Limo Basketcase: 1982 Maserati Quattroporte III

If you’re looking to own a project that will undoubtedly test your abilities and your love of vintage automobiles, this 1982 Maserati Quattroporte III limousine has your name written all over it. Take a chassis that’s already known to be a maintenance headache, factor in a custom stretch conversion, and then let it sit for decades – marinate, stir, etc. – and you have an unusual project that will either make you an Instagram influencer overnight or leave you broken and, well..broke. The seller is asking $12,000 for this massive undertaking of a project, and while I admittedly find it cool, I would be shocked if he finds any takers at that price point. Find the Maserati here on craigslist in Eugene, Oregon.

Now, pause for a moment and imagine this Maserati when it was new. Who owned it? It had to be a total jet-setter that eschewed the typical Lincoln or even a Mercedes conversion, going straight for the most in-your-face display of wealth possible: a Maserati Quattroporte sedan, complete with a VCR, TVs, and I’m sure at least one ice chest and accompanying bar. This is the kind of car you’re more likely to find in Saudi Arabia to ferry an executive from the palace to the oil fields, yet here it is, resting in Oregon. The seller notes it comes with vintage California vanity plates that spell GDFHTER, so it’s been on the West Coast for a while.

Now, Maserati has a long history in its home country of providing vehicles for the transport of political dignitaries, usually heavily fortified with armored panels and windows in addition to extremely luxurious interior appointments. Did this Maserati begin life that way, moving the prime minister from place to place? Doubtful, but it’s wild to think about. Of course, in the 80s, there were aftermarket companies doing all manners of conversions for the Big 3 automakers, both factory authorized and not, so it’s highly likely a company specializing in limo conversions simply saw the Quattroporte as a way to drum up interest in their services.

Now, I have to wonder how far down the slippery slope of deferred maintenance this Maserati fell before it ended up here on craigslist. These cars will challenge even the most committed owners, and the heavy purple tint on the windows doesn’t inspire much confidence that this thing was dealer-serviced in recent years (or decades). The seller claims he has too much on his plate to take this project all the way, and that it could be worth as much as $40K when complete. I doubt that, personally, and I’m willing to bet your total investment will knock up against that price without too much effort. Still, this thing would be a wicked addition to your local Radwood meet.

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Comments

  1. That Guy

    I’m thinking the most realistic buyer for this would be someone who supplies cars for movie and television production. It could be tarted up externally and would make great set dressing for some conspicuous-consumption flick set in the 1980’s. But restoring it, or even making it driveable? Probably not worthwhile.

    9
    • JohnD

      Great idea! Bought cheap, tarted up some, and blown up on film. . . Cheap to do and no real loss in the end . . .

      6
      • OIL SLICK

        If there was ever a candidate for an LS swap this is it.

        6
  2. Skorzeny

    I wouldn’t pay $500 for this, and even then, I might make a coffee table out of the engine, and sell the rest for parts. Oh wait, there are only 4 of these running, so a parts market might be a little slim…

    5
  3. Rick

    They spelled ‘will trade for pocket lint’ wrong. Would make a great 24 Hours of Lemons car.

    14
  4. Rodney - GSM

    “Maserunaway”

    7
  5. Mark

    So a good father must have owned it?

    2
    • PaulG

      Or Marlon Brando…

      3
  6. Keith

    You can pickup chic’s in this ride!!! Heck Yeah!!!

    1
  7. Stangalang

    Lmao..omg 🤔🤣 possibly worth scrap price (which ain’t much right now) seriously though I don’t think you’ll ever see another one of these..would fit right in to a dolomite show…scratch that..I like dolemite👍🏾

    1
    • OIL SLICK

      Are “Dolemite Shows” a thang now? I wanna go

      1
  8. Milt

    Come on guys, even the folks at BAT have enough class, decency, and taste not to display eyesores like this.

    1
  9. KEVIN L HARPER

    Well when he drops the 1 at the front of the price it makes sense.
    For 2k pull the motor and drop a Chrysler in it. A 440 bolts right up to the torque flight transmission that came with these.
    Use the engine to make an accurate 450s replica. Use the limo to tow the 450s for vintage day at the track.
    You will only be a little upside down

    3
    • Arthur

      A Chrysler engine would be fitting, since Maserati is now part of the FCA empire. Considering what’s available today, I could see this car getting a Hellcat Redeye engine, Viper 6-speed, performance wheels, and a custom chassis from either Art Morrison or Roadster Shop.

    • Kellerg

      I’m thinking a Cummins 4BT (more than stock of course)…

  10. jo6pac

    Why would any one do this?

  11. Ryan Hilkemann

    Maserati sports car!

  12. Paolo

    I wonder if this was part of the fleet from the religious cult that existed in Oregon in the 1980s. Anyone remember the Rajneeshees? The head man had a fleet of Rolls Royces and a well armed militia. Who else in central Oregon would have such a POS?

