Long Lost Sedan: 32k-Mile 1989 Maserati 430

It's really hilarious how Maserati cars from the 1980s have plummeted in value and are staying there. Any given day on ebay, there's at least 3 or 4 Biturbo Coupes with under 100k miles for under $5k. Why? I guess they weren't driven much by their initial yuppie owners, then when they broke (as they usually did) the expensive repair costs (as they usually were) made the notion of storing it in a garage more attractive than fixing it and using it.

What you don't see everyday is the rare sedan version. Even if the rest of the story is the same.

Only 1,000 430 sedans were ever built, making this car an extreme rarity. I think it's better looking than the Bi-Turbo coupes, which were too short and stubby. The four doors of the 430 fill out the length and heighten the sharp edges and clean lines. The grooved taillights recall the Mercedes W116 and R107. This one looks particularly nice in two-tone red and grey and futuristic full-faced alloys.

The real beauty (or should I say beast?) is underneath the hood. Maserati put a 2790cc twin-turbocharged V6 engine that pumped out a very respectable 225 horsepower to the rear wheels. A lot of them were also mercifully given stick shifts as this one has. I really can't quite picture what it must be like to drive, but it's got to be fast, and could have smoked a similarly powered BMW or Mercedes-Benz from the era. Four exhaust pipes peak from the rear. You can picture it hustling the presidente del consiglo to and from court.

The luxurious black leather interior is a nice place to be, although there are some odd details, like a weird brown-burgundy plastic steering wheel and blue-faced instrument gauges. Still, everything is where is should be and it manages to look both comfortable and a little sporting at the same time. Note the trademark ovaloid Maserati clock in between the air vents.

The seller is a dealer and provide absolutely no back story but list the mileage as just 32,116. It could very well be original. The Italians had mastered speed and style but not yet build quality and innovative engineering, so these cars were plagued with electrical and mechanical issues. Ask for any history and maintenance records, then have it checked out by a reputable vintage European car specialist. If it's all set to go, by all means enjoy. You'll have my sincere envy.

Available here on ebay in Longwood, Florida with bidding at $2,280 and a Buy-It-Now of just $4,800.

1 comment:

  1. There are A LOT of Bi-Turbo's/430's out there with similarly low mileage. That should tell you something. They may be seductive, but there's a very good reason these are dirt cheap.