This business of buying a really interesting old car for the sort of money that wouldn't buy you a new car - say £10k - is all very well, but if you've only got that much to spend on a car are you going to have the wherewithal to be able to pay the running costs an older and more exotic car will doubtless demand? Actually, that's your affair - we don't care. After all, our job is merely to tempt your appetite, and yours is to control it.
However, before you do control it take a look at this Maserati 3200 GT we've found in the classifieds. A good-looking and popular car, the 3200 GT, but this one is of course featured here because of its bargain-basement price tag: £9995. Dare you take the plunge on something so richly furnished and convincingly badged and yet so goddam cheap?
The car in the ad certainly makes a convincing case for itself, and you can't diss a 3200 GT, especially one with the boomerang rear lights. The engine is its heart, though. Under that elegant bonnet the 90-degree 3.2-litre V8 uses two IHI turbochargers with air-to-air intercoolers, and each of the V8's cylinder banks has double overhead camshafts, and each cylinder has four valves, so all the boxes are ticked there then.
Along with Magneti Marelli fuel injection, this engine offers 370hp at 6,250rpm and 376lb ft of torque at 4,500rpm. You can expect performance from this four-speed Automatica version to be in the order of 5.7 seconds 0 to 60mph, and a top speed of 168mph flat out. In other words, that'll do, pig, that'll do.
What won't do, of course, in the real world, is the potential for huge expenditure. For God's sake make sure it's got a full service history and the cambelt's been changed regularly, because even a small thing like the throttle body is a known - and £2000 - weak spot. In fact nearly every part on this magnificent-looking beast will be expensive to replace or repair, so expect it to cost a fortune to run, and just putting fuel in it and servicing it and taxing it will probably cost you more annually than the average third-world budget.
But if you can only afford a £10k car and you bought this one I would think you a man or woman of infinite style. I might even drive you to the bankruptcy hearing.
SPECIFICATION - MASERATI 3200GT
Engine: 3,217cc, twin turbo V8
Transmission: four-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 370@6,250rpm
Torque (lb ft): 376@4,500rpm
First registered: 1999
Recorded mileage: 76,000miles
Price new: £60,575
Yours for: £9995