Maserati may be better known in the modern era for its series of sport sedans but as today’s Nice Price or No Dice GranSport Spyder proves, they’ve done some sexy sports cars of late too. Let’s see what this rare 400 horsepower two-seater might just be worth.
This being the time of year that it is, there are plenty of holiday songs playing on the radio and in my local Trader Joe’s. One chestnut that seems to get a lot of that airtime is the duet of “The Little Drummer Boy” by Bing Crosby and David Bowie. That was a pretty odd pairing at the time considering Bowie and Crosby’s disparate audiences. Amazingly, it worked extraordinarily well and the two literally made beautiful music together.
Another seemingly incongruous pairing was yesterday’s 1997 Saab 900SE and its Talladega special edition badging. As we found out, that badge was in honor of Saab’s record-setting 8-day speed run undertaken at the NASCAR superspeedway. At $2,500, the Saab’s price wasn’t setting any records yesterday, but it did take home a decent 55 percent Nice Price win all the same.
When you think about sports cars are you of the mind that open-top driving is the only way to go? Or, do you feel that anything with sporting pretensions demands the sturdier chassis that only an enclosed coupe can offer? When it comes to Maserati, it doesn’t matter on which side of the fence you squat since that Italian car company has long offered both drop-top and coupe editions of its sporting wares.
In the last decade alone, Maserati offered the Tipo M138 series in both 2+2 Coupe and two-seat Spyder editions. Mechanically, both models were very much alike, offering the same Ferrari-engineered 4.2-liter DOHC V8 and a choice of six-speed stick or like-cogged Cambiocorsa auto-manual. The 400-horsepower all-alloy engine pushes either car to 60 in under five seconds and onward to a top speed of around 180 miles per hour.
That’s all very appealing and brings us back to the question of whether you want to do that sort of speed with the wind in your hair like you’re a barnstormer, or in the quiet comfort of an enclosed cabin as though you’re being transported in a private Gulfstream G550.
If your predilection is for the latter, then I’m afraid you might be somewhat disappointed by this 2006 Maserati GranSport Spyder as it’s the more experiential edition. Along with its retractable roof and lower boot line, the Spyder offers a nine-inch shorter wheelbase than the coupe (96 inches versus 104). That eliminates the +2 back seats and benefits the Giugiaro-penned styling a good bit since the proportions are a little better here than on the somewhat wiener dog-like Coupe.
Another benefit of the GrandSport Spyder is exclusivity. Only 473 of the model were produced over its entire run. The Coupe’s 2,640-car production run makes it relatively common by comparison.
This one comes in Rosso Scuderia over a black leather-trimmed cabin. Factory alloys in gunmetal underpin and contrast nicely to the paint and black canvas top. The two-seat cabin around which that is all wrapped also appears to be in as-new condition. And why would it not, the car’s only done a mere 19,143 miles over the course of its lifetime.
There’s carbon fiber trim sprinkled throughout here, along with red piping and stitching to liven things up. A fire extinguisher occupies the passenger footwell since you can never be too prepared. Seemingly missing here is any sort of traditional gear lever. That’s because this GranSport has the Cambiocorsa auto-manual which is actuated by the push buttons and tiny lever next to the hand brake. The F1-derived transmission is generally not the most fun at anything below full attack mode, but it can be considered livable once you hear the lovely sounds the engine in front of it makes.
The ad claims the car to have a clear title and a clean Carfax report. It also notes that the seller has been servicing the car since it was new, so maintenance and repair records should be readily available.
Reviewing those records would imply some interest in the car, and that would likely lead to a contemplation of its price. That’s $25,000. That is also a far cry from the $100,000-plus the car cost to purchase when new. You just have to love the scale of depreciation on any recent Italian car not branded Bugatti, Ferrari or Lamborghini.
This one is branded Maserati, which is almost as venerated as those other three. Sadly though, Maserati has never been held in the esteem, nor enjoyed the values of its competitors. Perhaps the reason is the company’s lack of a V12 mystique? Or, maybe the brand was tarnished years ago by their Biturbos and Chrysler TCs?
Whatever the reason, this GranSport has seen a sizable chunk of its original value go missing. The question for you then — along with the whole open vs. closed debate — is whether this car is worth that $25,000 asking as it sits.
What do you think, could this reasonably rare Italian sports car command that kind of cash? Or, does that price tag make you think this is a GranSport that’s a few grand too high?
H/T to FauxShizzle for the hookup!
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