Saturday, December 26, 2015

Manual Swap? 2006 Maserati Quattroporte Sport GT S

Maserati had been building a big four door sedan named the Quattroporte for decades before Ferrari acquired a 50% stake in the company in 1997.  However, the new cars wouldn't share much in common with the boxy Marcello Gandini designed cars from the 70s and 90s (or the Georgette Giugiaro designed cars from the 80s), but instead rode on a M139 platform shared with the GranTurismo and Alfa Romeo 8C with styling by Pininfarina.  The new Masers put an emphasis on performance with single auto clutch gearboxes and screaming Ferrari V8 power.  Find this 2006 Maserati Quattroporte Sport GT S offered for $13,900 in SF Bay Area, CA via craigslist.  Tip from FuelTruck.

Now, I know what you're thinking...a 2006 Quattroporte for the less than the cost of a transmission service...what's the catch?  And that is exactly it...this thing has the Ferrari SMG transmission and it won't shift into drive and the seller admits it has a "TRANSMISSION FLUID TOO LOW" message before he parked there it sits in his garage.  No idea when the outside pics were taken.

 Under the hood is a 4.2 liter Ferrari/Maserati V8 that is good for 400 horsepower at a screaming 7000 rpm and 333 ft-lbs of torque at 4750 rpm.  I'd hate to tear apart this one of 667 Sport GT S example, but for my cash, I'd buy this and a donor C5 Vette.  Shove the LS1/Transaxle into this beast and then take the Ferrari engine and put it into the Vette -- everybody wins.

See a better way to spend your kid's money on maintenance?


  1. A few months ago I was living on the West Coast and was amazed at the shear volume of old and exotic cars. There seems to always be quite a few Quattroportes of this era for sale on Craigslist in and around LA and also up in the Bay Area. The prices, for this vintage and the current Chrysler derived cars are amazingly inexpensive. These are beautiful cars, but are we to understand they are incredibly fragile? It is hard to figure out why a car with a healthy 6-figure price new is selling for Honda Civic money.

  2. I don't know much about these things, but they ARE gorgeous, and they make the right noises too.

    What I've noted from my limited spelunking through the Ferrari DIY universe (that blue 575M I'd like to have in my driveway ain't gonna change its own cam belts, y'know) is that the service procedures look no worse - perhaps easier - than the typical product from north of the Alps, but some of the parts, tools, and especially diagnostic software is priced like it came off the wall at the Vatican museum.

    As these drift down into a price range where guys who wrench on E46 M3s might pick one up as a family car, maybe the aftermarket might pick up the slack.

  3. Looks like the story is that into mid '07 these things had a single-clutch roboshift e.g. BMW SMG (remember, the E46M3 SMG gubbins was Magneti Marelli, so who knows...)

    From mid '07 they got a conventional ZF 6HP26 automatic.

    Your essential 6HP26 reading

    1. Correct, and this car is one of the few applications where the motoring press actually preferred the automatic. Go figure.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Well, I mean, the same reason the motoring press (and the driving public) ended up preferring the manual over the SMG in the E46 M3, and why the E60 M5 has come up a bit short.

      I've never driven a Shiftafloglio or whatever Fazzaz called the roboshift in the Quattroporte, but in the BMWs it was a great piece of hardware when you're flogging it and not so great when you're not.

      Perhaps there's software fixes that'll get you 80% of the way there, as there are with the M5. But the single-clutch roboshift cars are always gonna have that asterisk, for that bead of sweat creeping across the forehead as you smell burning clutch while parallel-parking.

      Further, the 6HP26 is really a very good slushbox. Now, much of what we (well, I) detest in modern US-market slushbox behavior is really a function of manufacturers setting up the shift tables in their TCUs for (a) oozy-smoothy shifts and (b) staying in the highest gear possible on the EPA dyno rollers for CAFE reasons.

      So you get butter-smooth shifts at the expense of their being dragged out to Unbearable Lightness of Being length, and you get transmissions that require a court order to deliver anything other than a foot-mashed-to-the-floor downshift.

      The slushbox E36M3, bless its soul, someone put some effort into the transmission calibration in that car, it did things that few other 5HP24 applications did right. It's not the hardware, it's the tuning.

  4. No thanks. That is an expensive lawn ornament for the foolish.

  5. No thanks. That is an expensive lawn ornament for the foolish.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Oh yeah, that was the title. Youd probably need to build/have built a custom bellhousing. Im sure hacking into the masi/ferrari ecu is simple enough....

  8. Georgette? Is she Giorgetto Giugiaro's sister?


Commenting Commandments:
I. Thou Shalt Not write anything your mother would not appreciate reading.
II. Thou Shalt Not post as anonymous unless you are posting from mobile and have technical issues. Use name/url when posting and pick something Urazmus B Jokin, Ben Dover. Sir Edmund Hillary Clint don't matter. Just pick a nom de plume and stick with it.
III. Honor thy own links by using <a href ="http://www.linkgoeshere"> description of your link </a>
IV. Remember the formatting tricks <i>italics</i> and <b> bold </b>
V. Thou Shalt Not commit spam.
VI. To embed images: use [image src="" width="400px"/]. