By on January 16, 2014

12 - 1986 Maserati Biturbo Spyder Convertible Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinYesterday, we saw a junked Jensen Interceptor that I photographed during a trip to Los Angeles. Today, I’ll follow that up with another rare import from the same yard: a Maserati Biturbo Spyder! This is only the second Biturbo in this series, after this ’84.
08 - 1986 Maserati Biturbo Spyder Convertible Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinI lived in Orange County during the mid-to-late 1980s, and the torrents of ill-gotten cash being sloshed around Irvine and Newport Beach during what became the the S&L Crisis (the notorious Lincoln Savings and Loan, poster child of the scandal that tarnished the reputations of John Glenn and John McCain, was headquartered a mile or so from my home at the time) resulted in an explosion of low-level scamsters buying brand-new European status cars. Most of them bought BMW E24s or E28s, but a significant minority went Italian and got Alfa Milanos or Maserati Biturbos.
02 - 1986 Maserati Biturbo Spyder Convertible Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinI have a vivid 1987 memory of being at a stoplight at Jamboree and Campus in Irvine and pulling up behind a brand-new Biturbo convertible in my hooptie-ass 1968 Mercury Cyclone. I remember having Yello’s “I.T. Splash” (part of the excellent “Frank Johnson’s Favorites” compilation) on cassette at that moment. I thought the E24 was sort of a cool car at the time, though as much out of my financial reach as a Jupiter Base would be out of the reach of the Guyanese Space Program, but the sight of this top-town twin-turbocharged Maserati made me feel a deep and painful longing.
07 - 1986 Maserati Biturbo Spyder Convertible Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinOf course, it wasn’t long before it became clear that the Biturbo was really a profoundly terrible car (the Milano turned out to look pretty good in hindsight, but maybe that’s just me), but it was a badass machine for about 18 months in S&L-looting circles.
17 - 1986 Maserati Biturbo Spyder Convertible Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinThe car I remember was blue, so this one— spotted at a wrecking yard about 35 miles away from that intersection— is a different one. The dirt and grime suggest that it sat dead in a back yard or driveway for the last couple of decades, then got junked when it became clear that even a Biturbo convertible isn’t worth restoring.
03 - 1986 Maserati Biturbo Spyder Convertible Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinWhat would I have bought, had I gotten my nose in the Lincoln Savings trough in 1986? Sad to say, probably a Starion.

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56 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1986 Maserati Biturbo Spyder...”

  • avatar

    I feel that here, now, today, it would be cool to drive around in one about town. Preferably the 2-door hardtop. Black cherry metallic.

    Oh and I always liked the vintage Maserati blue gauges. Nobody else did that.

  • avatar

    Ach, 4 lug wheels give me a headache.

    • 0 avatar

      Why’s that mister tire man?

      • 0 avatar

        Because 5 is better, duh.

        • 0 avatar

          Oh rite.

        • 0 avatar

          Corey, on a more serious note, how did you enjoy your Lexus ownership experience? There is a 2009 IS250 6MT I am considering test driving, asking $19,500.

          My thinking is that a Lexus should be the more reliable of the premium options.

          • 0 avatar

            Well keeping in mind I don’t drive a ton, and in 3 full years put just under 14,000 miles on it, I can detail my ownership and niggling complaints:

            It never needed anything except a timing belt since it was past due, and some lower ball joints. Did the front shocks too at same time -95k miles, they were pretty leaky. Then of course an alignment.

            Around 99k miles, started getting a couple of hard downshifts from 2-1. Had a trans fluid change and new filter which fixed the issue.

            I started to get a crank case goop problem in the winter, because I wasn’t driving it enough to get the V8 up to temps and burn the water off. Some SeaFoam fixed that though. My own fault as a result of a 6mi RT commute.

            Also had a coolant leak under the engine from a freeze plug, fixed that with some radiator stop-leak liquid.

            The handling was great for the size of car, loved the seats (though my M seats are kinda better now). I always thought the right was a little firm and jiggly, and there could have been more sound insulation. I did replace one of the rubber grommets in the frame rails which had fallen out, causing a wind rushing sound up through the b pillar. $3 from the Toyo dealer, Lexus wanted $5 but was more friendly on the phone.

            I did have the two common gen2 GS issues – 1. dash rattle along the top of the dash at the window, which was remedied in -most- weather with some thin tubing shoved down in there. 2. The vent actuators from the climate control did the clicking thing, but still worked. I investigated the scale of the repair and didn’t attempt to fix it.

