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Friday 3rd August 2012

PH buying guide: Maserati 3200 GT

The first of the 'modern' Maseratis, but is it a secondhand Latin nightmare or a used Italian hero?



Few cars generate as many extreme emotions as the Maserati 3200 GT, and that's just from those who own the car. Almost every PHer we've spoken with has tales of emotional highs and lows with the 3200 GT as they ride the rollercoaster of falling in love with the looks and drive and then experiencing the pain, and cost, of ownership.

Italian GT glam is yours from just £8K
Italian GT glam is yours from just £8K
With this in mind, and with 3200 GT prices now apparently bottomed out at around £8,000, we reckon it's time to look into owning this first of the modern-era Maseratis. For £8,000, you'll be looking at a 3200 GT that's possibly had a harder life than most and with higher miles, but for a little more outlay you can bag a good one from around £12,000, while the Assetto Corsa starts at £20,000.

Introduced in 1998, the GT comes with a twin-turbo 3.2-litre V8 engine putting out 370bhp. It was enough for 174mph flat out and 0-62mph in 5.1 seconds for the six-speed manual version that cost from £60,575. Launched alongside the manual was a four-speed automatic version called, appropriately, the Automatica with a four-speed self-shifter for 0-62mph in 5.7 seconds and 168mph top-end.

'Boomerang' lights a distinctive trademark
'Boomerang' lights a distinctive trademark
The Assetto Corsa model was limited to a production run of 250, with 75 destined for the UK. It enjoyed lower, firmer suspension with intelligent electronic damping, plus various other tweaks to make it the best 3200 GT from a keen driver's perspective. The V8 engine remained unchanged for the Assetto Corsa, which means identical performance figures for the manuals that came to the UK, plus the automatic gearbox-equipped models sold elsewhere in the world.

When production of the 3200 GT, with its distinctive 'boomerang' rear lights, ended in 2002, Maserati has sold a total of 4,795 GTs of all types worldwide.


Owner's view:
The 3200 GT is a car that I still can't get my head around properly. The owning experience is firmly split in two halves: owning it and keeping it going. Generally servicing and repairs is only a small part of owning a car, but over the years of ownership it has become such a prevalent part of the GT experience that it deserves at least 50 per cent of your attention.
Costas Kalaitzakis


Buying Guide contents
Introduction
Powertrain
Rolling chassis
Body
Interior
Search Maserati 3200 GTs in the classifieds now

alisdairsuttie
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Author Discussion

slowmatt

Original Poster:

20 posts

52 months

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Friday 3rd August 2012 quote quote all
I love the lights and if it's any thing like its younger brother the purchasing of these is the bargain of the century. My Dad's had the 4200 Spyder for 6 years, it's even taking me and my lady around France on honeymoon next week. Touch wood it won't have it's first ever breakdown!

johnnyBv8

1,095 posts

77 months

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Friday 3rd August 2012 quote quote all
Worth updating price of an Assetto Corsa - whilst I'd love to stay they start at £20k, that's the very top end. A decent one is £16k upwards.

Edited by johnnyBv8 on Friday 3rd August 07:33

JayTee94

10,974 posts

43 months

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Friday 3rd August 2012 quote quote all
I am very interested in these and love those lights. I have made it my goal to either get this or a Grandsport in my 20's. It seems the price varies, I have seen decent looking examples for £9,000 but then I have seen a 49,000 miler Assetto Course for £12,895 a month or two back.

O/T - The Citroen C3 we have at the monent has a similar light arrangement at the moment. wink



Sorry! paperbag


johnnyBv8

1,095 posts

77 months

[news] 
Friday 3rd August 2012 quote quote all
JayTee94 said:
I am very interested in these and love those lights. I have made it my goal to either get this or a Grandsport in my 20's. It seems the price varies, I have seen decent looking examples for £9,000 but then I have seen a 49,000 miler Assetto Course for £12,895 a month or two back.
[/IMG]

Sorry! paperbag
Gransport, not Grandsport. And Corsa, not Course wink

Are you sure it wasnt the silver cat c (or d?) one at £12895? Poor quality reair - been around for ages.

