1984 Maserati Biturbo 2.5 V6 from North America
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.
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
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!