By on September 14, 2009

A 2005 Maserati Quattroporte to be exact. 35,000 showing on the odometer and no warranty whatsoever. The auctioneer drew down the bid in freefall fashion from $40K to $32K in the hopes that somebody—anybody—would bid on the garage queen. Finally, a dealer went for broke at $30K. Another joined in. The two duked it out to the exact tune of ‘hundred, hundred, half’ until the 67th bid came in. Of course by this time everyone was sick of looking at the exterior which can only be described as ‘Aqua Velva’ blue. The hammer fell and the four door Ferrari went to one of the nicest drug dealers in Atlanta (just kidding, Frank!). Seriously. It was a good buy—except for the fact that Maserati apparently won’t give extended warranties anymore. Now all Frank has to do is find a spare junk car at a salvage sale, a freelance Maserati mechanic (I’m sure we can all find one on Craigslist these days), and a Virgin Mary for the dashboard. Hmmmm . . . he had better make that a plastic Jesus.

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19 Comments on “Hammer Time (Eagles Edition): My Maserati Does Thirty-Four Five...”


  • avatar
    Rhiadon

    If I’m not mistaken, the title of this post is playing off a Joe Walsh song, not an Eagles song. Sure, Joe was in the Eagles at one point but this is one of his (Life’s Been Good). I apologize if this was being too nitpicky.

  • avatar
    Morea

    It was a good buy—except for the fact that Maserati apparently won’t give extended warranties anymore. Now all Frank has to do is find a spare junk car at a salvage sale.

    Not sure I get this. They don’t offer extended warranties but (presumably) they still offer parts. (Isn’t there a Federal law that requires this?)

    Owning a high performance Italian car is like having an Italian supermodel mistress: high maintenance but when she’s good she’s really, really good.

    For some men it’s worth it, for others not so much.

  • avatar
    Ingvar

    I don’t get this warranty thing. Is it an American procedure? How can the car not have a warranty or extended warranty? Is the warranty personal to the first owner, and not the car itself?

  • avatar
    Morea

    Ingvar, they probably offer something like a 3-year, 36000 mile warranty. For an extra fee you could extend it to something like 5 years, 60000 miles. The general feeling in the US is that it is better not to own a high end European vehicle beyond its (extended) warranty because the repair bills become unbearable.

    The subtle implication is the even Maserati believes their cars are unreliable so they do not even offer an extended warranty.

  • avatar
    Banger

    Rhiadon:

    You’re right, it does refer to a Smokin’ Joe Walsh song. And a great one, at that.

    Additionally, there’s a reference here at the end of the article about a song featured in the timeless Paul Newman flick, “Cool Hand Luke.” I think the lyric was something like “Going 90, I ain’t scary/ ‘Cos I’ve got the Virgin Mary/ Assuring me that I won’t go to Hell.” Great stuff.

    At any rate, thanks to Mr. Lang for working in some great musical references– even if he did get one slightly wrong!

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    A colleague who will never learn bought a new Qporte a couple years ago, and it was such a TOTAL LEMON, he finally got the dealer to exchange it for another NEW one, after it spent more than half of its first few weeks in the shop.

    I have not heard any such stories about Ferraris, so calling this POS a four door ferrari, when it does not even look the part, is an insult to Ferrari.

    Maserati is the poor man’s Ferrari. And with good reason!

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    I also have not seen the Q porte compared to any ferraris in mag comparison tests.

    Invariably, they compare it against its fellow 4-doors such as S class and S AMG and 7 series.

    ANd pricewise, there is very little difference between the reliable, and most importantly, durable Germans, and their Italian Cheapo POS.

    Want an italian Mistress? Get a Ferrari or Lambo. If you are short of cash, you can easily find a 355 spyder with very low miles and in excellent shape for half the $ you sink for a POS Q-porte.

  • avatar
    salhany

    A colleague who will never learn bought a new Qporte a couple years ago, and it was such a TOTAL LEMON, he finally got the dealer to exchange it for another NEW one, after it spent more than half of its first few weeks in the shop.

    And how is the new one holding up?

    German cars are generally more reliable than Italian ones, but that’s the very definition of damning with faint praise. The Germans have had their troubles a-plenty.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    Life’s Been Good
    Joe Walsh

    I have a mansion, forget the price
    Ain’t never been there, they tell me it’s nice
    I live in hotels, tear out the walls
    I have accountants pay for it all

    They say I’m crazy but I have a good time
    I’m just looking for clues at the scene of the crime
    Life’s been good to me so far

    My Maserati does one-eighty-five
    I lost my license, now I don’t drive
    I have a limo, ride in the back
    I lock the doors in case I’m attacked

    I make hit records, my fans they can’t wait
    They write me letters, tell me I’m great
    So I got me an office, gold records on the wall
    Just leave a message, maybe I’ll call

    Lucky I’m sane after all I’ve been through
    I can’t complain but sometimes I still do
    Life’s been good to me so far

    I go to parties, sometimes until four
    It’s hard to leave when you can’t find the door
    It’s tough to handle this fortune and fame
    Everybody’s so different, I haven’t changed

    They say I’m lazy but it takes all my time
    I keep on going guess I’ll never know why
    Life’s been good to me so far

  • avatar
    twotone

    “Owning a high performance Italian car is like having an Italian supermodel mistress: high maintenance but when she’s good she’s really, really good.”

