The seller of today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Maserati claims it to be the World’s cheapest V8 Maser. While we don’t need to call out the truth in advertising lawyers on him to ensure that’s true, we do need to determine if it’s in fact, cheap enough.
In contrast to the recently advocated more weddings equalling more cake (yum, cake), yesterday’s 1987 VW Jetta asked for more money because of its fewer doors. While you don’t see the two-door edition of VW’s family ride all that much anymore, this one’s mods didn’t seem to enhance it enough - not even those sweet butt-swaddling Recaros - to make it worth its middling asking. A solid 60% of you sent it on its way with a Crack Pipe loss, and a few of you noted that you could get an equally shabby-chic E30 for the same kind of cash.
You know what else was like BMW’s iconic 3-series? That’s right, Maserati’s second-greatest ignominy, the Biturbo. Remarkably, considering how close in concept the little Maser was to the E30, it in fact debuted a full year earlier.
Those first cars looked amazing, and the twin-turbo equipped V6 under the hood was, as you might expect, exotically spec’d. Part of that spec however, was the use of a carburetor housed in a plenum pressurized by the two turbos. That was about as conducive to the carb’s long-term durability as sticking it in a microwave and screaming See! See! This is what you get! at it. Don’t ask me why you would do that.
This 1985 Biturbo eschews that issue, and all the others that plagued the Alfieri-designed V6, for a fuel injected DOHC V8 designed in Japan. That engine is a Lexus 1UZ-FE, which as we all know, is 3,969-ccs, 32-valves, and gives it up to the tune of about 256-bhp and 260 lb-ft of torque. Those mills have a pretty solid rep, and were once deemed to be one or Ward’s best engines in the world.
This one has been given a new home in this black over Lexus Maserati, and is backed up by an automatic. I assume that to be the 4-speed A341E from Lexus, and not the Maser’s original ZF box. The ad says the wiring has also been re-done, which you’d kind of expect seeing as the engine speaks a different language from the rest of the car.
One of the nice things about the Biturbo has always been its luxuriously-appointed interior which swaddles you in sumptuous leather, burlwood and haphazard switch placement. This one? Not so much. The seller calls it a Street Legal Rally Car™ and has gutted out all the finery. In its place are seats from... geez, are those Dodge chairs? There’s also a plate of aluminum to hold the gauges and safety switches, and a nice leather-wrapped tiller. It’s all very tidily done, and there’s a 6-point cage painted an in-yo’ face yellow to jazz things up.
On the outside, well it’s a Biturbo and those look just as good today as they did back when MTV played, you know, music videos. The black paint looks excellent and there doesn’t seem to be any issue with the body underneath. The same can’t be said about those six-spoke wheels however, as they appear too big for the car. Also, scrape that RACING badge off the trunk lid for me, will ya?
The engine install is clean as a bean and matches the carpet to the drapes with the same yellow paint job as the cage. A clean title and apparent street-ability wrap up this Maser’s bonafides.
Prices for Biturbos are all over the map as the cars never were all that expensive, however fixing them was, and that’s led to a lot of have-nots owning them. This one has had all the really short-lived and costly bits replaced with ones that should realistically outlive you and That makes it one interesting edition. I’d prefer that it still maintained the sweet interior, but as it sits it’ll definitely pull a crowd wherever it takes you.
It’s also trying to pull $6,200 - or a trade, but no GM products of any kind will be entertained. What do you think about that price when applied to this modded Maser? Does that seem like a deal? Or, does its price make this a Maserati that even Joe Walsh would spurn?
H/T to Earl Snake Hips Tucker for the hookup!
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