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Maserati 3200GT & 4200GT

Maserati 3200GT & 4200GT Published: 18th May 2017 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Maserati 3200GT & 4200GT
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£9000-£40,000+ - Amazing value for money - Cut price Ferrari - Watch spares situation

This Maserati has all the looks and allure of any Ferrari and perhaps with an even more illustrious name and pedigree, you yet can buy one cheaper than an MGB. Admittedly, Maserati’s previous attempts to break into the ‘affordable’ supercar market with its half-baked BMW E30 3 Series looking Bi Turbo, was indifferent to say the least. But the 3200 GT Coupé was completely different. Those in the know regard it a great car in its own right as well as being a cut price Ferrari – thanks to Ferrari who saw the famous Trident badge as a lower rung Prancing Horse and a better rival to Aston and Porsche.

Driving

While an equivalent Ferrari is the better all rounder the miserly ‘Maser’ is no booby prize and is at least as good as the six-cylinder DB7 and certainly the roomier as well as faster pick, care of its 370bhp V8 twin turbo taken from the Quattroporte saloon (another unbelievable bargain) hitting 60 in well under six seconds.

The Italian’s handling is also equals any rival – if you like predominantly oversteer, that is. If this Maserati has a main fault, then it is with its temperamental hair-trigger ‘drive-by-wire’ electronic throttle that could make the handling even more ‘interesting’!

The later 4200 GT used a fully fledged 390bhp 4.2 Ferrari V8 engine but came only as a semi-auto, albeit with F1-style paddle-shift manual facility. Maserati believes that some two-thirds of buyers opted for the ‘Cambiocorsa’ auto (as it was called) for an easier time and it’s a very pleasing responsive nature.

While looking very similar, the 4200 is virtually a new car underneath with a modified chassis sporting bigger anti-roll bars, Maserati Stability Programme (MSP) with Skyhook suspension – yes, really – plus a relocated transmission to the rear for better distribution.

Best models

Despite being an auto only choice, the 4200 (simply known as Coupé) is the wisest buy as a lot of the earlier 3200GT’s glitches (and there were several) were fixed by Ferrari while the transmission was rear-mounted at the same time to aid handling. A soft top Spyder version, shorter by 22cm, was introduced in 2001 with a hard core 180mph GranSport following in 2004. One to look out for is the track day designed Assetto Corsa (75 for the UK) which even had its special Pirelli tyre to complement its specifically tuned chassis.

Values

Buy now as prices have stopped falling but even the very best 3200 GTs only cost £20,000+ and good ones with service histories for around £15- £17,000 although you can still find them for less than ten grand but watch what you’re getting yourself into as some repairs will wipe out any up front savings. The later 4200 GT can fetch over £40,000 and yet you regularly see them on specialist websites for less than half this and on a price parity with the 3200 GT so shop around!

Buying advice

A different kettle of fish to buying one although to be fair, running costs no worse than any other modern supercar. Beware of certain spare parts though as those lovely ‘boomerang’ rear lights cost over £1200 each, suspension wishbones at £1260 each, front dampers £588 per corner (rears are currently unobtainable).

The fundamentals are durable – particularly the engines, and despite being Italian the biggest worry isn’t rust, failing trim nor even dodgy electrics (although those LED lamps can play up as can the seat motors). But if that 3.2 V8 has one flaw it’s crankshaft thrust washer wear which can cost a thick end of £6000 to fix, another reason to opt for auto because of the easier time the transmission gives the engine – talking of which, clutches don’t last long and cost a couple of grand to replace.

A schizophrenic throttle action may need new throttle modules; £2100 new or £720 recon and bear in mind that the later 4200 GT is far more complex, although, independent specialists, such as Andy Heywood can contain costs with a annual service at not much more than £600 plus there’s a handful of forums and owners’ clubs for general help and support and a social scene.

 



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