Not a Frightpig! 1982 Maserati Quattroporte

Disclosure: This site may receive compensation from some link clicks and purchases.

Do you ever wonder if a car that has a horrible reputation may actually be a decent driver if it’s taken care of? That’s what I think of whenever a Maserati Quattroporte shows up for sale. This one is a 1982 model that the seller claims is “…not a pig,” which is cutting to the chase pretty quickly about what the reputation of these super sedans tends to be. Big, fast, complex – all recipes for disaster when a car is not maintained, which happens a lot with Maseratis of a certain vintage (right on up to the present day). This one actually looks quite decent, with low mileage and recently rebuilt carburetors. Find it here on eBay with bids to $7,400 and the reserve unmet.

First, if you’re going to buy a Quattroporte, it’s always a bonus to find one in an unusual color. I can’t recall seeing too many of these in red, with most appearing in white, black, or gray. The shape of this model isn’t exactly sexy, as it amounts to a brick floating through the wind. But it’s still a Giugiaro design, and there’s an understated handsomeness to it that matches what the S-Class Mercedes were giving off at the time. Even the wheels were like the classic W126 Bundt wheels, basically amount to something only mildly better than steel rollers. Regardless, the paint looks excellent and the same goes for the chrome bumpers.

The Maserati interiors are in a league of their own as it relates to opulence, and they crumble quickly when left unattended. When you see a car like this, it becomes immediately clear it was garaged and someone sprayed leather care cleaner onto the surfaces once in a while. Mileage is listed as being a tick over 55,000, which is encouraging on a car like this: it was actually used, and not just showing up a few decades later with 10,000 miles and all sorts of deferred maintenance to sort out. Rust can be a problem on these, but not to the extent of warped dashboards and ripped leather seats that will cost thousands of dollars to correct. If it were mine, I’d replace the steering wheel with a wood-rimmed three spoke, but otherwise not change a thing.

While the engine bay isn’t overly detailed, the description would indicate it’s seen some attention lately with the mention of rebuilt carbs. This 4.9L V8 produced very respectable horsepower, churning out 276 horsepower and routed through a three-speed Chrysler Torqueflite automatic. There were other Chrysler-derived parts bin pieces in these lux0-barges as well, which is somewhat ironic considering the high-end clientele Maserati was targeting. Bidding may be a touch light at the moment, but the collector car market hasn’t exactly been gobbling these super sedans up. Still, if you find a good one, could it be a worthwhile investment?

Auctions Ending Soon



    Interesting car, horribly produced ad (with the exception of the low-res photos which do not expand).

    This is a dealer’s ad so there’s no excuse.

    How about photos of the car’s Carfax or AutoCheck report?

    I’ve put this on my to-watch list. I will be curious if it actually sells and what the final price will be.

    I a personal note, when I had my mobile electronics back in the 1980s, I worked on two of these, one at the same time that I had a 1985 560SEL in the shop. The contrast could not be more striking. The 560SEL was in every way an obviously superior car, a state-of-the-art, world-class luxury car.

    The Quattroporte? Not so much. The assembly quality of the interior made it look like a kit car. But thankfully all the owner wanted was an Alpine AM/FM/CD player installed, a 4-channel amp installed in the trunk and all four speakers replaced. It worked out well and the car never returned.

    But it was damn beautiful, in a mid-1980s sort of way.

    Like 7
    • CJinSD

      I used to work for one of the biggest car audio specialists in the country. The Mercedes-Benzes of the ’80s were like something from the British cottage industry compared to Hondas and Acuras. The installers hated it when they were faced with putting a high end system in a Mercedes, as they were spoiled by having used the installation kits we made for cars with robust and predictable wiring installed by their factories. You could have two of the same model year German cars, and one would be wired for four speakers while the other was wired for two speaker-level inputs with a remote parallel fader attached to four speakers. Or one receiver would have a built in amp while the next outwardly identical one would have a tiny remote amp hidden somewhere in the car that didn’t even look like an amp. West German cars were fantastic in many ways, but their sound systems were still afterthoughts longer than those in Detroit and Japanese cars. Actually, a friend is having the same issue trying to install the new PCCM in his 2001 Porsche. His car’s factory system has a different amplifier brand than some others, and the expensive ‘plug and play’ Porsche PCCM designed for cars like his doesn’t know how to power it up.

      Like 4

        CJ, here’s a quick follow-up to my earlier post.

        One day we had an 1980s S-Class in the shop for the installation of an Alpine CD changer. My office was adjacent to the install bay and all of a sudden I’m smelling fuel. The installer installed the CD changer bracket to the hush panel separating the trunk to what he thought was the interior firewall… not. The fuel tank was right behind the hush panel.

        I got everyone out of the install bay, pushed the car out, then called my local Mercedes-Benz dealer to order a new fuel tank (as I recall, it cost $550), which arrived the next day. Next, I called the owner, told him that there would be a one-day delay in him getting his car back. I delivered the car at 1 PM the following day and told the owner what happened. He started laughing.

        Those were the best customers.

