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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone. Am very seriously considering buying a used 2003 coupe with manual transmission and skyhook. Am not much of a car person but obviously do not want to make an error in my purchase. Here are some concerns in my ongoing negotiations with the dealer.

The color on the carfax report is always noted as silver yet the car itself is blue. I have inquired as to why and the dealer states the car was painted blue prior to the first owner by the Maserati dealer. Does that sound like hogwash to you all or is that actually possible. They (the dealer) quite frankly states they are unaware why it repeatedly shows silver on the carfax report but assure the color has been blue (and factory painted) prior to the first sale.

Anyone see alarm bells??

Further concerns, according to the carfax report the car seems to have had three previous owners, the last two of which had the car for 6 months and 4 months. Why would owners sell the car so fast unless they are troubled, I ask myself?? Is it normal for a Maserati Coupe to cycle through 3 owners since 2003? Also, the report states the car was auctioned, not once but twice.

I have more concerns as well, but would appreciate any insight anyone has to offer. Apologies for the lengthy post.
 

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As far as the color goes, Carfax has been known to make mistakes. If the car was repainted, your PPI will uncover this right away. You made two different statements about paint color. One statement was that the car was “painted blue prior to the first owner by the Maserati dealer”. The other statement was that the blue color was “factory painted”. There is a huge difference between original factory paint and a dealer repaint. If the Carfax color is an error, just have the dealer correct it before you purchase.

As for multiple owners, anything can happen. There are some people out there that just like to change cars frequently. Other reasons for short-term ownership can include financial troubles or just a buying mistake (these cars aren’t for everybody). As with the paint concern, your PPI should uncover any mechanical issues.



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Hello everyone. Am very seriously considering buying a used 2003 coupe with manual transmission and skyhook. Am not much of a car person but obviously do not want to make an error in my purchase. Here are some concerns in my ongoing negotiations with the dealer.
l
In what way do you mean you are not a car guy? These cars are not Lexus and can cause great mental and emotional damage to your psyche. Read some of the threads where one month of ownership has resulted in twisted and melted credit cards and owners are pleading to be shot to end the misery. (OKay, maybe a bit of exaggeration). But nonetheless, I feel that one very definitely needs to be a car guy or gal to appreciate the Maser for it goodness over its quirks.

With regard to the paint - if you interested in the car enough to spend the money for a PPI, then have the paint thickness checked by an expert to determine if the car has been repainted. Otherwise walk away.
 

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Why bother? If you have so many worries about this car already, go for another one, there are plenty for sale. Well, I should ask first where you are located...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
These are two separate email responses from the dealer on the paint issue.

"We do not know why, but I can assure you that it has been blue ever since it was with the first owner. The Maserati dealer that painted it told us that."

"The car was repainted Blue from Silver by the factory when it was sold new."

Am in Las Vegas, haven't found a manual coupe for sale here. I would prefer to go with that as from all I have read here, the early model cambiocorsa is not worth the trouble in my books.

Jeez man way to get defensive about the car guy stuff. You sounded like the sales guy at the Maser dealership here. I just mean am not going to be spending the weekend as a grease monkey. Am particular about what I like, the lexus doesn't come close to the type of performance I want.
 

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Lots of things to check......

First, I purchased a 2003 Maser Coupe Cambio corsa and have had NO problems whatever with it. I bought it 2 years old with 8,900 miles.

Second, with respect to the paint color, what color does the underhood plaque say about the car color?? Also, it is VERY easy to spot a car that has been painted; (1) look in the crevices of the engine compartment, you will clearly see the "original" paint color. (2) You can also check the trunk area by removing the covers that cover both the battery and CD changer. Inside both areas you should be able to see the paint color from the factory. (3)Also, if you look real closely around wheel wells and lighting assemblies, you should be able to see either overspray or evidence of tape masking. Lastly, car dealerships and auto reapir shops have a device whereby you can roll it over painted areas and it will tell you the "thickness" of the paint. I don't recall the numbers of original paint thickness, but the operator of the device will know for sure.

With respect to the numerous owners, sometimes buyers put the cars in their names only to put the car on auction; this can happen several times in a short period. So, your concern there might be explainable.

