Despite popular belief, NSYNC’s catchy Bye, Bye, Bye dance tune isn’t actually about cars like today’s Nice Price or No Dice Maserati Biturbo. Let’s see if this much-maligned classic is priced to convince a new buyer to pull a Lionel Richie and say hello.
It has been espoused that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and if that is the case, yesterday’s 1957 Porsche Speedster replica should make Zuffenhausen’s home boys feel very much flattered. Cars like our candidate replica exist simply because the supply of original cars doesn’t meet the demand for the model, and at $28,000, yesterday’s Faux-rsche was a mere fraction of the cost of a real one. Most of you liked both the idea and the execution at that price, earning the Speedster a quick 63 percent Nice Price win.
Winning is always nice, but often just showing up is enough to earn kudos. In the case of the 1984 Maserati Biturbo we’re considering today, still being around in running condition is quite the coup. The reason for that is because these cars have long had a reputation for issues with durability and under-engineering that have led to many of the cars falling by the wayside simply because the onus of keeping them on the road is not reflected in their overall value.
Why was that? Well, let’s look at the history. The Biturbo was the brainchild of Alejandro de Tomaso, who in the mid-1970s bought a controlling interest in Maserati and planned to leverage the marque’s venerated name in a lower-priced model that would trade exclusivity for a more mass-market appeal. The styling was excellent, sort of a melding of BMW 3-series and Monica Bellucci, and it was the world’s first production car powered by an engine with two turbochargers.
The Biturbo also had a number of notable features that weren’t so great. First off, those two turbos? They fed a plenum in which a Weber DCNVH two-barrel was housed atop the all-alloy V6 engine. The Italians are generally marvelous cooks, but in this instance, this was a recipe for disaster. Biturbos also fell victim to two other Italian traditions; rust, and poor build quality. Also, even though positioned as a semi-premium car, they typically spent as much time in the shop as they did on the road. Despite the twin turbos and three-valve per cylinder breathing, the motor didn’t fully live up to the marque’s performance heritage, either.
In the case of this ’84 Biturbo, that 2.5 liter mill should put out something in the range of 185 horsepower and 205 lb-ft of torque. Transmission duties are handled by a ZF-sourced five-speed stick, and that routes the power back to the trailing-arm independent rear end.
The Biturbo has always been a handsome car, and this one, wearing a brown paint scheme that Maserati also favored for the contemporary Quattroporte, proves that it has aged very well. We don’t get to see what wheels the car is wearing, or much of the outside at all, but what we do see seems to be original and in serviceable shape.
Much the same can be said about the interior which is swathed in elegant burlwood and baseball mitt-colored leather. It also sports a period-correct AM/FM/cassette stereo and an HVAC control unit that will make all the old Mopar fans feel right at home.
Under the hood, we can see the infamous V6 with its pressurized carburetor wart and related plumbing all intact. These early cars suffered from overheating issues, but if treated with care and proper maintenance, they can get the job done. An important question that any practical buyer must ask is how long has it been since the timing belt was changed? These are interference engines and with three valves per pot, that’s a lot to go wrong should the belt give up the ghost.
Other questions are answered right there in the ad. That includes mileage — 52,734 — and the title — clean. According to the pictures, the car is running 2019 tags, although those are on California plates, and seeing as the car is offered in the Las Vegas suburb of Henderson, Nevada that may price less of an issue. We get little else about the car in the ad other than the price, which is $4,850. That’s right, a Maserati, trident and all, for less than five grand. Whoa. In this market. Okay, enough of my fangirling that price, you know need to tell me your thoughts on it.
What do you think, is $4,850 a deal for this Biturbo as it’s presented in its ad? Or, does that price and the meager description, have you saying Bye, Bye, Bye?
H/T to Peter T. for the hookup!
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