    I’ll Morea’s quote one step further: Owning a Maserati is like dating a super-model with a bad cocaine habit — you know it will break down at some point, but you don’t know where or when. When it does, you know it will be expensive.

    I’ll take an E55/E63 or S600 for the same money. The purchase price of the Maser is just the down payment — it’s the monthly maintenance that will get you.

    Twotone

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    Author: salhany
    Comment:
    A colleague who will never learn bought a new Qporte a couple years ago, and it was such a TOTAL LEMON, he finally got the dealer to exchange it for another NEW one, after it spent more than half of its first few weeks in the shop.

    And how is the new one holding up?

    Will see him on Fri (after a full year) and ask him. Also a very wealthy alumnus that gave us a $5 mill gift that is funding this Fri meeting etc, also has a Q-porte. But I bet he also has 10 other exotics in the garage and maybe a mechanic that fixes them “for free”, like Jay leno.

    “German cars are generally more reliable than Italian ones, but that’s the very definition of damning with faint praise. The Germans have had their troubles a-plenty.”

    The Q-porte’s competitors have far less and different problems. In a sense they are better than even the Japanese, they may be less reliable than the accursed Camry, but they are just as much, of not more, durable. There are plenty of 7 series like my 98 740iL (do a cars.com search) that have well over 150k miles, some over 200k. There are no exotics that reach such numbers, even if the owner sells the house to fix them.

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    “A colleague who will never learn bought a new Qporte a couple years ago, and it was such a TOTAL LEMON, he finally got the dealer to exchange it for another NEW one, after it spent more than half of its first few weeks in the shop.”

    Anticipating the Q why I wrote “who will never learn”,

    this guy previously had leased a Jag XJ8 and the wife a lexus LS430. The wife commuted 140 miles a day, and the lexus was bulletproof reliable. the Husband put a few miles on the Jag (when it was not in the shop and he could) and returned the POS at the end of the lease, and then got the Q-porte. Go figure.

    The wife kept the Lexus at the end of the lease and put 250k on it so far.

  • avatar

    I know of at least two “freelance” Ferrari techs at non-dealer garages in Houston. The shops in question charge a fraction of the stealership, and give discounts for loaner cars delivered to them from Enterprise.

    Is it really that difficult to do the same in ATL?

  • avatar
    salhany

    this guy previously had leased a Jag XJ8 and the wife a lexus LS430. The wife commuted 140 miles a day, and the lexus was bulletproof reliable. the Husband put a few miles on the Jag (when it was not in the shop and he could) and returned the POS at the end of the lease, and then got the Q-porte. Go figure.

    What year was the Jag? Pre-2004 XJ’s are nowhere near the build quality of the post-2004 XJ’s, so I’m told.

  • avatar
    jjdaddyo

    I don’t care if it rains or freezes
    ‘Long as I got my plastic Jesus
    Riding on the dashboard of my car
    Through my trials and tribulations
    And my travels through the nations
    With my plastic Jesus I’ll go far

    Plastic Jesus, plastic Jesus
    Riding on the dashboard of my car
    I’m afraid He’ll have to go
    His magnets ruin my radio
    And if I have a wreck He’ll leave a scar

    Riding down a thoroughfare
    With His nose up in the air
    A wreck may be ahead, but He don’t mind
    Trouble coming He don’t see
    He just keeps His eye on me
    And any other thing that lies behind

    Plastic Jesus, plastic Jesus
    Riding on the dashboard of my car
    Though the sunshine on His back
    Make Him peel, chip and crack
    A little patching keeps Him up to par

    When I’m in a traffic jam
    He don’t care if I say “damn”
    I can let all my curses roll
    Plastic Jesus doesn’t hear
    ‘Cause he has a plastic ear
    The man who invented plastic saved my soul

    Plastic Jesus, plastic Jesus
    Riding on the dashboard of my car
    Once His robe was snowy white
    Now it isn’t quite so bright
    Stained by the smoke of my cigar

    If I weave around at night
    And policemen think I’m tight
    They never find my bottle, though they ask
    Plastic Jesus shelters me
    For His head comes off, you see
    He’s hollow, and I use Him for a flask

    Plastic Jesus, plastic Jesus
    Riding on the dashboard of my car
    Ride with me and have a dram
    Of the blood of the Lamb
    Plastic Jesus is a holy bar

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    The XJ8 was pre-2004 probably. But any rumored improvements on their execrable reliability after 04 seem to have had the REVERSE effect on their sales, which have been going from bad to worse. Both Jag and L-R are bleeding billions, and along with Saab, they can’t make any $ anytime soon. Good riddance, and woe to the fools that bought these companies (add Volvo, most likely…)

  • avatar
    Andy D

    Yah , but just like my ol’ XJ6, they are way purtier than a Ferrari or a Lambowhatzis. I’ll stick with my ugly ol’ BMDubyas though. One car seduction, twice shy.

  • avatar
    ellomdian

    Having driven one, twice (yes, someone elses) I can say without question I would rather spend a year locked in this car than a week locked in a new 7 (and I own/love/worship BMW’s, even the new ones.)

    They are just, nice places to be.

  • avatar
    yankinwaoz

    Gotta love all those versions of “Plastic Jesus”.

    If you have time to listen to only one, I recommend that you start with Billy Idol’s version (Don’t watch this video if you easily offended by Jesus and Mary out of normal context).

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