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After owning this 2002 4200 Coupe GT for about a month, and 1,000 miles - I figure I'd post a review as a unique thoroughly enjoyed pre-owned daily driver / road trip vehicle.

So far it's been fantastic for my intended purpose. I live in Arizona, now the summer road temps are approaching 120 degrees. At first I was apprehensive, where some exotics have overheating or poor A/C performance. The 4200 has neither so far. Although the A/C always kicks on during initial engine startup, I don't know if it's just reading my mind, or the temp control dial is always below the current temp. Upon purchase of the vehicle, I noticed it had leaky o-rings around the expansion valve. Luckily these were easy to access. I replaced, evacuated, and recharge myself. It only took about 45 mins to complete the job. The A/C remains ice cold in the summer heat.

As with every new/used purchase, I perform a complete fluid change and have oil sent in for analysis. I'm a bit extreme and inspect my oil with a jewelers glass, and did see minute traces of fine glitter - which I've never seen in any of my previous engines. The oil analysis came back normal and within range of all the other 4200 engines sampled thus far. Inspecting the oil filter element looked pretty used, at the tail end of its life I'd say, so the effectiveness is unknown. I know Maserati has some seriously 'extended' oil change intervals in my personal opinion, I'm never going that far after seeing the condition of the filter element. I've always changed oil within 3,000 miles even though some of my other vehicles have a service interval of 7,500 miles. It's not necessarily the oil quality over time/mileage, but the ability of the filter to maintain integrity throughout it's designed lifetime. But then again, I'm paranoid about contaminants, and being mostly an Arizona vehicle maybe the prior owner should have changed the oil & filter a bit sooner than the book recommended due to the excessive road temps we have in Arizona. I'm relieved the oil wasn't recently changed by the previous owner so I can obtain accurate analysis results. Another sample will go in for analysis at the 2,000 mile mark, which will be shortly. I use Blackstone labs for all of my oil analysis.

I have the Skyhook suspension, initially it's an option I didn't want, but now I'm glad. There is a pretty big difference between sport and normal mode. Most of the time I go without sport due to the terrible maintained Arizona roads. However when encountering mountain twisties, the sport mode is great. I don't expect a true sports car quality from the 4200, but it's good enough for public roads. At the track is a different story. Top Gear was accurate in their review - psychotic handling (Series 1 Episode 8). It takes a lot of skill with the nannies off, a bit more skill than most other vehicles I've tracked in it's stock configuration. But I didn't make this purchase for a track car, and the results were as expected. The creature comforts are good for the pre-owned market value, although the radio reception is lacking for those who actually still listen to AM/FM. The seat bolsters are a little narrow and stiff if you have broad shoulders, but otherwise as a daily it's more than sufficient. I'm 6', and find ample leg room if there are no rear occupants. My first long distance road trip is later this month, I'll see how long it will take before pit stops are required for comfort. I admit I'm not use to so many automated items, and not really a fan of them. I prefer manual mirrors, seats, windows, steering, transmissions, and so on.. But I work on vehicles for enjoyment, so maybe I just see the complexity when something needs attention. Maybe as I age and become less able, my opinion will change.

Performance from this engine is great. Most people I speak with think Maserati correlates to raw power and speed. They seem a bit shocked when I give them the average 1/4 mile results and horsepower numbers, but I also remind them it's true intent is a GT vehicle, not a sports car. The compression ratio rivals some sportbikes, and I find impressive, which nets it amazingly quick revving characteristics. Shifting the true manual is sometimes a bit of work in traffic. The short gear changes remind me of a typical Fast and Furious movie transmission, going through all six gears by the time I reach 40mph, averaging 14-16mpg in city traffic. It feels nearly identical to my Viper (T56 transmission), but nowhere near an NSX. The NSX by far has the best stock shifting feel out of any vehicle I've driven, actually it's the best vehicle I've driven and owned so far. Torque out of the 4.2 from 2,000rpm is more than sufficient, and the curve seems flat and steady up until about 7,000 rpms. Exactly what you should see in a GT. I'll see if I can get it on a dyno shortly and post results just for comparison.

I'm a huge fan of the beautiful styling. I believe it's a timeless design. When the 3200/4200 was initially released it may have seemed a bit bland for the time. But today with every new car resembling a transformer mated with largemouth bass fish front end, it really makes me appreciate the elegant smooth aerodynamic curves of 90's vehicles. Everywhere I go people take pictures, they seem to love the design, give thumbs up. I loathe fender portholes ever since local auto parts stores started carrying fakes, which is one of the reasons (I know, stupid reason) why I didn't want a newer one with fender portholes. In a way I wish Maserati would drop them from new designs, unfortunately it's probably a trademark.

