No Reserve Donation: 1984 Maserati Biturbo

Time is running out on this super cheap 1984 Maserati Biturbo, which has turned up at the premier donation car store on eBay, Just Donated. The Biturbo is maligned across seemingly every iteration of its short-lived career here in the United States, but there’s some debate as to whether the car was truly that bad or if its reputation was amplified by way of belonging to cheap owners. Regardless of where you stand, this Biturbo can be bought for peanuts considering the current bid is $610 and there’s no reserve. It doesn’t run (surprise, surprise) and it’s sold as-is. Feeling lucky, punk? Find it here on eBay and located in Orange, California.

There’s a lot I like about the Biturbo, mainly from a styling standpoint. I’m a big fan of boxy, 1980s cars, so of course it holds appeal from an aesthetics standpoint. And the interiors, while fragile, are nothing short of opulent if you find one of these with the interior cosmetics in good shape (spoiler alert: this car is not one of them). The performance was certainly respectable, but you had to pay at least some attention to maintaining the Biturbo to factory specs, which a lot of owners chose not to. Today, a secondhand Maserati is one of the cheapest ways to get into a Ferrari-powered vehicle for far less than something wearing the prancing horse badge retails for, but that doesn’t change the fact it still comes with an exotic powertrain and all of the associated maintenance costs.

That’s the pitfall of owning a Biturbo and what likely helped to amplify its nagging quality control issues. The Biturbo was by no means a simple car to maintain, as its pioneering powerplant made it the first production car to use a twin-turbocharged engine. The early models like this one were carbureted, while fuel injection was introduced in 1987. The Biturbo’s engine was good for 185 b.h.p. and 208 lb-ft of torque, very healthy numbers for the malaise era, while later models with FI got a slight bump. The Biturbo seen here is said to not start or run, and the seller couldn’t get the hood open – nor did they test for clutch operation or air conditioning health, but I can almost guarantee the A/C doesn’t blow cold. 

It’s not surprising to see under 40,000 miles on the odometer, as many of these Biturbos seemed to run into mechanical faults that were likely easily resolved at the time but ended up becoming far more serious at the hands of negligent second- and third-owners. I’m not at all suggesting that these were reliable machines, but I’ve run into more than one Biturbo owner who claims well-maintained examples are no worse than any other mid-market European models of the same era. Still, this one is a major roll of the dice. I’d buy it for a parts car and be pleasantly surprised if it wakes up with a new fuel pump and clean gas tank.

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Comments

  1. wuzjeepnowsaab

    This will be the most expensive $600 you’ll ever own. Most frustrating too

    Like 5
  2. Vespa guy

    This is an embarrassment to all Italians..

  3. Christopher Gush

    Asset or liability….? “What could possibly go wrong” ????

    Like 4
  4. Matt

    This is terrible, this idea.

    Like 1
  5. Quidditas

    Crying for an engine swap. Like a modern V6 …

    Like 4
  6. BIMMERBILL

    Jeff is right on the money with his description but if I lived in Southern California I would buy it in a heartbeat. I have always loved the shape of the car. If the engine proved unfixable with it’s known reputation then it would be time to consider an engine transplant, maybe a all aluminum V8

    Like 4
    • Mike

      I love the compact wedgy shape too. Ditch the motor for something else. Wheeler-Dealers did one that was converted to electric which was cool.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0JbbRFuMhw

      Like 4
    • Tom Farabee

      Ls chevy….

  7. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    Been there done that. It’s a learning experience. Parts are expensive and few places to get them. I paid over $500.00 just to get the engine gasket set. If these cars see water they start to rust. On the plus side, once you get it tuned right and the turbos working properly with the 5 speed transmission they are fun to drive.
    But be prepared to spend a lot of money. Mine was done as a hobby and was then donated. That was in 1996, so parts may be more expensive now.
    God bless America

    Like 9
    • Mike

      How were the seats? They look like a tan puffy marshmallow that seem super comfortable.

      Like 3
    • Skorzeny

      John, I salute you for even attempting this.

      Like 3
  8. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    If the parts are so expensive, why isn’t there someone out there scooping these dead ones up for a song and dismantling them?

    I guess that there just isn’t enough people out there willing to tackle these as a project.

    Like 6
    • wuzjeepnowsaab

      Most of them have long been crushed. You might have luck getting parts in Europe but even there most of them died a quick death

  9. Ward William

    At that price I would do an LS swap and be done with it and then drive the damn thing every day.

    Like 4
    • Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

      These were a light weight all aluminum engine. To put a cast iron v8 would take considerable engineering and suspension uogrades.
      God bless America

      Like 1
      • SubGothius

        All LS variants have aluminum heads, and the performance versions also have aluminum blocks with iron cylinder liners, making them lighter than many of the cast-iron I-4s they replace. Even some of the earlier LT series offered in Corvettes, Firebirds and Camaros were all-aluminum.

        Like 2
  10. nlpnt

    Barn Finds is the right place for a Miserati, eBay is not. Nor is Craigslist, Facebook or by the side of the road with a “For Sale” sign in it. There should be a law that they can only be advertised in auto-enthusiast circles, where any potential buyers know what they’re getting into. They should only be bought by people who want a Maserati Biturbo. I’m always afraid of what might happen when one gets bought by someone who needs a car.

  11. lee howarth

    it sold for 2300

  12. Araknid78

    Ended: Jul 22, 2021 , 2:15PM
    Winning bid:US $2,278.00
    [ 47 bids ]

    Item location:Orange, California

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