I don't have anything important to share with you but I did want to express my passion for classic Maserati cars. I'm sorry if you get this kind of email regularly but I'm a final year student at University studying Engineering and I can't help but dream of the beautiful cars I hope to own once I can finally afford them! As an Engineer I really appreciate the
craftsmanship and the quality of the older cars. For me, the ultimate car I could own is a classic Maserati Ghibli SS (red with black interior) with the 4.9-litre engine and a 5-speed box. I can really imagine myself driving the car down the country lanes of where I come from in North Norfolk UK.
I think with modern regulations on cars I feel we really have lost the amazing styling that was once possible with these glorious machines and I hope to do my bit in saving and preserving what cars where once like for future generations.
I'm really looking forward to graduating as I can finally stop dreaming and begin to save for one of these magnificent cars. I'm not sure what 'it' is about Maserati cars but very few cars make me feel the way a Maserati can. In short I've got the Maserati bug and I cant wait to own one! After seeing that you can pick up one of these cars of around £20,000 its got me thinking that one of these is not totally out of my reach one day.
Anyway, if I finally do get enough money to own my dream car I'll be sure to let you know.
REPLY FROM ENRICO:
Thank you for your email.
Before you spend your hard earned cash, I think there are a few 'Classic Maserati Essentials' that you need to know.
Just remember, when it comes to restoring a Maserati, 'LOVE and PASSION' are the optimum words! Restoration of any classic car never comes cheap and Maseratis are no exception. And, unless the particular model you wish to restore is extremely rare or highly sought-after, or, you are qualified to do all or most of the work yourself, you will RARELY, IF EVER, see a return on any monies spent.
The soundest advice I could give is to look out for a Maserati that has already been restored, even better if that restoration has been carried out by a known and RESPECTED Maserati specialist. This will inevitably be more expensive at first, but probably turn out to be much cheaper in the long run.
On the other hand, you might have a Maserati specialist in mind and want to oversee the restoration for yourself. Many Maserati enthusiasts, who can afford it, choose this route. That way, they know EXACTLY what work has been done, and more important, HOW WELL that work has been carried out!
In which case, for a car that is in VERY POOR condition, but with no parts missing, it could cost you, depending on how many parts need replacing; up to £15K plus for a total engine rebuild; £3K on the braking system; £4K on the suspension; up to £20K plus for the bodywork, not all panels are off-the-shelf and might need to be fabricated; £5K plus for a total bare metal respray; and then there's the interior! If you buy a car with parts missing, those parts might prove difficult, if not impossible, to find.
Why have I quoted £15K-plus for a total engine rebuild? Simple, when any reputable Maserati workshop strips an engine, they will advise you on any parts that are worn or faulty and need replacing. They will quite rightly explain that as the engine has already been stripped down, it makes perfect and economic sense in the long run, to replace all the worn or faulty parts. This is the correct procedure. A workshop cannot be expected to give a guarantee for a job that is only half done.
Joining the Maserati Club would be an excellent start, and it only costs £50 a year. For that, not only will you receive three magazines and six newsletters a year, but you will also have the opportunity of meeting up with many knowledgeable and enthusiastic owners. You can find further details for membership at www.maseraticlub.co.uk.
Getting an expert like Bill McGrath Limited to check out the car prior to making any purchase is an excellent idea and in the
long run the cost of such a report will pay for itself.
In your previous email, you mention £20K for a Ghibli SS. You won't find a decent one at that price! A decent Ghibli will set you back a minimum of £35K and there's no guarantee that you won't have to spend money on it! You will often see a classic Maserati described as being in a "well maintained condition", this is no guarantee, and a "once over" by an expert can save
you a small fortune! (see email from Jules describing his painful experience with a classic car dealer in Northern Italy).
Another point to bear in mind is that these V8s are not that easy to drive. They don't have today's modern braking or suspension systems, and, a heavy car with 300-odd bhp can be a handful to the novice, and as such must be treated with respect. These were the supercars of the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies and a well serviced and maintained classic Maserati is a pleasure to own and drive, but with that ownership comes the responsibility of maintaining it as such.
I've tried to be as honest as I can and hope this helps.
E-MAIL ON THE SAME SUBJECT FROM J.:
I just wanted to inform you (and perhaps all the users of your fantastic homepage) what happened to me after having purchased a 4.9-litre Maserati Indy from a classic car dealer in Northern Italy, in August 2005.
The car had been described as being in good condition and well maintained. After 3,000 kms I found the power of the car a little bit "limited" and decided to hand the car over to a specialist in Germany: Boecking Ltd.
The engine has been stripped and as you can see from the pictures here attached what has been the result: Broken valve springs, broken piston rings, 2 valves had touched the pistons, the cam chains did run along the cylinder heads aluminium and the cam lobes have to be re-engineered to work perfect for the future.
The broken valve springs
The broken piston rings
So this seems to be the "well-maintained" state in which the car had been offered to me by the seller. No maintenance at all, no more valve clearance etc.
So please do not hesitate to check every offered car in the way it is described on the homepage.
You can't trust anybody, not even so-called classic car dealers.
REPLY FROM ENRICO:
I'm very sorry to hear about your bad experiences, and I am sure that once you get everthing sorted and you are driving along those country roads listening to the roar of that V8, you will soon forget about it.
Yes, I am afraid there are a few 'cowboys' out there, but thankfully, there are also many well-respected and genuine dealers. Most Maserati owners know who the 'good guys' are, and, who the 'bad guys' are.
This is yet another reason why I always recommend Maserati enthusiasts to join their local Maserati Club. Once you have joined, you will be able to chat with your fellow members, who will often advise you on who to go to, and more importantly who to avoid.
Good luck with the restoration and please keep in touch!