ACtion Magazine - June 2013 - (Page 8)

Freeze Frame Third time’s the charm Jacques Gordon T he original Maserati Ghibli was still in production I remember hearing about the Ghibli’s powerful V-8 when I got to know the counter guys at the local and awesome handling, but the only one I ever saw foreign-car parts store. It’s funny to think there was parked in a dark corner of the shop, awaiting parts. was a separate store to buy parts for cars made in Italy, In the early 1980s, the new Maserati company began Germany, Sweden, France, England and Japan. It wasn’t producing an upscale sedan called the Biturbo, basically just because they used metric hardware competing against the 5-Series BMW, and cartridge oil filters. Foreign cars and there was a two-door coupe also had features that were, well version wearing the Ghibli name. It’s funny to think there foreign, like overhead cams, fuel Reliability was much improved over was a separate store to the old models, maybe not up to what injection, lever-action shock absorbers, expected, but by then CV-joints, driveshaft center bearings, buy parts for foreign cars. Americansand belts were available at oil filters windshield washer fluid…domesticalmost any parts store. parts manufacturers weren’t making A recession in the late 1980s these things yet, and the market was meant the end of Maserati in North America, as well as too small for most traditional parts stores, but at least Peugeot, Alfa Romeo, Fiat and some other European one parts importer made sure we didn’t have to go to the brands. Renault survived here by forming an alliance dealer for everything. with AMC, giving us the Alliance and continued access Maserati made exotic high-performance sports cars. to parts for the Fuego and LeCar. Maserati struck a deal with Chrysler to produce the Chrysler TC by Maserati, which was really a stretched K-car platform that is best forgotten. FIAT bought Maserati in 1993, and the company went back to building high-performance cars. They finally returned to the U.S. market in 2002 as part of Ferrari (also owned by FIAT). I drove the 2002 Coupe GT and the Spyder when they first came out, both with the Cambiocorsa transmission developed by Ferrari for F1 racing. They were the first mass-production cars with a two-shaft automated-manual transmission with shift paddles on the steering wheel. It worked great on the open road but couldn’t creep in American-style stop-and-go traffic; I had to give it gas to move, producing lots of lurching and distressing driveline clunk. The technology wasn’t ready then, but now it’s completely replaced the slush box in many European brands. Maserati has just announced a new (third) Ghibli. It’s their “entry-level” model, a small four-door sedan built on a shortened Quattroporte platform, again aimed at the 5-Series BMW. It will be available here with a V-6 making over 400 hp, but Europeans can opt for a 3.0L turbodiesel. Maserati is now part of Alfa Romeo, which is also owned by FIAT, who also owns almost 60 percent of Chrysler. Parts just might be easier to get this time around; maybe. ❆ 8 ACTION • June 2013 Reader Reply R You can reach Jacques at

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ACtion Magazine - June 2013

ACtion Magazine - June 2013
Freeze Frame
Virtual View
Under the Southern Cross
Leonard's Law
News & Updates
Air Flow Out of Control
Customer Education
Association News
Quick Check
New Products & Services
Last Watch

ACtion Magazine - June 2013