            Of course doing town driving I never go over 20mpg on 93 octane, but I knew that going in.

            Given the age of the car when I owned it, 10-13 years old, I think it was excellent. I had far fewer concerns with it than I did with any of the 3 Audis I’ve owned. If they had an LS available with AWD at an earlier year, or if the GS had held it’s value like the similar Infiniti had, then I’d of got a newer gen GS.

          • 0 avatar

            Excellent rundown.

            Nothing there seems out of line given your short trip driving habits (which wouldn’t affect me, I drive 30,000 kms a year) and the age of the vehicle.

            I wasn’t really looking for a premium car, but I have decided against the Accord coupe (I don’t carry people often, but I am sick of never getting to drive my car in group settings cause I have a 2 door), and the Legacy GT scares me a bit given the feedback from fellow TTAC’ers. My current front runner is a Verano T, but a small RWD sedan might be a blast. I hear the V6 is kind of underpowered, but given I am coming from an Alero, it might be alright in the long run. I will be test driving a Verano T 6MT and the 09 IS250 6MT this weekend. No LSD option in the IS250 which kind of sucks for tackling winter.

          • 0 avatar

            Well based on those two choices, I think you’re going to be disappointed in the Verano interior if you end up seeing it after the IS. From what I’ve looked, it’s roots as a Cruze show right through.

            Since you’re okay with MT and FWD or RWD sounds like, and you want something smallish, did you consider:

            -Regal (too big?)

          • 0 avatar

            Regal, flabby styling, to my eye the Verano is tighter with a more useful roofline. I have always thought the Cruze a competent small car, and the Verano gives it a fun engine, cleans up the styling, dual exhausts. The interior…yeah just from pictures the shape sure resembles the Cruze, but its hard to fault the available tech.

            The TSX, I have a few bookmarked on Kijiji, I just am not sure. I am 28, for my whole life I have had the base engine. The TSX is still packing a non turbo 4, I am sure it moves alright but I want to buy the up level engine for once. This is part of my concern with the IS250, the 2.5 V6 barely out powers Honda’s 2.4 L4, though I hear its smoother. Love that the IS is RWD though.

            As far as the G….Infiniti just leaves me cold. No offense to your current whip, I fully respect Nissan/Infiniti, they make super competent cars, but to quote James May, they just don’t give the fizz. A buddy of mine has an 07 Altima 3.5 SE, and its an impressive car and he loves it. I found a comparable 6MT one for 10,500. Seems a hell of a deal, but it just doesn’t excite me.

            My non negotiables for my next car are: MT, sunroof, stock audio system that at least has factory aux, and a decent engine. As well, the reasonable hope of reliability. This is why Acura and Lexus are the only “premiums” I am considering. I love the way the Germans drive and look, but given my family members experience, I am just not going there.

          • 0 avatar

            Fair enough, I don’t get much fizz out of any of my cars – the only one which felt really special was the A8L I had. But that wasn’t in a fizzy way.

            I thought you were older than 28! I’d say RE: uplevel engine, it costs you all the time in fuel econ, and you get to use the extra power so rarely – I wouldn’t let it discount a model. If it’s fast enough, who cares if it’s a base engine? The uplevel engine sometimes means removal of the manual option as well. I’ve been in and driven a TSX, it seemed plenty fast (I just didn’t like the ride quality or the heavy ass steering).

            Also, I wouldn’t base a no fizz deal on an Altima of all things, very different than the RWD-based Japan built Infiniti products. I’d never consider driving an Altima, even though it has the same engine.

            You may also consider resale value, as Buicks do not do well in this regard.

          • 0 avatar

            The Infiniti fizz issue is the looks. Every Infiniti save the EX35 of all things just leaves me totally uninterested. I like to look over my shoulder after I have parked. That being said, the G37 coupe is definitely better than the older G35, I just don’t know.

            I know the bigger engine always hits the wallet. That being said, I kinda was hoping for about minimum 240 hp/240 torques. The fact that the IS250 has less than 200 torques (and less torques then hp) and weighs at least 3450 lbs, it strikes me that you would have to work it pretty hard. I’m not looking to win drag races, but a bit of lazy power would be nice.