Lastly, these cars are special; you need to have peace of mind going into this deal. If, not, walk away now.

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hey thanks for all the replies everyone.

Yeah maybe I am just making too much out of it, am considering having an inspection done though. Unfortunately the car is located across the country for me, any recommendations for a ppi?
 

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Lazer00,

I would recommend that you pay the $$$ and have a decent PPI done. The seller should be able to point you to the closest dealership or you can find it online at maseratiusa.com

Bcube's comment wasn't far off. Each car has its own little quirks. Knowing what you are getting into beforehand will increase your satisfaction with the car a lot. Otherwise, you will be spending a lot of time wondering if the car is really supposed to be acting that way!
 

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I would definitely recommend taking it in for a good PPI.

I would not buy a car that didn't have the factory paint. Unless they spent tremendous money it will not be a good thing... even then it's not baked on quite the same way.

There are a few warning bells, just make sure you feel confident before buying. There are many Maserati's on the market today. Take your time and pick the best one.

Best Regards,
-- Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Again thanks for the responses!

Alright so I am taking everyone's advice here and moving on from that particular vehicle. My main reason for pursuing it so far was because it seemed to be one of the few manual's with skyhook available in my budget. As I had originally stated, I stayed away from pursuing a cambiocorsa for reliability reasons (based on what I've read). I know a few people addressed that in the posts but here goes the next question (one I am sure is asked all the time here).

If any of you coupe owners had a choice (who have driven both stick and f-1) which transmission would you recommend based on reliability, drive capability, and cost of maintenance?

Keep in mind this would be for a daily driver in the northeast.
 

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I owned an 03 Coupe GT for 2 years as a daily driver and would choose it over a CC of the same period every time. Much depends upon the sort of driving you would be doing but I found the CC (which I had as a loaner a couple of times) simply too frustrating in city driving to be a viable proposition for me. If you never do any city stop start driving this may not be such an issue. There will be others on here who will give you the opposite view but for me the manual was great and I never had any problems with it. Hope this helps.

Regards

Carl
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the response Carl/Colossus!

Anyone else with recommendations?

Also, on the manual can someone give me a brief description of the feel (still haven't gotten a chance to test one, no manuals available close to me) ?
 

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I have a GS and have never driven a GT, but if I could I'd definitely go for the 6 speed.

Don't get me wrong, I now love the CC, but the manual trans is definitely cheaper to maintain and more reliable.
 

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There are a number of differing views on the manual transmission on the board but I can only report that I was quite happy with mine. Others have reported that it baulks a little when cold but I never really found that to be a problem. The one thing that will affect the quality of the change is the cable linkage to the 'box which will need periodic adjustment. I got this done at the annual service and never had any selector issues, was always smooth and reasonably precise. It is not as smooth or quick as a Porsche shift but I found it to be a more satisfying drive than the CC option.

Cheers

C
 

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one of the few manual's with skyhook available in my budget.
It looks like you have a tight budget and are concerned about maintenance costs. An Italian car may not be right for you at this time. Maseratis, including those with cambiocorsa transmissions, can be very reliable. However, when something does go wrong, the repair bill can be in the thousands.

If you do decide to buy a Maserati, get out there and test drive a car with the CC transmission. I did and never looked back to the old school stick shift.



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stick

I have the 2003 Coupe GT, I have only drive sticks,and am quite happy with mine. The car had 14,000 miles on it when I got it two years ago. I now have 26,000 on it still with the first clutch. It is not the best sift quality nor the worst. It is better when the car is warmed up.

I think the 6. speed adds some thing nice to the car.
Ron:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for all the advice. All of you have been very very helpful. Will definitely keep posting here once I make my purchase.

I have test driven the CC, have to say was not to impressed by the ride quality, mainly the shifting on auto. Need to get my hands on a manual to get a feel of the shifter. True the budget may be a bit tight compared to some other owners here, but honestly the way I see it, I cannot find a more suitable performance orientated vehicle in the budget.

Plus at the end of the day, its a Maserati!!

Once again thanks for all the advice.
 
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