There are always cheap cars available, but they can be money pits. A decent, standard 3200 starts at £11-12k.

jakesmith

588 posts

57 months

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Friday 3rd August 2012 quote quote all
No first hand experience as is usually the case on these forums but this has got to be one of the cars that I have read & heard the most horror stories about from a running costs point of view, (along with the DB7 & SL55 AMG). My friend's boss who retired from banking at 45 found it painfully expensive to run, in fact he likened it to an 18 year old Brazillian model girlfriend "looks great, makes a a fantastic noise but oh-so-needy"

Obviously that perception is held by the public and the trade as even 5 years ago before the credit crunch you could pick these up under £15k

Also they don't look that fast on paper any more compared to the likes of the 335i but that might feel different in the driver's seat

I'm sure many people love them & have had a super experience though
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mr_tony

5,909 posts

155 months

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Friday 3rd August 2012 quote quote all
Loved mine. Not cheap to run (see my profile) but a very special thing indeed. There are good ones and bad ones - take time to find a good one and spend on pre purchase inspection from a good independent.

As for driving, the 0-60 of 5.0 sounds sensible, but once this thing is on boost it really flies, treat with respect in the wet.

This car deserves a special place in Maserati history, it may not be perfect but it restored Maserati to international prominence, and sold in numbers.

JayTee94

10,974 posts

43 months

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Friday 3rd August 2012 quote quote all
johnnyBv8 said:
Gransport, not Grandsport. And Corsa, not Course wink

Are you sure it wasnt the silver cat c (or d?) one at £12895? Poor quality reair - been around for ages.

There are always cheap cars available, but they can be money pits. A decent, standard 3200 starts at £11-12k.
Stupid iPhone auto correct. irked

I know I have even seen rough 3200 for £6,700 before but I saw a good looking one (to me) for £9,000 but the majority are £12,000+. I am no expert though, and I did/have not seen any.

The Corsa did not state it had been in an accident. It is sold now anyway. smile

Repent

260 posts

59 months

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Friday 3rd August 2012 quote quote all
Love these articles smile. Big fan of the 3200GT, at least through admiration, they sound awesome.

Unfortunately the powertrain link leads to the inlet manifold of a slightly less exotic F4R, may need attention!

Jayinjapan

76 posts

32 months

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Friday 3rd August 2012 quote quote all
Posted earlier on but it seems to have disappeared. Anyway, I keep clicking on the links below the introduction (powertrain etc...) and they keep taking me to the Clio buying guide. Links broken? Of course, it could be that I'm hallucinating or my PC just really likes French hot hatches......

bigee

736 posts

124 months

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Friday 3rd August 2012 quote quote all
Yep,straight through to Clio guide...not what i want to be reading about to be honest!

Riggers

1,851 posts

64 months

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Friday 3rd August 2012 quote quote all
Jayinjapan said:
Posted earlier on but it seems to have disappeared. Anyway, I keep clicking on the links below the introduction (powertrain etc...) and they keep taking me to the Clio buying guide. Links broken? Of course, it could be that I'm hallucinating or my PC just really likes French hot hatches......
Sorry! Whole feature wasn't supposed to be live yet!

Links on the way to being fixed...

ETA: Links go to the proper places now..

