A Spyder by Vignale?
"... and now for something completely different!"

By owner and enthusiast Horacio Vignale.

Horacio's 1989 Biturbo Spyder with coachwork by Zagato

I would like to start by giving you a brief story of why I finally ended up with a Maserati. Having sold my Ferrari 348, I started a search for another Italian car.

My Ferrari 348 flanked by a 355 and a 308. BMW E30 M3 in the background.

My first choice would have been a Ghibli 'Open' Cup or even a Shamal - in my frequent trips to Italy I saw quite a few that I really liked and could have bought. The problem is the US Government's regulations regarding emissions and safety on cars which are less than twenty five years old, however, there is a new rule to permit entry of nonconforming motor vehicles, vehicles whose specifications do not conform with current emission and safety laws, for show or display only and the speedmeter must not register more than 2,500 miles in any 12 month period. Since neither option was acceptable to me and I did not want a 'garage queen', I decided to look for a low mileage spyder - only 94 spyders were imported in the US during 1989 and 1990.

Horacio Vignale, that's me, with my gorgeous Biturbo Spyder

Two years ago, I found an immaculate 1989 Zagato spyder with only 5,500 miles on the clock and decided to upgrade the car to 3a serie specification (93-95).

The rear view of the standard Biturbo Spyder

Ruling out the possibility of sending my car to Italy due to time constrains and, after long conversations with the people at Carrozzeria Campana in Modena about the feasibility of my project, I went ahead and purchased the following parts:

Part #316353105 - Front bumper: $376
Part #316353120 - Internal cross member: $184
Part #316353119 - Gasket for bumper: $171
Part #316353346 - Grille 1 (central): $49
Part #316353348 - Grille 2 (tow hook cover): $9
Part #316353122 - Support: $5
Part #316353127 - Roller: $5
Part #316353353 - Side rail: $7
Part #316353115 - Spacer plate: $4
Part #316353382 - Bumper profile: $14
Part #393150133 - Front Side/ Indicators(LH) $70
Part #393150132 - Front Side/ Indicators(RH) $70
Part #????????? - Turn lights (LH): $41
Part #????????? - Turn lights (RH): $41

The Spyder updated to 3a serie specification

Part #316353205 - Rear bumper: $205
Part #316353376 - Internal cross member: $129
Part #316353219 - Bumper clamp: $127
Part #316353646 - Grille 1 (central): $49
Part #316353648 - Grille 2 (tow hook cover): $12
Part #316353353 - Side rail: $7
Part #316353127 - Roller: $5
Part #316353115 - Spacer plate: $4
Part #316353378 - Rear profile: $16

The updated rear section

Part #314152106 - Frame: $171
Part #318352207 - Frame, headlights (LH): $252
Part #318352208 - Frame, headlights (RH): $252
Part #393150100 - Headlight (LH): $233
Part #393150101 - Headlight (RH): $233
Part #393150102 - Low beam light (LH): $125
Part #393150103 - Low beam light (RH): $125
Part #313153115 - Fog lamp (LH): $93
Part #313153114 - Fog lamp (RH): $93
Part #316353351 - Bracket: $6
Part #313053132 - Wiring harness: $15
Part #313353106 - Relay w/fuse: $9
Part #323320125 - Fog light switch: $26
Part #316953445 - R. H. finisher: $9
Part #364102005 - Radiator grille: $155
Part #314662140 - Radiator grille bracket: $49
Parts #14359087 and 14304087 - Screws: $17

The 16 inch seven spoke OZ wheels.

Part #317851104 - Steering wheel (wood): $330
Part #328056110 - Hand brake sleeve (wood): $74
Part #327253361 - Wheel centre covers (4): $49 each
Part #368300278 - Wood panel for console (radio/AC) (wood): $84
Part #328153022 - Ashtray (wood trim): $77

Part #327253334 - Wheels (4): $350 each
Part #327253361 - Wheel centre covers (4): $49 each
Part #327253365 - Key for wheel centre covers: $?
Part #327253306 - Wheel bolts (20): $2 each
Part #329853117 - Hexagonal wrench/spanner: $6

The updated steering wheel and dashboard

The occasional rear seats of the Spyder

I also bought an aluminium petrol filler body and cap with key as fitted on the Audi TT but it did not fit my car. Even though I did not pay VAT or IVA and brought some parts with me in subsequent trips, I still paid a considerable sum in shipping charges and practically no import duty. All parts are from Carrozzeria Campana. Everything was straigthforward and there were no pitfalls.

I also discussed the replacement of the original engine with a 2.8 (340bhp) but neither Campana nor Giorgio Manicardi from Maserati thought it to be a good idea.

Right now, I am exploring the possibility of replacing the ECU chip for a custom burned Superchips - I know that you don't approve of it but Seymour Pond, ex-president of The Maserati Club and another fellow member, Dr. Bruce Lepp, had new chips installed in their cars and are very happy with them.

Nevertheless, I'm waiting for a reply from Florian Ebersoldt of Modena Design in Neustadt, regarding engine modifications.

Also, I'll be replacing the two piece drive shaft with a one piece shaft thus eliminating the troublesome centre support bearing.

My car is a rarity, only one other fellow has converted it to 3a serie in the US. I'm overwhelmed by people looking at my car everywhere I go including older women. Cose da pazzi!

However, if I were living in Europe or the UK, I would not have considered the modification. I would have bought a newer car such as a Primatist, Ghibli or Shamal rather than having spent that kind of money on the modification.

This is at Modena Design (Horacio Pagani) in San Cesario sul Panaro (MO).

From Orazio in the USA

"Caro Enrico,

How is your recovery? Hope you are doing fine.

I am attaching two photos of my car that I took yesterday. The license plate frame is from Garage Francorchamps, the oldest Ferrari dealership in the world. I met Jacques Swaters, the former owner and founder, when I was eleven years old and my father took me to a race in Spa in 1955. I periodically go to Brussels for work and, when I have the time, I stop by the garage to chat and if I need buy some spares.

I am going to Wien the last week in April and will be in Brussels again June 12/17. I was thinking of taking my wife with me, renting a car and going to the 24 Heurs du Mans on June 18/19. After Le Mans we can travel around the Loire Valley - Chartres, Orleans, Chambord, Tours - and later return to Brussels. The distance between Brussels and Le Sarthe is 500kms. If I had my spyder!!!

Please let me know how you are doing.

Kind regards,


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