked up in a Texas warehouse for the last 27 years, and while quite needy, there are also many decent parts left on this early example. Who knows – maybe those four Weber carbs will sing again? Find it here on eBay with a $5,000 Buy-It-Now and the option to submit a best offer. 

The seller believes the mileage of 35,700 to be genuine, and despite the outward appearance, there are other indications its correct. The paper trail shows it was last titled in 1988 with 32,000 miles and then last inspected in 1990. If it went off the road shortly thereafter, the mileage checks out. The rust blossoming on the exterior is likely due to a leaky building and not long-term exposure; it appears the Maserati has been stored by a wrecking yard of sorts along with other too-decent-to-scrap cars that were likely thought to be future collectors’ items.

Other evidence of this being a low-mileage Quattroporte includes the interior. Maserati interiors are famous for being overdone with leather coating every surface and then disintegrating rapidly after being left in a driveway in some warm weather climate. Given this one apparently went right into storage after it was either donated or deemed a salvage vehicle, the interior still presents incredibly well. From a parts car perspective, the interior pieces and a low-mileage aluminum V8 could be desirable to an owner restoring one of these cars.

Rust is present on most exterior surfaces and paint is effectively non-existent. Amazingly, the tires appear to still hold air on one side, though it’s doubtful those are the original Pirelli Cinturato rollers. The seller does note one of the concentrated areas of rust is a proper hole that will need patching, unfortunately located at the bottom of the windshield – a prime area for water intrusion into the cabin. The current asking price is a bit ambitious, so hopefully a best offer of $2,500 or so will net someone a terrific parts car or platform for restoration.

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  1. dan

    even running driving and shinny, not worth $5k or 1/2 of that

  2. Rustytech

    That looks like a lot of rust for a car stored indoors, in Texas for all those years, even if the roof leaked. I’d be more interested in what looks like a late 70’s Seville sitting next to it.

  3. Coventrycat

    Same here with the Seville.

  4. Larry B.

    It’s Texas, but it’s Houston. Even the air rusts in Houston. Mine, stored indoors in Dallas all its life, has no rust, and I’ve crawled all over it to see. Many have been neglected and are in bad shape or already junked. Interest is rising as the numbers dwindle. There is one for sale in the UK for $71k. It’s perfect, of course, and it’s the asking price – who knows what it will sell for. They were impressive in their day – 143mph was pretty speedy for a sedan in 1980.

    • Clinton

      I lived in Houston but was born in Cleveland Ohio. I KNOW rust. Your perspective on rust in that area suggests you have maybe only been through the area on your way to Galveston. Now Galveston has a rust problem due to salt spray. Houston not so much. Trust me sold 100’s of Houston vehicles at auction and inspected more than I can count.

      • Brakeservo

        And more than a few of those Houston cars are flood salvage! Anyone else remember the Bugatti Veyron that went for a swim between Galveston and Houston a fwe years ago?? Guy was convicted wasn’t he??

  5. Dave Wright

    I bought my 84 last year for 1700.00, have it running and driving well with fresh fluids and a new battery. This one is missing a lot, wheels misc parts…..it is a parts car. My son wants an engine for a hot rod. I will make an offer…..but will be pretty skinny. These are wonderful undervalued cars right now. The mechanicals and incredible, nice interiors, fun cars all together. I get offers weekly on mine in the 20K range but it is not for sale.

  6. Howard A Member

    Where is this located? Mt. St. Helens area? I’ve got news for ya’, it looked better covered with dust. Probably was a nice car, wouldn’t touch it with a 20 foot pole.

  7. Dave Wright

    Quatroporte engine.

    • Dan h

      Why did Italians always make it so darn labor intensive to change belts???

      • Brakeservo

        Dan, are you referring to clothes/fashion or cars??

      • Dave Wright

        Because there are no belts……..don’t confuse this with a Fiat…

  8. chris mahoney

    Maseratis have a terrible reputation.

    • Bruce Best

      That is mainly the bi-turbos these were not that bad, but they were terribly thirsty cars and that will not help even in the lowered cost fuel period we are living with now.

  9. Brakeservo

    Funny this is listed here along with the Toyota Cressida. One must have cost ten times the price of the other when new, but oh, look at the values now. What were the people who bought these new thinking? Or did they simply have so much stinking money they didn’t have to think?

  10. Bruce Best

    The big problem with these cars is that they are massively complex. The engine is a up date of the 1950’s racing engine with some of the same problems still designed in. There is also the size, while large they seem much larger than they really are. Large to the point of being too plump for the tastes of today. This is especially true when you look at the sharp edges of the body.

    The interiors are amazing. Few of us own furniture that is as good as the seats and interior panels within this car. But if complexity will kill a car this is one that will have that problem. If it runs, and the parts can be sourced then it could be worth picking up but plan on much work and time getting it back on the road.

  11. Ian

    Urban assault vehicle. Don’t buy it thinking that it will be exciting to drive. Over 70 it’s not bad though. Jag style irs rear suspension, chrysler slushbox.

    Had one

  12. Bill McCoskey

    I look at the condition of the leather seating surfaces and the first thought that comes to mind is it’s not 35,000 miles. Maybe 135,000.

  13. Tony, Australia.

    Why would someone put a car like this with such low mileage on it into storage or for that matter stop driving it while it was still in really good condition ??? Perhaps they had more money than sense and just decided to buy something a bit newer and to hell with this one, or maybe there’s something major wrong with it, who knows?

  14. Steve G

    II live in Houston, and own a 1987 Maserati Biturbo Si coupe with the rare 2.5 liter twin turbo fuel injected engine.Ive owned it for many years, it’s a real head-turner, It looks great, starts first time everyday and performance is awesome. For a 30 yr old car aside from normal routine maintenance Ive had no troubles with it whatsoever since I bought it.

    • Brakeservo

      Reminds me of my little brother’s experience with his Fiat X1/9 – he drove it for years and thousands of miles with no problems either. It shows that if a manufacturer makes enough examples of any car, occasionally they screw up and make a good one!!

  15. Larry Grinnell

    At first glance, I thought it was one of those J-Car Cadillac Cimarrons.

  16. RS

    Look at that instrument panel. It’s like something out of a motor home. UGLY.


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