Big Italian Survivor: 1980 Maserati Quattroporte

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I’ve long been an admirer of the Maserati Quattroporte, but it’s always been from afar due to the horrendous reputation for reliability these large luxury cars have. Most of the ones you find now are in horrible condition, with a lack of maintenance and fixing of problems sidelining them from regular use. This car may be the exception to the rule! It’s located in Novato, California and is up for sale here on eBay.

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The chiseled lines of the car are very late 70’s to mid-80’s, although the door handles look like AMC items and the bumpers are very heavy looking. No one ever accused Italian designers of being subtle during this time period! This car boasts only 36,137 “guaranteed” miles, and has service bills totaling almost $50,000 during that time! So it’s covered about 1,000 miles per year and cost its owners $1.38 per mile in service!

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That’s a very intimidating and distinctive front end. Of course, with the speed of this car, most folks at the time would be seeing the rear, not the front. We can see a tiny dent in the front valence here that’s one of the few cosmetic flaws in the outside of this survivor.

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Of course, the whole idea of a Quattroporte is to convey four people in exquisite comfort at speed. The interior is in remarkable condition for a 36 year old car covered with Italian leather and wood. No, it’s not perfect, but it’s very acceptable. The air conditioning works (!) and so does the cruise control and heated windshield, as well as apparently everything else.

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Among the recent work done, the seller tells us about a full engine and transmission service with all 4 cam and valve adjustments made, two new catalytic converters and that all six shocks have been upgraded to “full Carrera specs”. That 4.9 liter DOHC V8 surely must be fun to put your foot into, I know I’d love to! This is one car I would dearly love to be able to bid on, but that’s not going to happen. I have no idea what the reserve will be! What do you think it will sell for?

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Comments

  1. RayT Member

    Well, Jamie, seems to me $50K in service bills for a 36K-mile car should tell you something, and that “something” isn’t very good. I suppose there’s a chance it has had a finicky owner who had all service done “by the book,” but my extremely limited experience with Maseratis from the 80s and newer suggests that this QP was a real problem child.

    Yes, they were attractive cars — almost everything had lousy-looking bumpers at that time — but all that pretty sheet metal and buttery leather covered up unreliability, expensive and indifferent dealer service and lots of misery.

  2. Scotty G

    Great cars, but they still look super dated to me. Obviously, they’ll be highly collectible in the future, maybe the near future, as other cars are all bought up.
    But, sellers like this chap make me cringe! When they go on and on and on and on and on and on and on about what a great, unbelievable car it is, yadda yadda.. and they like them SO much that they have two of them!…. But.. this one is for sale.. for some reason. If they loved it so much why would they sell it? At the very least, he didn’t say, “My loss is your gain” or something like that, ugh.

    But other than that, a great looking car that’ll soon be worth $10,000 or more. I prefer the mid-60s models, but those are already out of range ($30,000-$50,000+)

  3. Chris

    I give the air conditioning 10 miles or 10 days whichever comes first.

  4. van

    Just shoot me
    Even mazaratti was copying the Volvo wagon
    Box box box box box etc

  5. Chris A.

    At least it is still original instead of hosting a SBC V8. I’ve only seen one here in the east and the years hadn’t been kind. But I still like the design better than the same period MB’s. The $1.38 is close to the per mile maintenance cost for a P 51.

    • Tirefriar

      I’ve never been a fan of using the SBC as a bandaid for anything and everything, but in case of Qportes and BiTurbos I would make an exception.

      • Dave Wright

        These were the last real Maseraties until the modern Fiat era. Even while Citroen was screwing up the brand, these were still built. The engine is magnificent. The body not so much. I remember a couple of cars on the showroom of a prominent Oxnard consignment dealer. One was a T Roadster with the Maserati 4 cam engine installed, 4 downdraft Webers et all, the other was the donor quatroporte with some sort of hot rod Chevrolet in it. The 4 cam is a work of art but you can’t see it hidden in the original engine bay. Seemed reasonable to me.

  6. jim s

    nicer then the Lagonda but if i was going this route i would get another RR. i like the fact that this is stock or close to it. interesting find

  7. That Guy

    $1.38 per mile isn’t too different than my cost of ownership of a Ferrari 308GT4 about 15 years ago. Owned it four years, put about 5000 miles on it, spent at least $5000 on maintenance and by the time I sold it, a cam belt change and general service were overdue (another $3K at least).

    I think that’s just the price one pays for driving an Italian exotic. The purchase price is only the down payment. If you accept that going in, and are willing to spend the money to keep on top of things, you can keep your car looking like this one.

  8. AMC STEVE

    This car needs an HMO

  9. Ian

    Owned one. Land yacht. Just say no.

  10. HeadMaster1

    I had 2 1/2 of these, as the 1st one I sold, I ended up buying back years ago….Fun car to cruise, NOT fast, but great sounding. The 3-speed auto (Chrysler 727) was strong but these cars needed 5 -speeds to use that engine fully. They look way better in person, low, wide, long, it will draw attention……

  11. Chris A.

    Did the European version ever come through with 5 spd manual trannys?

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