Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!  

Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Maserati GT is—hallelujah—a manual. Most of the ones built were the hated-by-me Cambiocorsa models. It’s not all belíssimo however, because there is the issue of its 214K miles, and possibly, its price.

Whether it’s a serious stainless stove, a Snap-On spanner, or yesterday’s 1982 Kawasaki KZ100P Police bike, there’s just something awesome about using the tools the pros use. Cop bikes have special properties and with its unique fairing, panniers and paint, there’s none there’s few that are more iconic than the KZP.

Of course it’s hard to go pro when you’re hobbled by amateur mistakes. That was the big issue with that KZP, as its present owner had wrecked the head in a major error of judgment. I’m sure he rues that, but few of you lamented the $900 price he had set to take the bike off his hands, and ensure it’s no longer a constant reminder of his blunder. A narrow 51-percent Nice Price win was the result.

Hey, do you lump Maserati in with the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini, sort of the “Big Three” of Italian exotics? Yeah? Well don’t.

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Maseratis may seem exotic, but even the company’s classic cars don’t hold up in value anywhere near that of their contemporary direct competition. And don’t get me started on the brand denigration brought oabout by the Biturbo and Chrysler TC by Maserati.

Consider if you will two classic Maserati models: the Ghibli Spyder and the Ghibli’s nominal successor, the Bora. A mere 125 Ghibli Spyders were built over the course of its five-year model run. Those stunning cars carried either a 300-horsepower 4.7-litre V8 or, in the SS model a 4.9-litre with 330 ponies. Today the Ghibli drop-tops command prices anywhere from about half a million, up to nearly a million for the unique and dear 1968 Turin Motor Show prototype. Compare that to the contemporary Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Spider, the car a lot of folks call the Daytona. Scaglietti built just 122 examples of the Daytona droptop, each powered by a 353-horse DOHC V12. Today, a well cared for example will set you back a minimum of a million, with a number of cars having traded hands for upwards of three times that.

It’s the same thing with the Bora. That car put the Ghibli V8 mid-ships under drop dead sexy Giugiaro bodywork. Decent examples can be had for under $100K these days. Ferrari’s big dog of the time, the Berlinetta Boxer, with its weird 180º V12 will, on average, set you back five times as much.

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What is the common factor in these valuation inequities? It’s the cylinder count. Maserati never offered anything more than eight poppers in its road cars while Ferrari went for twelve. Lamborghinis are similarly scaled, just look at Countach prices.

That is all preamble to today’s 2004 Maserati Coupe GT which come with—drumroll please—a V8. The closest competitor to this car from Ferrari is the California, a car that also carries a V8 up front (a related V8 in fact) and is not considered one of the House of Enzo’s finest achievements. I’m still pretty sure you won’t find a California anywhere near what this Maser is asking.

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The car itself is in pretty nice looking shape on the outside. The paint seems to hold a shine, and there’s no evidence of significant wear or aging on the plastic bits. The black painted alloys show some curb rash but are wrapped in what are described as “perfect tires.”

That’s all pretty amazing as this Maserati shows 214,000 miles on the clock. Who on earth is able to drive a Maserati Coupe that distance? The ad says the car has been “highly maintained” over the course of those miles and that “everything is good to go.”

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The interior shows a little bit more wear than the exterior. The leather on the driver’s seat has worn through on the offside bolster and there’s switchgear here that looks like it needs surgical gloves to touch. The steering column cover is askew, while the wheel itself looks gouged and kind of grody. The rest of the interior looks okay, and there is a Nav unit in the dash and a six-speed stick to play with which is a plus.

Under the hood, the 385-horse F136 R V8 looks a little battle worn. The crinkle is coming off the intake plenum and the ad offers no specific word on what’s been replaced or renewed over the course of the car’s life.

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That all means that it could be a bargain exotic—or near exotic, depending on how you classify the class. Or, it could just be a huge money pit just waiting for an unsuspecting enthusiast to get sucked into its siren song.

The price tag is a what the hell $12,900, or about what you’d pay to drive an off-lease Kia Rio. We all know that you’d rather be driving a Maserati, and so we now need to decide if anyone should consider spending that on this Maserati.

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What do you think, is this high-mileage Maser worth that $12,900 asking? Or, is that, and the miles, just way too much for the name?

You decide!

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Huntsville, AL Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to RotorHead for the hookup!

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