        Like 11
      • Gerard Frederick

        Interesting remarks from a guy who obviously knows his stuff. What is strange however is, that in the 1950´s and 60´s german radio sets were the absolute ultimate in design, looks and workmanship. Braun, Löwe Opta, Saba, Nordmende, Dual or Telefunken – producers of the first TV set worldwide in 1936 – etc. were so far ahead of the rest, they had been designed on another planet. I have often wondered what on earth happened that such magnificent manufacturers of electronic jewelry disappeard to be seemingly replaced by japanese look alike, sound alike

        Like 4
      • CJinSD


        That’s a good story about the fuel tank, and didn’t immediately go where I was thinking. I think we had more trouble with installers confusing things that weren’t audio components with things that weren’t audio components. Rip out a couple of boxes that look like newly-redundant amp or crossover networks, and the next thing you know the car is a paperweight.

        Like 0

      With a little less than seven hours to go, bidding has stalled at $7400, which is probably what this car is worth.

      What will last-minute bidding drive the final bid up to and will it be above the seller’s reserve?

      Like 0
  2. JCAMember

    I prefer the much newer Quattroporte V, around 2006, which has that amazing and unique sounding Ferrari engine for close to the same price as the reserve for this. If you have the time and money for Maserati level problems, might as well go for it

    Like 3
    • SubGothius

      To be fair, these QP IIIs have a Maserati DOHC V8, derived from their classic V8s used in the previous Bora, Ghibli, and other models going further back all the way to the 450S racer of the mid-’50s.

      Like 1
  3. MoparMatt

    The door handle always looked like they came off of an AMC to me.

    Like 4
  4. A.J

    Normally I don’t tend to disagree with Jeff…but here I have to say that this a car that no matter how well you take care of it…it will allways find a way to break down…not small stuff…big. I had one from new same year as this.. the timing chain broke…the engine was ruined.. after that was fixed..a few months and the water pump went… the gaskets allways leaked… the wind noise a disaster because the rubbers it came with were not fitting well… the electrical failing…only on a good day..the windows super slow.. the ac practically non existing. The handling makes 60s or early seventies caddy or new yorker feel like a new vette. Those seats are not comfortable and they fill out the space inside like the car wants to eat you. I loved the design and how it looked inside but it seems that someone made a serious effort to make it into a real nightmare. THERE IS A REASON THAT WE NEVER EVER SEE THOSE ON ROADS OR IN CAR MEETS.

    Like 4
    • nlpnt

      The ads for these showed an inside view of the dashboard looking out over a leafy lane, with a Ford Maverick up the road ahead. I always imagined the story being depicted was the owner having had a country club lunch after which the Maser lurched some 50 feet out of the club parking lot was now riding home with his secretary whom he called on his brick cellphone.

      Although a Maserati Quattroporte’s owner’s secretary should probably have had at least a Cutlass.

      Like 1
  5. Howie Mueler

    Yes a dealer, looks good in re-sale red.

    Like 2
  6. Paul in Ma

    It is within 2 miles of me. 70s and 80s Italian steel in New England. Hmmmmm

    Like 3
  7. SubGothius

    In-person these have incredible Presence that photos can’t adequately capture. It’s a testament to Giugiaro’s fine sense of proportion that it’s hard to tell from photos just how huge these seem when you’re standing right in front of one, quite a bit larger than they actually are. It comes across like an impeccably-groomed Mob enforcer wearing the most rakish Italian designer suit you’ve ever seen — imposing, impressive, and not to be f***ed with.

    That styling was also cribbed for the later, much smaller Biturbo — which was highly trouble-prone esp. in its early model years due largely to its blow-through carbureted twin-turbo setup, remedied by FI in the much-improved later years — so mistaken identity leads many horror stories about those to get mis-applied to the Quattroporte III which shared almost nothing in common beyond the similar design cues.

    That said, I gather a key caution with these is to avoid ever parking it nose-downhill, as the fuel tank is mounted fairly high above the rear axle, so when parked on a decline it can gravity-feed fuel to the front where it can flood the engine or any pinhole leak can present a fire risk. A good precaution may be to fit a petcock you can use to cut off fuel supply if you ever need to park on a decline, or a default-closed solenoid valve with relays to only allow fuel flow when running or starting.

    Like 2
    • Paolo

      I once had a fuel siphoning issue with a 1970 Mercury Monterey. I came outside one morning to find gas weeping from the engine and dripping on the ground.. The fuel pump diaphragm failed in the night while the car was parked on the hill in front of my house. Gravity allowed the gas to flow from the tank and fill the crankcase. I’m glad I was alert enough to catch this before trying to start the car. Was a little startled to realize that diaphragm was the only thing keeping all that fuel in check.

      Like 1

    It sold for $9,490.00.

    I’d say it’s a ticking time bomb where if something goes wrong with the engine internally, the new owner could end up spending what he/she paid for it to make it right.

    I don’t watch eBay sales much anymore but take a look at the bid history. Something doesn’t look quite right to me.

    Like 0
  9. Araknid78

    Ended: Aug 12, 2021 , 10:04AM
    Winning bid:US $9,490.00
    [ 22 bids ]

    Located in:Waltham, Massachusetts

    Like 0

    The car was sold and bought in Waltham, Massachusetts. What does that tell you? Did someone local actually examine the car and buy it? Or something else? Will this car reappear for sale in the next 90 days?

    Like 0

    I would agree with what someone wrote earlier, having driven the car I worked on around 1985, that these cars have incredible road presence. Would I rather have this than a comparable S-Class or 7-Series, or even a Lincoln or Cadillac of similar vintage? Very hard to say. An S-Class from this era, are virtually bulletproof if properly maintained, I’ve seen a few, especially out here in California where rust is not an issue, clock more than a quarter-million miles.

    Like 0

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.

Barn Finds