1984 Maserati Biturbo 2.5 V6 from North America

Faults:

I've had experience with many Maserati models, but this was my first experience, and it left mixed impressions. But, in the end I did end up with more Maseratis, so all things considered it was a good experience. That said, the '84 Biturbo was a very difficult car to love.

A lot went wrong, and once one thing was repaired, something else would break. I later came to realize that this car was my dad's way of both interesting me in engineering, and putting my studies to use in the practical world. He knew what he had given me as a HS graduation present. Have no doubt that anyone who is capable of maintaining a good running Biturbo has amazing mechanical capabilities.

The first issue was the fuse box (around 12k), which melted before my eyes.

Next was the black smoke, which I noticed in my rear view mirror. (oil-cooled turbo 1 and 2 failed at around 15k).

Next was the clutch (partially my fault at 25k).

Next was a complete engine failure (40k), when a overhead cam seized while cruising at 80mph..

The list could go on, if I were to include all the minor stuff. Bottom line, AAA towing knew me and my car well.

General Comments:

All the above being said, the red Biturbo was a beautiful car, which always received compliments. When it drove well, it was lightning fast. It had an amazing interior and it was a joy to own in between breakdowns/repairs. Given that Maserati was such a small company at the time the Biturbo was released, and that this model was their first attempt at a mass produced car, it probably was as good as it could have been.

Later Biturbo variants improved significantly through the years, and the new models are fantastic. Much has been written of the fact that the humble '84 Biturbo sales are what saved Maserati from bankruptcy back in the '80s, and that allowed the company to become what it is today. For that, I still tip my hat to the original Biturbo, and still miss it a little, even when driving one of the new ones.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th February, 2012

6th Feb 2012, 21:26

Ironically -- I had the same experience 20 years ago!

Bought it just as the turbo was replaced.

Loved the interior.

Had the brass filters in the heads clog, and took the top end of the engine with it.

Also had problems with the carbs.

At the time I had never owned a new car -- but after spending about $500/month -- I realized I could afford a car payment!

1986 Maserati Biturbo Spyder Convertible 2.5L V6 twin turbo from North America

Summary:

I love the car, it has been great, runs perfectly, handles poorly, gets a lot of attention

Faults:

I had to get a new steering rack, power steering pump and gearbox 1 year after car purchase (1989).

Brakes went out while driving a banker around a busy city (1993).

Had to replace rotors, calipers and pads, and I changed the lines for peace of mind (1995).

I had to replace one front headlight (1995).

The exhaust had to be replaced due to under ride at a parking deck ramp (2000).

Car would not go over 55 MPH, so I rebuilt the carb, cleaned all turbo and carb pipes, put all new gaskets on the carb plenum cover and corrected the problem (2003).

I have changed the oil, replaced air and oil filters every 3,000 miles. I have also had the turbos lubed and serviced by a local Maserati dealer, and they have kept up.

I have experienced no electrical problems yet (2008).

All power windows work, lights, warning lights, buzzers, etc. Everything works (2008).

My 1986 Maserati Bi-turbo Convertible has been a great car, and it runs great and is very fast. I enjoy the car, and it gets a lot of attention.

Car runs great! Turbos have kept up and work 100%. The car has 33,869 babied miles.

General Comments:

My 1986 Maserati Bi-turbo Convertible (bought with 600 miles in 1989) has been a fantastic car and it runs great and is very fast. I enjoy the car and it gets a lot of attention. (1989-2008)

However, the cabin is small and is only comfortable when the top in down. It is cramped, and there are no backseats and it has very limited storage and a small trunk.

Also, the handling is quirky and unstable. The car is quick, however it does not handle well in my opinion.

The car has 33,869 miles.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th November, 2008