In all, I love this car. It's given me an entirely new outlook on Maserati. It wasn't a perfect condition vehicle at the time of purchase, but it was certainly good enough as a daily and not to be locked up as a garage queen. I have every intention to enjoy the most from this vehicle. Ferrari Maserati of Central New Jersey has been fantastic about getting me replacement parts for the items requiring attention even though I'm on the west coast. Superb world class service, so a big thanks goes out to Dean. He has replied to my emails well after business hours and has been prompt at returning calls.

Most strangers I have a conversation with think it's too risky (as in a dumb move) purchasing an exotic out of warranty, or costs of possible unexpected maintenance, and it shouldn't be daily driven. I'm one of those who attempts to live life to the fullest. I don't worry about a catastrophic failure, maintenance costs, resell value, mileage, door dings, theft. If the unfortunate happens, then so be it. It may not make economic sense to repair a vehicle if the repair exceeds it's overall value, and that holds true of every vehicle. The decision should be made if/when that happens, and not stress about it before then. I wish everyone would take the Jay Leno approach and get out to enjoy their possessions. I admit, I got just as much enjoyment driving my 1988 Integra as my high end or high horsepower exotics or even vintage 70's sports cars. Although sportbikes are satisfaction on a whole different level. Every vehicle has it's own personality and time period, and appreciating them for that era makes each one uniquely fun...... Except for the Prius, which was mankinds worst invention ever, but that's a story for another day.

We live in a golden time of vehicles, this is something I tell my friends. It's golden because the price of a new base model vehicle costs similar to an exotic from the past. I believe this trend will not continue due to the complexity of systems and cost of materials placed in today's high end exotics that will keep even parts cars costly. For the same price of a new Prius, you can obtain a rather decent condition, Supra, NSX, RX7, Jaguar, BMW 7&8 series, Aston Martin, Ferrari, and the list goes on..

We live in a fantastic time. Cheers.
 

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Nice writeup, but are we really calling these cars "vintage" already?
 

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Great "essay" :)
 

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Fantastic review, thank you for sharing your thoughts!


PS: Fender portholes have been a Maserati design feature since the 3500GT!
 

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After owning this 2002 4200 Coupe GT for about a month, and 1,000 miles - I figure I'd post a review as a unique thoroughly enjoyed pre-owned daily driver / road trip vehicle.

So far it's been fantastic for my intended purpose. I live in Arizona, now the summer road temps are approaching 120 degrees. At first I was apprehensive, where some exotics have overheating or poor A/C performance. The 4200 has neither so far. Although the A/C always kicks on during initial engine startup, I don't know if it's just reading my mind, or the temp control dial is always below the current temp. Upon purchase of the vehicle, I noticed it had leaky o-rings around the expansion valve. Luckily these were easy to access. I replaced, evacuated, and recharge myself. It only took about 45 mins to complete the job. The A/C remains ice cold in the summer heat.

As with every new/used purchase, I perform a complete fluid change and have oil sent in for analysis. I'm a bit extreme and inspect my oil with a jewelers glass, and did see minute traces of fine glitter - which I've never seen in any of my previous engines. The oil analysis came back normal and within range of all the other 4200 engines sampled thus far. Inspecting the oil filter element looked pretty used, at the tail end of its life I'd say, so the effectiveness is unknown. I know Maserati has some seriously 'extended' oil change intervals in my personal opinion, I'm never going that far after seeing the condition of the filter element. I've always changed oil within 3,000 miles even though some of my other vehicles have a service interval of 7,500 miles. It's not necessarily the oil quality over time/mileage, but the ability of the filter to maintain integrity throughout it's designed lifetime. But then again, I'm paranoid about contaminants, and being mostly an Arizona vehicle maybe the prior owner should have changed the oil & filter a bit sooner than the book recommended due to the excessive road temps we have in Arizona. I'm relieved the oil wasn't recently changed by the previous owner so I can obtain accurate analysis results. Another sample will go in for analysis at the 2,000 mile mark, which will be shortly. I use Blackstone labs for all of my oil analysis.

I have the Skyhook suspension, initially it's an option I didn't want, but now I'm glad. There is a pretty big difference between sport and normal mode. Most of the time I go without sport due to the terrible maintained Arizona roads. However when encountering mountain twisties, the sport mode is great. I don't expect a true sports car quality from the 4200, but it's good enough for public roads. At the track is a different story. Top Gear was accurate in their review - psychotic handling (Series 1 Episode 8). It takes a lot of skill with the nannies off, a bit more skill than most other vehicles I've tracked in it's stock configuration. But I didn't make this purchase for a track car, and the results were as expected. The creature comforts are good for the pre-owned market value, although the radio reception is lacking for those who actually still listen to AM/FM. The seat bolsters are a little narrow and stiff if you have broad shoulders, but otherwise as a daily it's more than sufficient. I'm 6', and find ample leg room if there are no rear occupants. My first long distance road trip is later this month, I'll see how long it will take before pit stops are required for comfort. I admit I'm not use to so many automated items, and not really a fan of them. I prefer manual mirrors, seats, windows, steering, transmissions, and so on.. But I work on vehicles for enjoyment, so maybe I just see the complexity when something needs attention. Maybe as I age and become less able, my opinion will change.

