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

If you wanted to sit in the lap of luxury, you could probably do far worse than today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Maserati Q4 Neiman Marcus. If you actually wanted to drive that lap, you might find its DuoSelect gear change a challenge. Let’s see if its price reflects that tempestuous trans.

“Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.” Amidst all the debauchery and drunken mayhem that filled National Lampoon’s Animal House there was a moment of clarity in which John Vernon’s Dean Wormer comes up against the movie’s main premise. That premise was that fat, drunk and stupid is, in fact, a perfectly acceptable way to go through life.

Yesterday we had to consider whether white, worn and without service records was any way to buy a Ferrari. Those attributes applied to the 1992 Ferrari 348Tb offered up at a $39,500 asking. The 348 also represents one of the less aesthetically pleasing of Ferrari models which dropped it down another rung on the ladder to its denouement and, that possibly played a roll in its 58 percent Crack Pipe loss.

Italian and expensive usually means you’re going to pay more down the road, that’s just how the cannoli crumbles. When it comes to Italian and cheap, that sometimes indicates a future in which you will pay… even more!

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Here we have a 2005 Maserati Quattroporte—or Four-Door for those of you not up to snuff on your Latinate languages. Not only does it offer a quartet of entry points, those all open onto a special interior designed exclusively for the venerable Neiman Marcus retail catalog.

The fifth generation Quattroporte debuted in 2003, superseding a Biturbo-based 4th gen model that had been on the market for a mere 7 years. That model featured what could charitably be described as dull as dishwater styling so its replacement with the Raphaelesque Q4 Tipo M139 two years following its demise was a welcome change.

That styling was the work of Pininfarina and it debuted to positive reviews at the 2003 Frankfurt Motor Show. The big four-door was luxury appointed to match its Italian suit sexiness, and had the mechanicals and exhaust note to back up that talk with some serious walk.

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This 2005 Quattroporte is one of 60 cars offered as part of the 2004 Neiman Marcus Holiday Catalog. Priced at $125,000 when new, the cars featured Bordeaux Ponetevecchio metallic paint, a chrome wire mesh grille and 19-inch polished alloys. Inside, the Neiman Marcus cars were treated to ivory Poltrona Frau leather upholstery with Bordeaux piping and polished mahogany accenting.

Power for the ’05 Quattroporte came from a 396 horsepower 4.2-litre V8, which was shared with the contemporary Coupé and Spyder. The only transmission choice for this model year was the company’s DuoSelect 6-speed auto-manual, a gearbox developed by Ferrari and given to its sister Maserati apparently as some sort of revenge for an earlier slight.

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The DuoSelect transaxle proved to be such a boner killer in the Quattroporte that Maserati added a traditional ZF 6-speed in 2006 to atone for its shortcomings.

This 73,000 mile Q4 rocks the fast shifting but clunky DuoSelect, a fact borne out by its comically tiny shift lever on the console. The rest of the interior more than makes up for that, and looks to be in decent shape, at least the parts that the seller has deemed worthy of our review.

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Externally, the car seems without major flaw as well. The seller notes that it does have some minor issues, and that it is in need of a wax job. Look people, if you’re planning on selling a car, don’t say it needs something that YOU could rectify at little cost over a weekend, just do it!

Regardless of its need for a new coat of Carnuba, it looks pretty swank in the provided pics, and is claimed to be in great condition. It’s presented as a two-owner car, number three out of those 60 Neiman Marcus specials, and with a clear California title.

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What might that all be worth?

The asking is $13,999, or about what you might expect to pay for… oh, I don’t know, a couple-year old Kia Rio? What would you rather have, this killer luxury Maser, or a Kia Rio?

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If you chose the Kia, that’s okay, we’re not here to judge you. If, on the other hand, you picked the Quattroporte—despite the transmission’s rep for whiplash double dash—then I say climb on board and let’s see if it’s a deal at that $13,999 asking. What do you think, could this one of 60 Quattroporte be worth that kind of asking? Or, is that just too much for something out of a catalog?

You decide!

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San Francisco Bay Area Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to EdHelmsBakery for the hookup!

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