1981 Maserati Quattroporte III
8-cyl. 4930cc/280hp 4x2bbl
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
Maserati revived the Quattroporte name at the 1977 Turin auto show with a radically new Quattroporte III. Unlike the Citroen-based Quattroporte II of the mid-1970s, the stately Quattroporte III sedan carried attractive bodywork by Giugiaro and Italdesign, had an absolutely opulent interior that featured loosely tucked leather throughout, and used a powerful motor to drive the car's rear wheels.
Production of the Quattroporte III began in 1979 with a 255-hp, four-cam, 4.2-liter V-8, with a 280-hp 4.9-liter version of this motor being available shortly thereafter. These engines sent their power to the rear wheels through either a ZF five-speed transmission, or a Borg Warner automatic that quickly gave way to a Chrysler Torqueflite box early in production. Otherwise, the Quattroporte III saw minimal changes throughout its 11-year production run, and by 1990 just over 2,100 examples of this imposing, 140-mph executive express were produced. Most of the models had been made by 1987, with approximately 55 revised "Royale" versions completed thereafter. A few examples of a stretched limousine version were built as well.
When searching for a Maserati Quattroporte III today, buyers should remember that the models are complex cars that sell at a relatively low price, with rust and electrical gremlins being the two areas that can swallow up cash very quickly. If a QPorte is needy in these two areas, an owner can easily surpass the value of the car in repair and restoration bills--examples such as this are better off as parts cars. The suspension can wear quickly as well, however replacement pieces are readily available with Pantera front suspension parts being an exact match for most of the front suspension. With this in mind, healthy Maserati Quattroporte IIIs are powerful, imposing, and comfortable four-door touring cars. The model also enjoys a vibrant online support network that is rabidly enthusiastic about this Italian exotic that exists in a class of one.