Almost A Ferrari: 2001 Maserati Coupe
So, you want a Ferrari, but you don’t want to pay the expensive buy-in. You could buy a Fiero with a body kit or build your own 250TR, but with all that clanging and banging, people are going to think you are trying to bust El Chapo out of prison, or are being visited by the ghost of Christmas past — look, if you want a Ferrari and can’t afford one, just buy yourself a Maserati. Like this 2001 Maserati Sports Coupe offered for $21,900 via craigslist, located in Los Angeles, CA. Tip from Sean S.
I know what you are going to say — “I wanted a Ferrari, not a Maserati” — but the Maser shares its F136 V8 with the Ferrari 430 and Fiat owns both companies today. It might not have the flat plane crankshaft wail of the Ferrari, but it pushes out 395 horsepower from its 4.2 liters of displacement and makes a fantastic shriek of its own, particularly when uncorked. Just make sure you get the 6-speed manual gearbox attached to the back, because the autobox is typically described as terrible.
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I know it may seem a little douchie to drive one of these but it actually makes sense.
Many of the cars I love are becoming way expensive. Just as an example compare this car to a GTV or a e30 M3. It is at least 10 thousand dollars less than the going rate for those cars and could destroy them on a track most likely.
If you still are not a believer look up some youtube videos Maserati with modified exhaust. The sound alone is worth the 20k admittance.
I'm not a great fan of these, but there is a price at which I could be persuaded.
My big bugbear with any exotic-ish purchase is making sure there's a reasonable base of DIY expertise, tools, etc. out there.
They do sound amazing but this one looks like it needs a serious amount of TLC based on the condition of the paint. Also, this would have to be a second car since their quality is not good.
as good as these sound it's not enough to offset the hideous looks…
I like them a lot. Sort of Ferrari 456-ish, but a lot of people hate those too.
Had a 2006 with the real manual, some notes: They did not make these in 2001, based on the wheels, it's probably a 2003. At 56k miles, this one has relatively high miles but people have easily gotten 100k+ miles out of the engine, it's pretty robust. There are cleaner examples for the same/less money out there.
There is a small but helpful community of owners that are a big help and DIY is possible on this. Check out maseratilife for the US owners or sportsmaserati.co.uk for the UK owners forum.
Clutches are the big service item on these. $3k-$5k depending on who does it and if it's an F1 or real manual. F1 is a little bit more and you need an SD2 (Ferrari diagnostic computer) to reset some settings. The manual you can do DIY. Don't think it's been proven that one lasts longer than the other but figure every 25-35k miles per clutch.
Other weak points: Heater core replacement – a matter of when this will need to be done if it hasn't already. $5k+ or can be done DIY but it's a giant PITA….entire dash and accessories need to come out….
Catalytic Convertors – Lowest point of the car and occasionally get smacked by speed bumps. OEM is $3.8k per (car has 4). This is what made me trade the car in on a CPO Cayman S. Had my mechanic fab an new exhaust using off the shelf component for $3k, plus the sound was incredible afterwards.
In short, it was a fun car, but as is the case with Ferrari's the purchase price is just initial price of admission, you can easily pay 50% of it in repairs if you aren't careful…always get a knowledgeable PPI before jumping into one of these.