Sunday, June 09, 2013

Maserati BiTurbo

We had a fantastic day yesterday. I got a ride with the Hanzels in the back of a CNG-powered Crown Victoria from Oakland to Scotts Valley. The Cars & Coffee event at Canepa was not huge, but had some serious iron. Canepa opened its doors and we were free to roam the work shop and storage facility. It was beyond amazing. I'll be posting photos here and on Hooniverse over the next week.

When I stepped out of the Crown Vic, I made a beeline for this BiTurbo. I have always had a fondness for it and got to chat with the owner and his wife. Turns out, he also owns the GS we have all been lusting. (He also owns a Lotus Esprit.)

His ownership experience with this car has been, to put it delicately, frustrating. That's just water dripping onto the tarmac.

I was generously offered to sit in the car and even offered a chance to drive it. The interior was so comfortable and rich. The seat literally felt like a well-made La-Z-Boy recliner. I declined a drive, worried that I would damage the fragile creature.

On the drive back home, Henry Hanzel reminisced about the BiTurbo. Back in the mid 1980s, local car  dealer Kjell Qvale (of Mangusta fame) was the authorized Maserati dealer. The story goes like this: Maserati did not offer a factory warranty because...they weren't that crazy. The dealers bought BiTurbos for $20,000 each but had to charge another $25,000 on top just to break even if they wanted to offer a warranty to owners.

Henry had another story (he had a lot of stories). A customer came in once with a BiTurbo. As soon as it pulled up, it was leaking something awful. They determined that the liquid was the zinc heat shield!

Needless to say, I gave the owner my card and asked him to call me when he's ready to sell it.


Byaryoga said...

I think the link to GS post is not correct.

Maxichamp said...

@Byaryoga: Thank you.