            I had an 04 Mazda 6. I guess I misspoke when I said I always had the small engine option, but the reason is, the 220hp/190 ft lbs 3.0 Duratec V6 was totally overwhelmed by the 3500 lbs sedan. No fun until the tach hit 3500 and even then, it wasn’t that fun.

          • 0 avatar

            Comment editor is down, that should read, 3350 lbs.

          • 0 avatar


            Sounds like you’re asking for German figures from a non-German marque. Something’s gotta give!

            I didn’t realize the IS engine was that weak though. You’ve got a high list of asks for a small prem/non-prem car with manual from Japan, or the US for that matter.

          • 0 avatar

            Yup, I am a pain in the a$$.

            Its really the manual limiting my options, but that is simply non-negotiable.

          • 0 avatar

            I stopped and looked at the IS250 on the way home. Very handsome car. Will take for a spin on the weekend.

  • avatar

    Can’t say I like the body design much, but that interior is snazzy.

  • avatar

    “it became clear that the Biturbo was really a profoundly terrible car ”

    From what I’ve read it was a luxurious, comfortable, high performance car… when it was running right.

    Was it profoundly terrible in terms of looks, ride, handeling, acceleration, exhaust note, interior, or are we using the B&B definintion where the only metric with which to judge a car is reliablity after 3 indifferent owners and 150k miles?

    • 0 avatar

      My uncle had one, it was actually a nice vehicle. It was fast for 1980s standards, had a really nice interior and handled well. Working on them sucks and reliability isn’t great, but driving them is as fun as any equivalent German car.

    • 0 avatar

      Apparently the engines leaked fluids, they had electrical gremlins, and the dealers weren’t very helpful in remedying the problems.

      • 0 avatar

        Oh, I agree. But, there is more to a car than reliablity.

        • 0 avatar

          True, unreliability can be fun…if you like tinkering with the unreliable car. It’s a cheap hobby.

          This wasn’t really one you could tinker with – too high tech and too expensive.

        • 0 avatar

          Yes, but “unreliable” doesn’t really begin to describe the ownership experience with these.

          • 0 avatar

            My boss had one, and it literally dropped exhaust parts on the road twice at less than a year old, began to rust at two years, just before it caught fire from a fuel line leak. He sued the dealer under the lemon law, and won. He was the third Biturbo owner to win against that dealer. Yes, they were terrible. A couple of months of bliss, followed by a car that won’t stay together, do not make a good car, no matter how much fun they are at first.

    • 0 avatar

      Your post brings up an interesting question: is a very cool car that runs like crap profoundly terrible? I’d say it is. It’s maddening enough when you buy a beater that runs poorly, but at least you can comfort yourself with the thought that you didn’t spend much money; when the lemon is a car that would probably cost upwards of $50-60,000 or so today, it’s especially infuriating.

      My dad had a ’73 Citroen SM, which was probably just about as cool as cars got back in that day, but like the Biturbo, it was unreliable as hell. He threatened to burn it in front of the dealership after he blew the engine going 35 mph in second gear.

      And then there’s this: when a car is truly great to drive, but you can’t drive it because it won’t run, it’s a goddamn tease – like having Scarlett Johanssen all to yourself for one night, only to find she has a headache. That REALLY sucks.

      Yes, the Biturbo was profoundly terrible, and the fact that it was a cool car made matters worse.

  • avatar

    Well I’m familiar with the Biturbo as I had a former colleague who wanted to buy one until his wife talked him out of it by telling him that the front looked like a Chevy Citation, but apparently I’m not familiar enough; I didn’t know there was a convertible version!

  • avatar

    These are awesome, like e30s edgily rebodied by an Italian design house.

  • avatar

    Given the ’80s vibe with this car, I’d suggest it be called “Less Than Zero.”

  • avatar

    I’ll always remember this car as the one that Car and Driver opined: “This is the perfect car to give your ex in a divorce, the judge will think you are being generous (Oh a Maserati!) but there is a good chance it will burst into flame.”

  • avatar

    Roy was always smiling.

    Walking over the fresh cut grass of the front lawn, he peered at the nick-nack items neatly arranged in shoe boxes. A few angel statues, shot glasses from Ocean City NJ, Sinatra cassette tapes, just little pieces from someone else’s life. He nabbed one of the Sinatra tapes and put it in a makeshift basket of other treasures he’d found as he went table to table in this neighborhood’s garage sale. He walked along the sidewalk from one end of the split level’s yard to another and on the side of the house sat a blue silver car with a large “For Sale” sign in the windshield. Roy gestured at one of the fifty-something year old sellers who joined him.