Edited by Riggers on Friday 3rd August 08:33

davidcharles

336 posts

80 months

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Friday 3rd August 2012 quote quote all
very very nearly bought one about 5 years ago...but the on off power delivery and huge running costs put me off. Still a car i would like to own one day just for the noise and look of it...assetto corsa's are very nice.

crostonian

1,800 posts

58 months

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Friday 3rd August 2012 quote quote all
I've had 2 of them, both manuals, they both gave me grief but great fun on the right day and more of an 'event' than the 4200. Having said that having also owned a couple of 4200s I don't think I'd go back to the 3200. My personal gripe is I don't see the potential running costs versus the cars value to be worth the effort. When I owned my 3200s they were 4 or 5 years old and still worth around £20k so you didn't mind forking out to repair them. I realise that specialists such as McGraths and Autoshield can keep the costs down but until Maserati starts slashing parts prices to be more commensurate with the cars value then I won't be having another one. Could be a good investment though if you are lucky and get a good one. I think there will be a culling of the ropey examples and the better ones will start to increase in value with a bear's pit in the middle.

ninjacost

485 posts

108 months

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Friday 3rd August 2012 quote quote all
had a 4200 very very nice engine manual box was poor sold after 12mths parts costs were pretty scary overall though a special car for reasonable money

Chris71

20,725 posts

128 months

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Friday 3rd August 2012 quote quote all
I love these cars and vaguely considered buying one when they first started to become affordable-ish to buy a few years back. The reality check for me was seeing one for sale for £12,000 - then pretty much rock bottom, admittedly - with 'bills totaling £6,000 over the last year' listed in the advert.

I can vouch for the fact they're not the only car capable of wreaking that sort of havoc on your wallet. Similarly, I don't doubt that it was a rather unlucky example (and probably all the better for it once the work had been done). But half the value of the car spent on work in 12 months was a bit of an eye opener at the time!

I still think they're just gorgeous, but I'd probably be more tempted by the 4200, which I gather is less of a handful.

V8 FOU

1,381 posts

33 months

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Friday 3rd August 2012 quote quote all
I tried a number of 3200's and 4200's and they were ok, but didn't really "do it" for me. I was really pissed as I really had the hots for one.
Then I drove an Esprit V8 and the rest, as it has been said, is history!

The Crack Fox

9,920 posts

78 months

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Friday 3rd August 2012 quote quote all
I have so got the horn for one of these. I'm stiffer than a used paintbrush. A friend is a mechanic at the local Ferrari dealership and has worked on these cars, when I've asked him for advice and help in buying and running one he just shakes his head forlornly, and says "nightmare".

This must be the ultimate heart over head kinda car.

I still want one.

theironduke

6,995 posts

74 months

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Friday 3rd August 2012 quote quote all
I know of a man who has built a coffee table out of the engine block of one of these...may be on the bay...won't say anymore as a mod well tell me off. PM if you want to know more...

You ain't sin me...right

sgq89

75 posts

29 months

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Friday 3rd August 2012 quote quote all
I recently bought a 4200 Spyder (Black with cream leather) 2002 model, cambiocorsa (paddle shift for those of you that dont know) and so far i love it so much. Its very very quick in a straight line, 0-60 in 4.9.



its done 22,000 miles, fully serviced and immaculate...i paid £16,000! as far as im concerned, its the bargain of the century. you can stick your porches biggrin


(although the 3200 and 4200 are quite different though even if they look pretty much the same. 3200 is a 3.2 bi-turbo made by maserati, the 4200 is a 4.2 no turbo made by ferrari. The Ferrari build quality and intelligence really shows.)



Edited by sgq89 on Friday 3rd August 12:34

crostonian

1,800 posts

58 months

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Friday 3rd August 2012 quote quote all



(although the 3200 and 4200 are quite different though even if they look pretty much the same. 3200 is a 3.2 bi-turbo made by maserati, the 4200 is a 4.2 no turbo made by ferrari. The Ferrari build quality and intelligence really shows.)


It's only the 4200's V8 that was developed by Ferrari, the rest of the car was built in Modena by Maserati as was the 3200. Ferrari became involved with Maserati in the mid to late 90s, before 3200 production - the Quattroporte V8 Evoluzione and the late Ghibli Coupes were the first cars to have any Ferrari influence on production methods, quality etc. Yes it is true to say there is more Ferrari expertise in the 4200 than the 3200 but they weren't a such built by Ferrari.

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