When does a thoroughbred become a workhorse?
By John Howell / Monday, 9 May 2022 / Loading comments
We all, I think, would tend to agree on a couple of things: older Maseratis are, in the main, beautiful yet fragile. They are a high-days-and-holidays car, to lock away in the garage until the sun pops its little hat on and you have a road trip, big or small, to cover off in style. You certainly wouldn’t daily a Massa, would you? Not unless you have a hot streak of masochism running through you like fat through bacon.
Well, someone’s not read the memo. Just have a look at this Maserati GranTurismo because it certainly appears to have racked up the kind of mileage that indicates daily use. If you average out its 160,000 miles over its 15-year existence, you end up with 10,000-odd-miles per annum. That’s dangerously close ‘daily’ territory in anyone’s book.
As is often the case, there’s more to a story than the statistics. If you have a look at its MOT history, for example, its annual mileage hasn’t been built up so consistently; it’s ebbed and flowed. Between 2010 and 2011, for example, it covered nearly 16,000 miles, and the following year, not far off 20,000. That rate of progression continued until 2017, when it appears to have been retired from a life pounding, one would presume, the higher-speed autoroutes. Since being pensioned off, as a rule of thumb, it’s been doing what would be considered a more typical 2,000-2,500 miles a year.
So, if what we’re led to believe is true – that is the delicate nature of Modena products – the MOT failures would’ve been numerous and ruinous? Again, the reality is somewhat different. Okay, we haven’t got the full picture because the service history isn’t disclosed, but since 2010, when records began, it’s dropped the ball five times on its MOT. Two of those were for worn tyres, which we can cast off as typical wear and tear. Two more were for parking brake efficiency – or lack of more accurately – and that leaves one for wishbone bushes and corrosion around said area.
That’s hardly a tale of woe, is it? And even if you count the advisories, it’s still fairly routine: anti-roll bar bushes, iffy discs and pads, rusty coil springs and a problem with the front number plate. I mean, come on: where’s the smoking gun there?
Mechanically, then, this old Massa appears to have been stoic. However, it’s a low volume car built in Italy, not mass-produced in Germany. Therefore you’d expect something akin to the exploded Noddy-car phenomenon when scrolling through the pictures. Surely, the wheels will be at eccentric angles, the doors hanging off their hinges, and the car collapsed to the ground like it’s been bearing the weight of the world’s problems and given up.
Err, no. The wheels have some scuffs but it’s purple paint shines in the sunshine. And the interior? Something between threadbare and vapourised? Nope. The leather shows signs of use and the driver’s door handle has clearly been used more than once, but it’s all present, correct and far from tatty.
Slash the mileage by two thirds and this car would retail for circa £35,000, and even then any guarantee of bulletproof reliability will be written in invisible ink. So surely that makes this car, offered at a mere £13,500, a logical, rather than illogical choice. After all, that leaves a spare £21,500 to cover off any issues and do a bit of tidying. So far from a barmy bargain, what we have here, then, is possibly the most sensible Maserati GranTurismo offering in existence. Discuss…
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