    2
    • Araknid78

      Interesting theory. However, I couldn’t find any information that Rajneesh ever did his daily “drive-bys” in anything other than one of his 93(!) Rolls-Royces. He had a documented fondness for the cars.

      Rajneeshpuram, as the commune was called, was created near a tiny town named Antelope in north central Oregon. Eugene is in the Willamette valley in western Oregon nearly 200 miles away.

      4
      • Paolo

        Yeah I know about the 93 +/- Rolls the old Fake had but it could be that this thing was somewhere on the periphery of that scene. The Rajneeshees were ostentatious and a stretch Maserati would seem to be a suitable staff car for Ma Anand Sheela who was the personal assistant to Rajneesh, 1st Lieutenant, Superintendent, General Manager, head of security, any or all of those things. Rajneeshpuram existed from 1981-1985 so a 1982 Quattroporto fits the time line. It would have been just the thing to squire VIPs like CBS 60 Minutes crew around the commune when they came to report the happenings in Antelope to America. What other reason would there be for this car to be there?

        Alternate theory, since the seller says he has California license plates for it, it began life in livery service in Los Angeles. It may have some Hollywood history dropping producer types at the red carpet on Oscar night. After a couple years as a top tier ride it aged downscale working b-list Hollywood, comedy clubs, MTV awards until finally it got too tatty, unreliable and expensive to maintain, drive or even park in dead storage. Now a millstone, some LA dropouts, surfer-stoners, or other vehicular nonconformist freaks road trip it north with visions of lower cost of living, and perhaps plans for a marijuana grow operation or craft beer enterprise. Once in Oregon the big Eye-tal-yen has fulfilled its purpose as escape pod. Once again the millstone, it exists on the cusp between ridicule and unicorn awaiting rediscovery, full appreciation of its unique history and perhaps preservation so that future generations will know just how truely ridiculous their ancestors were.

        Either theory works fine for me or advance your own. Anything you can think up is unlikely to surpass whatever the true story might be.

        1
  13. Tom c

    The amount of blow done in the back of this car back in the day , would give even Carlos Montoya a heart attack.

    4
  14. Dovi65

    Interesting car; would be kinda fun to have. I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart (head??) for automotive oddballs. Note to seller: either your “0” key got stuck, or you inadvertently put the decimal point in the wrong spot. I’m sure you meant $1200.

    3
  15. Ralph

    The only other one of these I’ve ever seen was in 1987’s The Running Man, it was the limo the crooked game show host(played by Family Feud’s Richard Dawson) rode to the studio in

    1
    • CJinSD

      It was red in the movie, but I can only hope that this is the same car. Would be a shame if this happened to two of them.

      1
  16. jbbush

    https://www.curbsideclassic.com/blog/cc-outtake-the-really-big-maserati/

    Featured nine (nine!) years ago on Curbside Classic.

    2
    • 1Ronald

      Thanks for the link. FOUR webers. Worth the price of the car. I have one Weber on my 1984 CJ-7 Jeep Renegade that’s making me call it a millionaire’s carb. No problems. Glad to be rid of that OEM that was $200 to overhaul and still didn’t last.

      1
  17. 1Ronald

    So many unkind comments to a car that announces, no screams, you have arrived. Remember this car well. 200mph on the speedometer. Two tail pipes thrusting out from the bumper. Wow. Imagine 19yo Gia Giudice pulling up to her dorm at Rutgers in New Brunswick in this thing. Double Wow. Nothing in the listing stating to be sold for and to Italians Only.

    1
    • rob

      except for the fact that you won’t arrive. well, maybe in an Uber.

  18. djjerme

    I’ll be running the Eugene Marathon next month, maybe if this is still available, I’ll drag it back home as a finishing medal.. I’m sure the wife won’t mind!

    2
  19. Araknid78

    OMG. I happened to drive down this very street while I was visiting Eugene a couple of months ago. I saw this monstrosity sitting by itself in a vacant lot and just had to stop to get a closer look. I could only peek through fence, but it didn’t look too bad, just really dirty.

    The thing I keep repeating to myself was “why”.

    1
  20. Mike

    This would be the hands down class winner at the next Radwood event. The TV antenna is a nice touch. I wonder if there is a top loader VCR inside?

    1
  21. Christopher A. Junker

    Pebble Beach winner. Jay, what was that category again?

  22. Naptown mark

    Congrats, BF. We have officially found the most ridiculous, crack-pipe-priced, ostentatious, fiscally overwhelming, sanity-sapping, will-to-live-draining, reason-defying, relationship-breaking, kitsch-embodying pile of pasta-fied misery ever foisted upon mankind.

    2
  23. SamM

    What would it take to shorten it back to stock,, or even a coupe (Duoporte)? Hmmmm

  24. rob

    $120? sure! I’m sure it was a rental company when it was new.

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