1995 Maserati Quattroporte: Our shed

By: John Wright, Photography by: John Wright

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John Wright's 1995 Maserati Quattroporte John Wright's 1995 Maserati Quattroporte John Wright's 1995 Maserati Quattroporte
John Wright's 1995 Maserati Quattroporte John Wright's 1995 Maserati Quattroporte John Wright's 1995 Maserati Quattroporte
Maserati's door handle Maserati's door handle Maserati's door handle
The 2800 V6 was shortlived in the Quattroporte The 2800 V6 was shortlived in the Quattroporte The 2800 V6 was shortlived in the Quattroporte
Quattroporte's auto transmission Quattroporte's auto transmission Quattroporte's auto transmission
Trident on the steering wheel, under the driver's left hand Trident on the steering wheel, under the driver's left hand Trident on the steering wheel, under the driver's left hand

Wrighty's rare-for-the-wrong-reasons Maserati might have been built just for him: they go back a very long way...

1995 Maserati Quattroporte: Our shed
1995 Maserati Quattroporte

 

1995 Maserati Quattroporte

Two of the stars of the 1995 Australian International Motor Show at glittering Darling Harbour were yellow. One was HSV’s hottest car to date, the GTS-R, the other the new, fourth generation, 2.8-litre twin-turbo V6 Maserati Quattroporte with body by Marcello Gandini. I told super salesman Tony Graziano, then principal of The House of Maserati and now running Scuderia Graziani on the same premises, that his car outshone the HSV, which was the colour of custard and looked dirty by comparison.

As it happened, that Maserati show car was the first example to be sold in Australia and it went to an opal miner who regularly drove it between Sydney and Lightning Ridge.

When I came across a similar car in Lindsay O’Brien’s Classic Car Garage in Caloundra at the bargain basement price of $12,000 plus on-road costs, naturally I bought it. The recent trip to Italy might have energised this decision.

Maximum power is an alleged 209kW but I’m thinking my car has about 150, which kinda matches the odo reading, even though at the time of writing the odo and speedo only work on Monday afternoons.

There’s plenty of history with evidence of terrifying expense. ‘You’ll laugh at this,’ said Maserati expert Alfredo Vitale, ‘I serviced that car a couple of years ago and the bill was almost $20,000.’ That included most of $5K for a headlight. Dolce Mamma Mia!

Perhaps the best news from a maintenance point of view is that the Quattroporte runs the same BT-R four-speed auto as a Falcon of the era. Even now, the Italian market favours manual transmissions and there is the idea that only wimps drive automatics. But for export Maserati had to source an auto that could handle the Q’s putative 413Nm (350?).

Just a year after the local launch of the Quattroporte, a twin-turbo 3.2-litre V8 was slotted under its not necessarily yellow bonnet and the V6 was already on its way to the orphanage.

A few days after my purchase I rang Graziani. ‘You’ll laugh at this’, he said. ‘I ordered a blue car with beige leather for the motor show and the car that arrived was slightly different.’ You could hardly imagine a brighter giallo. Grazie mille. Prego!

Just 668 2.8 Quattroportes like mine were made, of which Tony Graziani sold about 80. How many were yellow? ‘Just one,’ he says. ‘Yellow was a special-order colour.’ The problem was that no-one had actually ordered it. I think this car was made just for me.

 

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