Hates to Scrap It: 1984 Maserati Biturbo

Jeff LaveryBy Jeff Lavery

Ah, the whipping boy of 1980s Italian luxury: the Maserati Biturbo. Despite their reputation for horrendous reliability, I have to ask why so many are seemingly still “around.” They must have sold a ton of these when new, especially considering examples like this 1984 model here on craigslist are still available. The seller doesn’t want to scrap it, but he’s also expecting a somewhat unreasonable $1,000 for this “parts car.” 

What I do like about this particular car is it appears to wear some sort of a period body kit, with the rear decklid spoiler and sideskirts still attached. Not everyone’s cup of tea, sure, but if you’re going to go 80s-style, may as well go all the way. You can tell from this photo that the BiTurbo has been parked under a tree for a few decades, with the debris pileup on the hood and windshield.

Those legendary Biturbo seats are still present, though in need of restoration. The Nardi wheel and puffy leather gearshift boot are all trademarks of the BiTurbo and in surprisingly decent shape. If the seller’s claim of 34,000 miles is true, that may explain why the interior isn’t as destroyed as most of the Biturbo’s we see. As a parts car, there could be some potential here – but I’d want to see that bodykit preserved somehow.

Despite making some beautiful noises when new, rejuvenating the Maser’s turbocharged powerplant is beyond any sort of financial good sense. The seller would be smart to drop the price to $500 and help another BiTurbo owner keep their project on the road, but given some of the inflexibility already on display in the listing, we’re not confident this battered Maserati won’t end up at a Pick ‘N Pull in the near term.

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Comments

  1. Dolphin Dolphin Staff

    This could be a good buy as a parts car, providing there’s anyone still running one of these who might need the parts.

    There is someone, right?

    …..anyone???

    3+
    • Jeffro

      Bueller…Bueller….

      6+
      • Greg NJ2SC

        Frye

        1+
      • Dolphin Dolphin Staff

        I think I can say something nice about these “Masers”.

        I once had a ride in a brand new Biturbo at Road Atlanta, driven by the local dealer. Didn’t go fast, but that let me spend time admiring the interior, which was one of the most luxurious interiors I had ever seen, before or since.

        The leather seats looked so good that you wished you wore your Sunday best just to sit in the car.

        That’s about it. It was downhill for these poor cars from that point on.

        1+
  2. Superdessucke

    Good God. How much did these little turds cost back then? I can’t imagine why someone would spend a ton of money for something like this even new. A grand for this is an insult. Take a zero off the end.

    2+
  3. Will
    1+
  4. Coventrycat

    There’s so many around because they think the Maserati name is worth something, so they hang on to them. I remember back then while the Camaro dudes had mullets, the drivers of these all seem to have that parted in the middle and feathered haircut just like all the 80’s high school bad guys in the movies.

    5+
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      I had the parted in the middle look too, but drove a Camaro. Bucking the stereotype…….

      0
  5. BiggYinn

    Once a turd always a turd… seats make great tv chairs lol

    5+
    • Wpgcarnut

      Ha! I was thinking that too!

      0
  6. 68 custom

    only thing these are good for would be to install a LS motor and back half it to make an old school pro-street rod.

    7+
  7. AMCFAN

    What the guy is REALLY saying about not wanting to scrap this poor specimen is this; He would like to get more then $170. for it. No one really cared about scraping (even real car guys) when the price was through the moon. Myself included. I hauled in a vintage Dodge Omni once that was full of unwanted metal from around my shop. The car brought nearly $700. when they picked it up the roof was nearly ripped off it was so heavy. Ahhhh. Those were the days.

    Sadly today as scrap metal prices are in the toilet cars that have out lived their usefulness are still being sold. Have a close friend in the business and it is amazing what you find. Recently while I was hanging out an older guy drove in a what looked like a perfectly good Ford Ranger Splash edition truck simply because he could no longer afford to pay the insurance. Truck was clean 4 cyl man. shift no rust and wasn’t beat up. He drove it off the scale and removed his plates. My friend who owns the business says that happens daily. I love him to death but I can’t buy from him. He wants triple. Hey business is business.

    4+
  8. Graham

    Good grief! Surely a piece of card or paper (or just remove it?) would have been a better way to hide the rego plate! A finger……?!?!?!