    “Have everything you want?” the man asked.
    “Yes but what, what’s the story on that car, is it part of the sale?” Roy asked politely.
    “Not really, but it is for sale” the man replied.
    “What is it?” Roy asked again. The man chuckled a little.
    “That is a Maserati, it was his -second- Italian princess behind Mom.” the man cleared his throat. “He bought it from a neighbor’s wife when her husband went to jail back around the late 80s. Had something like twenty thousand miles and Dad got it for a few grand.” he smiled.
    “Does it run?” Roy asked precipitously.
    “Well it ran when it was parked” the man replied.
    “When was that?” Roy asked.
    “I couldn’t tell you. Dad used to occasionally start it so I would say in the last few months, we lost him just after Thanksgiving-”
    “How much is the price?” Roy quietly interrupted
    “Fifteen hundred” the man said.
    “But, but it’s out of inspection” Roy said as he pointed toward the windshield.
    “It’ll pass, it’s only three months out of date. Dad only drove it a few hundred miles a year”.
    “Feels like a five hundred dollar car, sir” Roy said. The man, now looking very annoyed took a deep breath.
    “Can I see it?” Roy asked politely.
    “If you see it, will you buy it” asked the man with eyebrows raised slightly.
    “If it runs I’ll buy it, just not for fifteen hundred” Roy replied.

    The seller slowly walked across his lawn and disappeared into an open garage door. Roy slowly ventured toward his new purchase, and set his box of treasures on the hood of the Maserati. He noticed one of the front tires was very low and hoped he’d be able to drive it out of here. He walked around the car, the roof was more torn up than he’d hoped but he didn’t notice any holes. The interior looked intact but dirty, and the leather appeared dried out and torn in spots. He walked around the rear and inspected the trunk. Biturbo he thought, what was that? He was startled when the man appeared behind him.
    “Found the keys” he said as he opened the driver’s door.
    He put the key in the ignition and turned it to the accessories position and the interior lit up. Roy felt a sudden well of excitement inside over his new treasure. Now the man turned the key and the car turned over but did not start. The man cursed to himself and turned the key again a second and finally a third time.
    “See I told ya it would start up” the man said proudly
    “But, but, it took three tries” Roy quietly protested.
    “Look, it runs.” he said annoyed from the driver’s seat.
    “How many miles, what about the roof?”
    “Roof goes down manually, dash reads 86,784 miles” the man replied.
    “But-” Roy started to say before the man interrupted him.
    “You gonna buy this or not, you said you would; so what is it?” the man said with disdain.
    “Five hundred” Roy said quietly.
    “Twelve fifty” the man replied.
    “Five… fifty” Roy said with a smile
    “Just to get rid of this, and rid of you, nine hundred” the man offered in return. Roy thought for a moment.
    “Eight hundred, but you have to change out this flat tire in front”. The man paused, and extended his hand in agreement “Deal, come back with the money in two hours and come and get it”. Roy shook the man’s hand.
    “What about these items?” Roy asked as he picked up his box of treasures.
    “Go and see my wife about those” the main said as he pointed toward an older blonde woman. Roy walked toward the women smiling from ear to ear.

    * * *

    Roy was giddy as a schoolboy as he put the top down in the parking lot plaza across from his bank and conveniently a notary public. He noticed the Maserati was making a thrashing sound every so often while idling but he thought not much of it. He had studiously checked the oil and other fluids after he parked it in the lot, everything seemed fine. He waved at the man’s Toyota Avalon parked at the stoplight on the edge of the plaza but didn’t notice the man wave back. He sat opened the car’s door and sat down on the hardened leather, thinking his next stop should be the auto store for a new bottle of 3M Leather cleaner, or Megular’s if they didn’t have it. He shifted the car in reverse and noticed it hesitated before it shifted and shook the car. He didn’t like the hard shift one bit, better have his brother Andy look it over tomorrow.

    Roy drove the little car out of the parking lot and queued at the stoplight with the other drivers. He noticed as drivers came into the plaza they all looked at the car, and him, a few even turned their heads. Roy felt special, and not in the different kind of special he was always made to feel growing up. He reached into the back seat for his box of treasures and fiddled with it as the light turned. Drivers behind him started honking but Roy didn’t seem to notice, he was focused on finding the cassette tape he’d purchased earlier. Someone behind him started shouting obscenities as he popped in the cassette and took his foot off the gas to accelerate the car.

