Sweet Spyder: 1987 Maserati Biturbo

These cars have always been fascinating to me and this 1987 Maserati Biturbo Spyder looks like one of the nicest ones that I’ve seen in a while. It can be found here on eBay in Gilbert, Arizona, just east of Phoenix. The current bid is just over $1,100 but of course, the reserve isn’t met yet.

I always wonder why people take photos of convertibles, or “Spyders” in this case, with the side windows up. It gives the appearance that maybe they don’t go down, and why would you want to have anything take away from the styling of a drop-top Maserati? They do go down as seen in this photo of the top, which needs work as you can see. Luckily, they have a  new top that goes with the sale.

The famous design house of Zagato styled the convertible Biturbos and those in the know will tell you that cars like this 1987 and later are the ones to have. This car looks perfect to me until you get to the interior, which shows some normal aging but still looks fantastic. The seller says that it has been sitting for a while which is always scary. As if these cars aren’t scary enough when they’ve been in continuous use. They go on to say that in the six months that it’s been sitting the front struts are in need of replacement. I have cars that sit for longer than that with no trouble at all, we all probably do. It shouldn’t be a big problem to have a car sit for six months if they’re stored correctly.

Like showing a convertible with the top down but the side windows up, I never like to see seat covers on a car that’s for sale, it visually tells me that something is wrong with the fabric or leather even if it’s in perfect condition, which they very well could be. There is no mention of the interior at all and no photos showing the seats under the covers. By 1987, Maserati had worked out a lot of the nagging problems that plagued the early cars but the writing was on the wall.

This is Maserati’s 2.5L V6 with twin turbos which sounds unbelievable impressive but it only pumped out 189 hp and 220 ft-lb of torque. Still, it had an impressive 0-60 time of around 6.5 seconds. Last fall I got a new winter vehicle with a twin-turbo V8 and a little over 500 hp and I have to say that I would not mind adding another high-maintenance twin-turbo to the garage. The seller has had the front brakes redone and a new clutch installed which is great. They say that it’ll need front struts and that’s it, other than having that new top installed. This rust-free Arizona Maserati Biturbo Spyder really looks like a good one. Have any of you owned a Maserati Biturbo?

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Comments

  1. Johnmloghry

    I owned a 85 bi-turbo. These cars never gained much value. They were prone to rust, even in Naples, Florida where I lived at the time. The valves are hard to adjust, they use shims (actually a little round cap that must be ground to specs, that sit on top of the valve shaft) you grind a little to much you have loud valve lash.
    God bless America

  2. U.K. Paul 🇬🇧

    Always wanted one of these. Yes people slag them off as unreliable etc but I would suffer it for something so unusual.
    When was last time you saw one in the road?

  3. CJinSD

    The market has really changed for these in the past dozen years. There are bids over $1200 for a Biturbo that needs a top? How soon they forget.

  4. Dave Graham

    If this car is a true Arizona car, there is a very good chance that I sold it new in 1987. I was the sales manager for Max of Switzerland, the Rolls-Royce, Alfa Romeo and Maserati dealer in Scottsdale Arizona at that time. Those were some fun cars to drive. The sound of the exhaust was exhilarating, a true Italian sports car.

    We didn’t sell a lot of these in Arizona, they would over heat in the summertime. We would have to tell customers they should not run the air conditioning in the summertime.

    See if there is my business card in with the owners manual and let me know if it’s one of the ones I sold.

    Dave

  5. John

    These cars got fuel injection in 1987 which vastly improved reliability and drive ability.

  6. dr fine

    The factory sent a guy over to figure out why these sold so poorly in the US. He watched as one passed in traffic, and mentioned that it did not stand out from other vehicles. Too small, he said. It looks unimportant.

  7. Adam Wright

    I bought one of these several years ago, for $350! Put it on ebay for no reserve, sold for $900 and the guy was pissed when he got it. The reason they all have low low miles, is they never ran right. My dad wanted one when they were only a few years old, and every one he went to look at had a dead battery and flat tires, and this was when they were less than 5 years old. Great looking but mechanically they are truly a POS!

  8. Mark Evans

    If you got it on the cheap.-drivetrain swap. Any suggestions? What would it take to make it all day reliable?

    • Bryan W Cohn

      I drove several of the 85-86 model year cars when working for dealers in St. Louis in that era.

      The early cars used a Weber 2 barrel carb with what is called a blow through turbo set up. The carb lived inside a pressurized “box” in which the turbo’s blew their pressurized air. Combine that with typical Italian wiring nightmares of that era and its a wonder they ran long enough to get off the boat at port!

      The ’87 went to proper fuel injection and they ran 1000 times better. Not only that but a mechanic who know your standard German and Italian injection could work on the damn thing. The ’87 and up cars were vastly improved, so much so I would not be scared to own one today IF it were rust free. Like any weird car its gonna have its issues that require patiences and ingenuity to figure out. Throwing money isn’t always the solution. If my crazy Peugeot and Citroen friends can keep their cars on the road then you can keep a Bi-Turbo on the road.

  9. Scotty Gilbertson Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    A painful auction update: this beautiful car sold for a mere $2,225! Ugh.

  10. John Cole

    And it sold to me. I get it delivered this week, and will let everyone know what I find!!

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