    0
  9. Adam Wright

    I bought one of these once, for $350, it was a convertible, I figured, “How can I go wrong?” Cleaned it up, it sold for $900 on ebay, and the guy was pissed when he got it. Never again, I don’t care if one was free….

    2+
    • Dan

      I have to ask…why was he so upset?

      1+
      • Adam Wright

        Apparently he was a Maserati parts seller and hoped to part the car out, except it was a ragged out old Bi-Turbo, which is how I described it, so when it arrived at his place he sent me a list of stuff he couldn’t sell off the car, like the windshield, because it was foggy in the corners. It was just a bad deal, a cursed car, so I’ve never touched one ever again.

        4+
  10. Milt

    Wheeler Dealer had one one their show that was electric. Might be the way to go.

    3+
  11. icee3

    I bought one at an auction for $500.00 thinking how could I go wrong.
    It was in beautiful shape with 65k on the clock. While driving it home on the freeway doing about 65mph I decide to see what this thing could do and floored it. Holy !@@#$$ I was doing 120 in seconds!!! When these things ran they ran incredible! Sold it on e-bay for $2500.00 and the guy after money changing hands took off like he stole it. It was fun while I had it and am glad its gone.

    4+
  12. bwarner

    Pry the Tridents off of it and put it out of its misery.

    2+
  13. Rob Rose

    Best wheels ever to install on a Fiat.

    6+
  14. Bob in Bexley Member

    All the suede interior trim including headliner & perfect rubber pedal pads still looks great stored in the basement after 20 years & has yet to experience any running/driveability issues.

    0
  15. Tyler

    Admittingly, I know nothing about Maserati’s other than Joe Walsh’s would do 185. What were the major issues with these cars?

    1+
  16. John K

    For $500, gut it and run it in Lemons.

    At least give a Maserati a proper funeral before sending it to the scrapyard – – let it go down swinging.

    1+
  17. Steven

    I still own my 1987 Biturbo Si and will never sell it.There extremely quick and fast. And compared to complicated modern cars these are easy to work on and only require basic mechanical skills to repair and maintain. Parts are reasonable and very easy to find, and yes, The world is beginning to wake-up to these and prices are beginning to skyrocket on the rarer and well kept examples.The engines sound is totally glorious and the car turns heads everywhere I drive it. Anyone who dreams of owning a vintage Italian muscle car should consider buying one of these while you still can afford one

    2+
    • Steven

      Another photo of my 87 Biturbo Si. Who wouldn’t want to own and drive this?

      0
  18. dan

    So popular it was featured on The Grand Tour on Amazon Season 1 ep 11…
    https://youtu.be/0kcY6v9fjhs

    0
  19. dr fine

    The Biturbo did not sell well in the US. A factory rep came across the pond to figure out why. (I always thought they looked cheap, like a K car) He was standing on a busy LA street and saw one approaching in heavy traffic. He said “We should have made it larger, it looks unimportant.”

    2+
  20. Doc

    I owned one about 20 years ago. I loved, and still love, the look of them. The handling was amazing for an 80s sedan. It was a joy in those rare moments when it was running right, and felt like a rocket when those turbos kicked in.

    That said, there was *always* something wrong with it, and if it got rained on, it wouldn’t start for a couple of days… never did figure that one out.

    If I could get it cheap enough, I’d buy a good example with a bad motor and do a swap for something more reliable.

    Edit: With no title, this thing is worthless. And why does the ad say the car is in Virginia, but the ad was posted on NY Craigslist?

    0
  21. Mike W H

    As far as I know, in Southern California, at least half of these went up in flames due to some defect in the fuel injection. At least , that’s what I think when I see one; “how soon until it explodes?”

    0
  22. Burzel

    Dodge Shadow

    0
  23. Injuhneer

    I always get a laugh of all the derision heaped on the Biturbo.

    No doubt corners were cut. The car was rushed to market.

    If however you find a specimen intact there are basically a few things that can be done to sort one out. The advantage of doing this 30 years later is that all the problems are known.

    1) Offload high current circuits to relays
    2) If not done already remove sintered oil filters in the engine block. Add correct oil restrictors.
    3) While the heads are off replace the cylinder liner gaskets
    4) Fit the later dual idler timing belt arrangement (available as parts from Euro cars or in a kit form from some vendors)
    5) Sort the rest as you would any older car that has been neglected
    6) Drive it! Drive it! Drive! All the Biturbo Bile in the Americas will hold the value down so enjoy it!

    0

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