    “Jerkoff” a random BMW driver yelled as he passed him leaving the parking lot.

    Roy noticed this car was also a convertible; he waved as the car sped away and his new treasure pulled out into traffic into another direction. He putted happily along the mixed highway to Frank Sinatra, feeling the cool winter air blow through his hair. He noticed something was wrong with the accelerator, he kept is depressed but the car was slowing down. The engine was slowly losing power but he didn’t know what to do. Thirty five, thirty, twenty five he observed on the speedometer, cars behind him honked as they passed in the left lane. Roy noticed parking spaces up past the light he was slowly drifting through, and he coasted the little Biturbo into one of the spaces and stopped the car. Roy tried fervently to turn the key over and over but the car wouldn’t start back up. He unzipped the fanny pack around his waist and fiddled through its contents until he found his flip phone.

    “Andy” Roy said happily into the phone.
    “What, is it Roy” Andy said sounding slightly annoyed.
    “Andy, I, I’m stuck. I’m not sure where I am.” He paused. “Andy I’m going to need another tow”.

    Andy sighed heavily into the phone.

    “Another treasure, Roy?” Andy asked sarcastically. “What is it, and where are you”
    “It’s a Mas, Maserati. I was driving over to see Ma at the home and show her”.
    “Maserati? Got to be fracking kidding me” Andy replied.
    “I wanted to show her my new treasures. Ma always said I was a treasure.” Roy said as he smiled from ear to ear.

  • avatar

    The seats look very similar to the ones Volvo used in the 740 of the period.

  • avatar

    Yanden was an ultimate badass.

    “When does your mom give you back your Xbox?”, Yanden asked Jesse. “Not until my math grades come up.”, Jesse replied, maliciously hurling another chip of cedar mulch at his little sister while she peacefully played in the backyard. “Stoppppp.”

    Yanden admired the origami-creased form of the forlorn “Mase Rati” as he often did, staring at it silently with some form of wantonness that he didn’t fully understand. Sure, it was a crappy old car, but there was just something about it. “When is your dad gonna fix the Mase Rati?”, he inquired. “I don’t know. I haven’t seen it move since I was real little.”, said Jesse. Yanden asked the important question, “Is it fast?”

    “Uh, YEAH, it’s fast as hell. It’s a B.I.Turbo. They don’t make them anymore cause they were too dangerous.”
    Yanden’s only thought in response to that detail, was something along the lines of “Oh my god.”

    In a flash, the two young boys found themselves in between the driver’s front quarter and the adjacent fence. The front tire was obviously shot and one with the earth. The sight saddened Yanden. To the nine year-old, and most LAZY California car people, this was a fatal wound.

    So compelled was Yanden, that he grabbed the door handle without any forewarning or permission. It was Jesse’s father’s car afterall. The repercussions could be tremendous. To his surprise, the door wasn’t locked, and opened. Furthermore, Jesse indulged him. “You want to be an ultimate BADASS? Get in.”

    Yanden slipped into the sticky, dirty seat. The stiff leather didn’t have quite the feel he anticipated. His eyes were as wide as pie plates. The air inside was heavy, laden with mildew stench, coupled to the faint uniquely Italian smell of the materials that had tranquilly off-gassed for a decade. The craftsmanship of the interior was not lost on the boy. This was truly a special machine. A monster. Dangerous.

    Yanden hardly noticed that Jesse had climbed into the passenger side. That was, until he reached under something, and pulled out…the key. Jesse stuck the key in the ignition and turned it. The battery mustered the last of it’s strength to power up the radio. “We need tunes!”

    “We live in cities you’ll never see on screen
    Not very pretty, but we sure know how to run things
    Living in ruins of the palace within my dreams
    And you know, we’re on each other’s team”

    It was the right song at the right time. In Yanden’s mind, that beautiful twin-turbo V6 was purring, ready for action. (It sounded more like a Chevy LS V8, but he didn’t realize the discrepancy.) “Can you put the top down?”, he asked of his best friend. Jesse managed to get the roof unfastened from the header, but it was hopelessly jammed. “I want in too.”, Jesse’s sister quipped. “No! There’s no room in here.”, Jesse refused. “I’m gonna tell mom!” Entry was now permitted.

