Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Melbourne Florida and Florida Keys
Maserati Life Posts: 117
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Farewell...A Great Ride
After 133,451 miles, I am saying so long to my faithful friend. I recently bought a Quattroporte GTS to replace my beloved Spyder GT and thought I would give a few thoughts for posterity sake. I daily drove my car 500-600 miles per week for several years now. Before that, it was lightly used. The car never once left me stranded on the side of the road with the exception of 3 blowouts, which could (and will) happen to any car with that type of mileage.
The Spyder began life as part of a very small collection I was assembling. It was garaged and pampered. But life gave a surprise turn, and we were able to relocate to the Florida Keys and realize a shared dream for my wife and myself. This necessitated selling off most of the cars, except the Spyder. It was pressed into yeoman's duty. For the next 4 years and 80,000 miles, it lived outside, suffered uncountable rock chips and other assorted slings and arrows. Some of you will be aghast at the treatment. But in a way, it was a noble way for the car to show it's true composition...tough as nails!
Yes, I had every single one of the common maladies that the sticky post at the beginning section of this forum points out. The fuel pumps (plural) suffered the plastic cap failures, gas fumes aromatically filled the car, and both had to be replaced. The oil pressure sending unit died and had to be repaired. My heater core never failed but prudence suggested I should bypass the core and allow my electronics to be spared the inevitable rinse, wash, repeat cycle. My top failed several times and was fixed with most of the suggestions on this site, until it didn't. I had one of the million or so sensors or micro switches or flux capacitor failures and was never able to guess which one died. So I have a faux convertible. Kinda like the 2000's version of a landau top from Chrysler. The plastic piece around the center console shattered into a zillion pieces that even Lorenz wouldn't be able to piece together again (although I have every reason to believe he COULD succeed with Humpty Dumpty). All my buttons turned to goo due to my Florida heat. I took a picture of them before I lost all recognition so I would remember where everything was. The alarm went all Linda Blair on me and would just randomly go off so I began to lock the car manually with the key like my Dad's '63 Biscayne (and yes, it actually works. Quaint!). The radio tried to match that by going black and white diagonal lines and coming on in the middle of the night with the key off. I expected Rod Serling to appear next, so I pulled the fuse. Universally agreed that the radio is the worst part of the car so it was a merciful death. Both window regulators failed with the traditional loud 'bang' and were repaired. The headlight covers became cloudy and no amount of polishing could fix the interior crazing. I lost one of the headlight washers early on in my ownership (repaired) and learned to not wash my windows at night with the headlights on! Because of my top sensor/switch failure, the computer thinks the top is operating continually so I can't engage the emergency brake with the ignition on or else it will roll the windows down LOL. The driver's door auto dip feature croaked just recently and I have to leave the window slightly cracked. And yes, my car does the traditional Modena puff of blue smoke on startup once every 12.5 times.
First time 4200 owners may read this post one day and run, not walk, away from our car. But this is the opposite of what I would want to convey. The common perception of older Italian cars is that they are fragile things, best used on sunny days and to adorn one's garage. And for a season, my Spyder did just that. But when pressed into service of a hard core daily driver, my version of an italian honda accord, it excelled. If we do a dog year conversion, 133K in Italian miles is at least a 3X factor in a Japanese car. My engine and transmission still run great. I use no oil between services. The paint quality and shine still look ridiculously good. The cruise control, turn signals, headlights and wipers never hiccupped. My A/C compressor just now died and is being repaired at 133K miles. That is 50K better than my daughter's CRV which just had an identical failure. I am still on my original clutch and it doesn't slip a bit. All gauges work as purposed. Every switch and button still do their job. Brakes, steering and skyhook all still function. So I can speak from GREAT experience, perhaps more than most, as to how durable and reliable the 4200 is. Even when subjected to harsh conditions, it just keeps going.
And oh how it runs. I have a modified exhaust and my Spyder sounds better than 90% of the exotics out there. The car still feels great to drive and, believe it or not, still get compliments at the gas station. I followed the factory service intervals, used quality fluids and it just ran...and ran...and ran. I have no doubt the next owner will pamper it a bit more. No doubt that it will see 150K and more. No doubt that one day I will read a future post on this site of my old car, now turning 20 years, and still going. I will smile. It has been a great ride.
BY the way, I will post it for sale in the proper section for a sub 10K price. I am thinking about titling it "rolling, daily driven parts car" in order to discourage a 19 year old from buying a "cheap Maserati" and have visions of restoring it. My old friend is a bit too far gone for restoration. He is more suitable for a nice senior community with organized activities and bingo on Wednesday night.
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