Whenever a new Porsche 911 GT3 debuts, so attention turns to all the other road racers that have emerged over the years in a similar vogue. Or perhaps that's just us. Whatever the case, there have been certainly been a lot of alternatives over the years for anyone after a sports coupe with a bit of motorsport edge: think Audi R8 GT, Aston Vantage GT8 and GT12, the Black Series AMGs, BMW M3 GTS, Bentley GT3-R and so on.
There was the Maserati, too. Launched in 2010, just as the GT4-spec GranTurismo was enjoying its most success period on track, the MC Stradale was said to incorporate lessons learnt on circuit for a more rewarding road drive. It went on sale in 2011 as the lightest and most powerful car in the Maserati line up, but it didn't stay exactly that way for long.
See, the MC Stradale launched with two seats only, which, for a track-focused special, is usually no bad thing. But for a car as vast as the GranTurismo, it seemed a little silly, because it was never going to be as light and lithe as the very best even with one seat; taking away the rear pair meant usability was pretty compromised. In 2013 they were reinstated. That proved to be the more popular car, an example of which we have here from the classifieds.
Back when PH reviewed the MC Stradale in 2013, we called it the pick of the GranTurismo range, and it was - not least because it sounded stupendous. Lighter than a standard car and livelier as a result, the MCS could "switch seamlessly between raffish GT and proper hooligan as and when the mood takes you", which sounds very hard not to like, even at £120,000.
Trouble was, the regular GranTurismos (with the same power) were already perfectly pleasant, and that's probably what made the MC a tough sell. It wasn't quite stripped out enough to be a true GT3 beater, but it was loud enough and firm enough to be less relaxing as a GT. So not all that many sold.
Which, of course, makes it a perfect pick secondhand. No, really. Because as a car for less regular use the noise and the aggression will be welcome, as will the design upgrades for those times when it's parked up. The olde-worlde interior will be less irksome, too. Furthermore, though its less than class-leading status means it has depreciated, the Stradale's position as the ultimate GranTurismo has secured it a steadier fall - and hopefully a more resilient position in future. This 2013, 58k-mile car is for sale at £48,500 - a 2016 standard GT with less than half the mileage is the same money.
And while the Stradale might not be the last word in race-car-for-the-road reward, think about what you are getting for less than £50k: that look, that V8, that sense of excitement that comes from owning a Maserati. Just be careful if you do decide to take it on track: that test car from 2013 recorded 112db static...
SPECIFICATION | MASERATI GRANTURISMO MC STRADALE
Engine: 4,691cc V8
Transmission: 6-speed automated manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 450@7,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 383@4,750rpm
First registered: 2013
Recorded mileage: 58,000
Price new: £110,110 (2013, four-seat, before options)
Yours for: £48,500
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