BackgroundThe Maserati Quattroporte was revealed in 1963. It was the first production Maserati with over two doors and powered by a V8 engine. Designed by Pietro Frua, this full-sized sports saloon kicked off an almost unbroken run of a luxury car.
Following Frua, the Quattroporte II (1974-1978) was designed by Bertone’s Marcello Gandini and, due largely to Citroen’s influence, it was fitted with a 3-liter V6 powering the front wheels. Not entirely, the model wasn’t a success and nor, ultimately, was Maserati’s relationship with Citroen ― only 12 customer cars were produced between 1976 and 1978 before the company was bought by Alejandro de Tomaso.
The Quattroporte III (1979-1990) is now back to V8 power and rear-wheel-drive styled by Giorgetto Giugiuaro of Italdesign — who was widely considered at the time to be the greatest living car designer.
The car was powered by a 4.9-liter four-cam V8 engine with lineage directly traceable back to the 450S racer of the late 1950s. The unit delivered 290bhp through a 3-speed automatic transmission. The spacious interior was upholstered in leather and trimmed in light-colored briarwood.
Although it was an immediate commercial success from its launch in 1979, the Quattroporte III was the last of the truly hand-built cars from Maserati and was always going to be an exclusive rarity. When production ceased in 1990, only around 2,100 had rolled off the production line.
The VehicleThis motor car is being sold as part of an overseas collection. It has been imported under the Bonhams temporary admission customs bond and is therefore subject to the lower rate of 5% import tax if the car is to remain in the UK & purchased by a private individual. The 5% is calculated at the ultimate selling price.
For example, if the car sells for £3,000, then £150 is added, making the total amount payable £3,150. The winning bidder will receive a receipt for the final hammer value, and proof that HMRC fees are paid. If the car is subsequently exported abroad within 30 days, then these fees are refundable. Last, there will be a nominal administration fee of £250 for processing the NOVA application, and payable direct to the shipping company.
A completed and processed NOVA will provide you formal proof that all duties & taxes are paid in the UK and thus allow you to register the vehicle with the DVLA. In common with most cars in the collection, this vehicle has been on static display for several years and there is no history available.
The general cosmetic state of the car is quite good. Yes, it looks a little dusty and tired, inside and out, but we’re inclined to attribute that to a decade of inactivity rather than any underlying malaise.
On the OutsideThe color of this car is, well, different. Some are adamant that it’s pink. Others insist it is peach. One or two misguided fools have tried to argue the orange case. The prevailing opinion at present, however, is that this vehicle is an interesting shade of salmon.
The paintwork is good in the main but is a little flat in places, has a few swirls and chips in others, and looks as if it could do with a decent machine polish. There is a section of scuffing on the o/s/r wheel arch where the door closes upon it.
It was painted this color after it left Modena ― overspray is visible in a few places underneath the car. The panels and shut lines are consistent and even. Everything has the weight and solidity to it you’d expect to find in a top-end hand-built car. The wheels are in moral condition.
The chrome work and badging, too, are mostly good, and although some of the rubber and chrome trim is looking its age, it’s not falling to bits or otherwise failing. The o/s wing mirror is missing, but not lost: you’ll find it in the boot. Although there are no signs of bubbling or corrosion that we can see on the bodywork.
On the InsideThe interior aesthetics are every bit as bold and different as their exterior counterparts. The dominant color is red, and you’ll find it everywhere from the leather upholstery and the carpets to the steering wheel, dashboard, door cards, and sun visors.
The seats, front and rear, are in good condition and their condition supports the odometer’s low mileage claim. They are supportive and comfortable all around. The carpets and mats are in reasonable condition, although they would certainly benefit from the attention of a professional cleaning firm. The headlining is good, as are the door cards save because the storage compartment on the passenger front door is loose. The instrument panel, center console, and gear selector are in decent condition and the unusual briar veneers have held up well. The rear-view mirror has broken free from its moorings and is currently dangling in mi-air.
Nobody can make any claims about the functionality of switches, knobs, levers, toggles, buttons, dials, or other electrics, as we haven’t been able to start the vehicle. The boot is in reasonable fettle, too, and lifting the carpets here or elsewhere on this car reveals a superficial bloom of rust dust here and there, but nothing to raise alarms or eyebrows as far as we can see.
UnderneathThe undersides seem to be strong, well preserved and possessed of a good deal of structural and mechanical integrity. There is some rust dust in places, but we believe that it’s primarily of the superficial variety. The engine bay is clean and dry and everything appears to be in its proper place.
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