Not-So-Vintage Beauty

While wandering along the various highways and byways of Ye Olde Internette (i.e. looking at stuff that wasn’t written yesterday by some illiterate / ignorant Millennial), I stumbled upon something that I hold near and dear to my heart:  a Maserati 4200 GT from the early 2000s.  Here’s what it looks like, in both Coupé and Spyder configurations:


Now here’s why I love this creature [2,000 lines of drooling foolishness redacted]:

  • 4.2-liter V8 Ferrari engine giving
  • 385 horsepower (395 in the later GranSport)
  • Skyhook suspension system
  • manual transmission
  • proper 4-seater (not 2 adults + 2 amputees, like most of the ilk)

But those are just the technical specs, and impressive though they are, a whole bunch of cars today can produce the same or better.

However, what gets my various body parts tingling, moving and enlarging is the sheer beauty of this car.  This guy (who uses his twelve-year-old Mazza 4200 as a daily driver!!) puts it perfectly:

I’m a huge fan of the beautiful styling. I believe it’s a timeless design. When the 3200/4200 was initially released it may have seemed a bit bland for the time. But today with every new car resembling a transformer mated with largemouth bass fish front end, it really makes me appreciate the elegant smooth aerodynamic curves of 90’s vehicles.

I just hope he doesn’t mind if I steal “a transformer mated with largemouth bass fish front end”, because I’m gonna.  And a reminder of the topic under discussion:

I absolutely love the smooth, elegant lines that flow gracefully, compared to the angular offerings of most of today’s sports cars.  And I actually prefer the “standard” styling above over the later GranSport’s, which while also lovely, is starting to look dangerously fish-mouthed:

I am also completely cognizant of the fact that “older Maserati”  and “daily driver”  are not terms that should be combined in a single sentence.

But you could do worse.  A whole  lot worse.



  1. “a transformer mated with largemouth bass fish front end”. Snerk. You ain’t the only one stealing that, Kim.

    I am forced to agree with you on this one….to a point. Stylists, not engineers, design exterior surfaces, and had an engineer been involved I suspect the grill would be smaller, and hence, more attractive; I doubt that big a hole was necessary for whatever airflow the radiator required. Not a lot smaller, mind you, but to my mind 10%, maybe 15%, smaller would produce a more attractive front end, not that it’s ugly now. Of course, turning someone from the slide rule gang loose on the clay model would have resulted, eventually, in a 4-door saloon version that might have wound up morphing into some flavor of ersatz SUV, so maybe I should just shut up about the grill.

    Given that Eye-Talians were involved in the affair from start to finish I’m suspect of what’s under the skin; I have direct experience on the methodologies and machinations they use for wiring, plumbing and how stuff is arranged and coupled, and they’re not significantly different from the Isolated Islanders across the Channel. I’ll agree that, some mechanical/electrical systems excepted, the former Romans know how to build some cars (and several motorcycles) that are enjoyable, possibly exciting, to drive; some, in fact, could give lessons in it were one sufficiently open minded to study and learn.

    1. I think the problem is EU anti-pedestrian-injury regulations. They are demanding higher and blunter noses. Regardless of what it does to aerodynamics or appearance.

      1. I had read once, long ago and before Al Gore invented the internet, that the lower the bumper and hood, the less likely the pedestrian was to be actually run over, causing GBI (great bodily injury). This is why there is no regulation on bumper height from our overlords in the National Transportation Safety Board. Trucks and SUV’s would look too funny with the lower bumpers safety requires.

  2. I had a friend who owned a convertible one of these. He lent it to me for a weekend when I was in town, oh, about fifteen years ago.
    I’m not generally an Italian driver, but the combination of v8 and convertible was fantastic.
    Till I couldn’t get the roof to close. Then the passenger door wouldn’t open. Then it started missing under acceleration and wouldn’t idle properly, so it was taking it back to swap for his 740iL when it refused to go into gear.
    All in one weekend.

  3. A variation on the Largemouth Bass look is the Jay Leno chin look favored by Audi and some of the newer offerings from Detroit.
    But for a really UGLY vehicle, check out Tesla’s electric pickup truck. It looks more like the cockpit section of some radar-dodging stealth airplane. All flat planes and sharp angles.

    1. Is it true, they smashed the “bulletproof” glass of that breakthrough truck, with a sledgehammer on stage at the debut? With the head Muskie in attendance?

      1. No, that’s absolutely false. The MC threw a rock at the deiver’s window to demonstrate how tough it was, and broke it. He then threw a rock at the window behind it and broke that one, too. There was no sledgehammer on sight. Musk saved that for backstage for the engineer responsible.

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