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I'm not much of an internet poster, but I have enjoyed and been informed by the discussions on this board over the years. Given the recent thread on tall people fitting in coupes and spyders, I want to contribute a little info back.

I was surprised to hear of so many tall Maserati owners and even more surprised to learn that they were so comfortable. I'm 6'-4", 215 with a 35" inseam and found the spyder very uncomfortable and the coupe only slightly less so. Fortunately there are some easy fixes that will make a large difference.

The seat rail is raised above the floor with two shims. I had the rear shim removed by a custom modification guy. He simply cut the rear shim off, re-welded the rear track directly to the floor and left the front one in place. Now the seat automatically gets lower the further back it gets from the steering wheel. With the seat all the way back (in my 2002 spyder CC) my head is about 2 1/2 inches below the closed top and can comfortably see the horizon below the mirror, just as the short car designers intended. Seat mechanics are unaffected. This fix also fits my 5'-7" wife as she uses the seat at a closer and higher setting. As there does not appear to be any downside for shorter bodies, I wonder why all car seat rails are not designed on an incline.

The seat back is also a problem as the concave curve under the headrest around shoulder height is fixed and not designed for taller backs. It was fairly easy for an upholstery shop to sand down the foam below the headrest seam and lengthen the concave portion. The leather was not modified and took about 6 months to adapt naturally to the new shape. It is now impossible to tell that the seat (or the seat rail) was modified.

In the spyder, at least, leg length is also a problem. This is a little more difficult but the gas pedal can be moved about an inch forward with out impacting function. In a sports car, an inch is huge. Unfortunately, the sadistically located dead pedal can not be moved forward because of the wheel well and, combined with the lack of room in the foot well means that my left leg cramps up after an hour or so.

Unfortunately, no one will modify the reach on the steering wheel for fear of litigation. Even with the extra inch from the gas pedal I find the fully extended wheel a little too far away. Italians must have really long arms.

Hope this helps some of you with older, stiffer bodies like mine. We are lucky the car lends itself to these modifications.

In search of a stiffer chassis, I looked seriously at the Aston Martin V8 roadster. It is considerably smaller in every dimension (my head actually dimpled the soft top) and, as near as I could tell, could not acommodate the modifications described above. Besides, the low end torque curve felt really thin after driving the Maserati so many years. And I missed the low growl of the Ferrari engine. Good chassis though.
 

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wow great post excellent information. That is a good point about having the seats on inclines.

i think the last thing the Italians ever consider is driving position ever sit in a De Tomaso Pantera?
 

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another seat solution

I'm 6'2" and felt the seat base way too tall and the side bolsters too tight. Doing 1000 miles/week left me with all types of leg and back pain. I ended up replacing the seats with Recaro Sportsters. Just a little bit of custom fab left me with the manual sliders directly on the floor, I can now fit my fist between my head and the headliner. The black leather model is an exact match for the Maserati leather

As mentioned above, I still haven't found a way to chance the pedals being too close to the wheel....
 

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Good evening members. I have just this moment registered.

bng's post on tall man mods for the Spyder was very encouraging. I shall be showing your seat lowering method to the lucky dealer when the right car is advertised.

I am 6'4' , weighty, and rather creaky but very keen. Having stopped motorcycling four years ago and bid farewell to my TR6, 12 years before that, I am yearning for a soft top sports car for European touring and sunny days at home, for though the X3 has conveys us in comfort and (touch wood) safety about the place.........

He would be a pre-cosseted 2005 Spyder, under 50K kilometres. If I manage to fit, continuance of the cosseting will require garaging during several months of English winter. So, to the point: the small garage which I am looking to buy, will just about accommodate the length of a Spyder but it is only 2410mm wide and thereby leaving only about 300 mm either side to exit the car - the limited depth and 2230mm entrance width would preclude diagonal parking so it would be impossible with hood up and improbable with the top dropped to exit the vehicle.

For the practical among you, (all of you, I'm sure) would it be possible to push the car into the garage (preferably with a dust cover in place) and to pull it back out? I already see a problem; as a laid up vehicle, it would surely require trickle charging, also, with the key removed, would the steering lock. Perhaps popping him out for a blast once every three weeks would save a flat battery and the consequences arising thereof. Also, of lesser difficulty to achieve, some form off padding, as thick as the garage depth permits, in order to indicate that he is "docked" without causing body damage might work.

I am sorry to start my membership with a plea for help but reading your interesting posts without ownership of one of these beautiful cars, would not, in the long term, cut it for me. Envy you see.

Thank you in anticipation and kind regards to all.

Brendan
 

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Welcome Brendan.

First things first: I encourage to you register at Sports Maserati.com which is the UK based Maserati forum. There are many members there who tend to the well upholstered, and, like myself, the normal height. FWIW I had no issues in a hard top 4200, but at one of the regular meets I am very sure someone will be more than happy to let you try a Spyder on.

Pushing in neutral will be fine. Trickle charging is almost mandatory on these cars, the standard recommendation being for a C-TEK devices (which were actually re-branded and sold by Maserati). With the Sypder there is easy access to the battery behind the right hand boot liner, and also a cut off switch in the right rear corner (assuming that it's the same as the 4200, which it mostly is)

Steering will lock with the key removed, but it's a standard mechanical lock. So simply leave in neutral, engine off, key in and dock. Then remove key through roof and straighten cover.

A word on covers. Unless your car is clean to a level of sterility, the likelihood is that a cover will scratch the paint. Opinion is divided on their use both inside and out. Again, FWIW my 4200 (and my current GT) live outside all year.....

Cheers

C
 

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Thank you very much for that C. I will take your advice and also join the UK forum.
However, may I bug you for more information please? I will understand if you think I have overstayed my welcome. So here goes:

Battery trickle charging.
How long would a good untrickled battery last before running down?
Are there any power consumptive items on the car - the alarm for instance which could be switched off? The garage I am about to buy has no electric supply or any opportunity for a connection to power. This is typical of separate garages in the Uk.
I am thinking that the battery is required for some vital systems which would suffer if the battery was disconnected. What happens therefore if the battery were to be changed - no battery for a period of time. I am not concerned about the alarm or immobiliser being out of action.

The width of the car.

I cannot ascertain if the given specification dimensions include the unfolded mirror. Can you shed light please?
Also, important for the narrow garage, the width of the car with mirrors folded is essential. Can you help here.

Thank you in advance for your kind assistance.

Brendan
 

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Hi Brendan

In my experience, the Spyder will not discharge its battery if left for a couple of weeks and then given a good run. However, if this is still a concern, simply use the battery isolator in the driver’s side boot battery compartment - it’s a turn knob. The only downside to this is that the ECU will have to do a bit of relearning when you turn the battery back on and drive the car again, but when I have done this it really wasn’t a problem - it was not really noticeable.

A potential additional drain on the battery is if the car is fitted with a tracker. As the battery tracker ages and stops holding its charge it will start to drain the main car battery. If the car has a tracker, this can be removed to defeat this issue.

I am pretty sure the quoted 1822mm on most websites is without the mirrors/mirrors folded. Unfortunately my Spyder is away at the moment so cannot verify.
 

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Hah! Not even close to outstaying :)

Battery: It depends. As RWC says, it should last for a couple of weeks (by design) but some things are beginning to fail and seem to be drawing more current.

According to page 189 of the convenient 4200 manual I have on my laptop, the size does NOT include the mirrors . :( But they should fold in to below the 1822 mm....

C
 

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To get back to the original post, I'm 6'3" and have no problems in my 2002 Spyder. The seat back is more comfortable for a tall driver when you inflate the lumbar support fully.
 
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