    The three outlaws sped down Ventura Boulevard. Jesse looked back over his shoulder. “COPS COPS COPS!” Yanden knew from watching Fast and the Furious, that in situations such as this, the shifter thing must be worked frantically. He savaged the lever, then scrunched down in the seat so he could mash one of the pedals to the floor. “Punch it!”, Jesse yelled. “WHOAAAAAAAA! AHHHHHHHH! CHUUUU!” “OH MY GOD!!!” The boys depressed themselves into the seatbacks under the heavy pull of this beastly machine. Jesse turned to the driver and let out a rebel yell. Yanden answered back, “AHHHHHH!” Jesse’s sister followed suit. She emitted a shriek so high pitched, that it deafened the boys. They turned to face her angrily.

    After the brief disruption, the B.I.Turbo swung onto Topanga Canyon Boulevard. “Let’s see if you BASTARDS can do ninety.” The gearbox was furiously worked again. Yanden sawed the wheel back and forth as best he could. He drifted…the whole thing, all the way down to the PCH. “They’re gone.”

    After a relaxing cruise down Highway 1 for a bit, the battery was gone. Only the faint glow of the radio’s face had life. “I think the battery is dead.”, Jessed noted. Yanden pulled to a stop at the red light, next to the Ferrari. “How much is that?”, he asked of thin air. Jesse calmed stated “Smoke him.”

    “Hey! Get out of there!” Jesse’s mother yelled from the porch.
    “Steve, the kids are in your Maserati again!”
    Alarmed, the boys bolted from the convertible. Jesse’s sister stayed. The great artiste was intent on completing her work. Steve appeared in the sliding glass door with beer in hand, to survey the scene of the two boys standing in front of his car, feigning innocence. That was the extent of his inquiry. The man disappeared from view.

    Yanden scratched his head and stared at the trident crest on the grill. He had given the car the ride of it’s life. He had tamed this deadly beast. If it was a character in a Disney film, it would be smiling fiendishly.
    “Some day.”

  • avatar

    yeah the biturbo! that was even worstly built than the jensen and it turned in a complete fiasco for maserati.
    when it came out it looked great, the eu version was the fastest car in its class. a similarly powerfull M3 or mercedes 190 2.3 used to cost about twice the price of the maserati.
    but in few months it turned out that the saving was made on design and quality controls, infact the car was simply not ready to production.
    the list of problems this car went thru is infinite, but the idea was really cool.
    years later maserati presented ghibli and shamal, those are proper cool badass cars! more reliable than the bitu. but the name was ruined o nobody bought them

  • avatar

    Wow – only made it to 68K miles if I’m reading the odo right.

    Even for the low bar of 80’s Italian iron – that’s a short life for a car with no obvious accident trauma.

    What in God’s name is the “test” button for?

    My Maserati does 185…I lost my license…

  • avatar

    Always loved these!… I know they were fragile and a disaster….. But I loved that look. There was a Maserati dealer on 3a in Cohasset Mass… I lived down the street loved to check out what he had in stock…Alfa dealer just up the road fro him…late 80’s early 90’s….both gone:-(

  • avatar

    It seems unusual that this car is in a self service lot. It doesn’t seem like there would be enough local interest in any given area to sell many parts off of it. They should advertise this car on the web and ship parts off if they don’t already do it.

  • avatar

    I forget all the details, but the later (’88, ’89 I think) Biturbos were much reliable than the early ones. In cabrio form, they were even more scarce in later years – I recall years ago talking to a guy who had a red ’89 – I want to say less than 100 were sold in the US that year.

  • avatar

    Actually this car saved Maserati. It sold just enough to keep them on life support until they were bought by Fiat.

    These early ones had the turbo blowing through a carburetor, something that is very hard to get set up right even by the factory. Later ones were fuel injected.

    In vintage Italian car circles Biturbos are know to have great engines but a chassis that cannot put down the power with confidence in the twisties or on the track. (A cardinal sin for anything Italian.) For this reason even vintage Italian car masochists don’t give them much love.

    Still, if one followed me home…

  • avatar

    There was a lot of misbegotten angst a few years ago when a “mint” ’85 Biturbo with just over 18k miles was traded in on a Subaru Impreza in the Cash for Clunkers program. Apparently the owner had tried for some time to sell it with no luck before turning it in for $3500.

  • avatar

    I would love to grab a set of those seats and rehab them a bit and use them as loungers in my garage.

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