Performance from this engine is great. Most people I speak with think Maserati correlates to raw power and speed. They seem a bit shocked when I give them the average 1/4 mile results and horsepower numbers, but I also remind them it's true intent is a GT vehicle, not a sports car. The compression ratio rivals some sportbikes, and I find impressive, which nets it amazingly quick revving characteristics. Shifting the true manual is sometimes a bit of work in traffic. The short gear changes remind me of a typical Fast and Furious movie transmission, going through all six gears by the time I reach 40mph, averaging 14-16mpg in city traffic. It feels nearly identical to my Viper (T56 transmission), but nowhere near an NSX. The NSX by far has the best stock shifting feel out of any vehicle I've driven, actually it's the best vehicle I've driven and owned so far. Torque out of the 4.2 from 2,000rpm is more than sufficient, and the curve seems flat and steady up until about 7,000 rpms. Exactly what you should see in a GT. I'll see if I can get it on a dyno shortly and post results just for comparison.

I'm a huge fan of the beautiful styling. I believe it's a timeless design. When the 3200/4200 was initially released it may have seemed a bit bland for the time. But today with every new car resembling a transformer mated with largemouth bass fish front end, it really makes me appreciate the elegant smooth aerodynamic curves of 90's vehicles. Everywhere I go people take pictures, they seem to love the design, give thumbs up. I loathe fender portholes ever since local auto parts stores started carrying fakes, which is one of the reasons (I know, stupid reason) why I didn't want a newer one with fender portholes. In a way I wish Maserati would drop them from new designs, unfortunately it's probably a trademark.

In all, I love this car. It's given me an entirely new outlook on Maserati. It wasn't a perfect condition vehicle at the time of purchase, but it was certainly good enough as a daily and not to be locked up as a garage queen. I have every intention to enjoy the most from this vehicle. Ferrari Maserati of Central New Jersey has been fantastic about getting me replacement parts for the items requiring attention even though I'm on the west coast. Superb world class service, so a big thanks goes out to Dean. He has replied to my emails well after business hours and has been prompt at returning calls.

Most strangers I have a conversation with think it's too risky (as in a dumb move) purchasing an exotic out of warranty, or costs of possible unexpected maintenance, and it shouldn't be daily driven. I'm one of those who attempts to live life to the fullest. I don't worry about a catastrophic failure, maintenance costs, resell value, mileage, door dings, theft. If the unfortunate happens, then so be it. It may not make economic sense to repair a vehicle if the repair exceeds it's overall value, and that holds true of every vehicle. The decision should be made if/when that happens, and not stress about it before then. I wish everyone would take the Jay Leno approach and get out to enjoy their possessions. I admit, I got just as much enjoyment driving my 1988 Integra as my high end or high horsepower exotics or even vintage 70's sports cars. Although sportbikes are satisfaction on a whole different level. Every vehicle has it's own personality and time period, and appreciating them for that era makes each one uniquely fun...... Except for the Prius, which was mankinds worst invention ever, but that's a story for another day.

We live in a golden time of vehicles, this is something I tell my friends. It's golden because the price of a new base model vehicle costs similar to an exotic from the past. I believe this trend will not continue due to the complexity of systems and cost of materials placed in today's high end exotics that will keep even parts cars costly. For the same price of a new Prius, you can obtain a rather decent condition, Supra, NSX, RX7, Jaguar, BMW 7&8 series, Aston Martin, Ferrari, and the list goes on..

We live in a fantastic time. Cheers.
Interesting Review especially considering this car inherits the "Vintage "tag.
I have worked on "Continental" cars in Australia most of 60 years and agree with the use it or lose it mentality.

These cars have a personality mores that sets them aside from Asian or American so - called "muscle" cars. If set aside as a trophy and constantly wrapped in cotton wool they "feel' they are unloved and will respond accordingly. They were designed as an engineering masterpiece wrapped in a disposable "skin" eg plastics, metal that rusts and fabric that deteriorates with age. So like a beautiful but raging example of beauty they are to be appreciated to the fullest.

The saying "drive it like you stole" it is what they love, be it a 1968 Fiat 124AC, Maserati 2002 4200 GT or a beautiful 21 Italian Backpacker. Appreciate everything.
 

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I’ve daily driven mine for the last few thousand miles. Park it outside, commute 50 miles round trip, take her to redline and 100+ mph regularly, rain, shine.... surprisingly practical. I considered selling and searching for a stick shift but love the CC now that I’ve figured out how to use it as I think intended! Cheapest smiles on the road
 

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Vintage, indeed. My 2006 GranSport now has 95,000 miles on the original engine and transmission. Everything still works and only occasionally does some odd problem pop up. In 6 years of ownership the car has never left me stranded. Drive them and enjoy them!
 
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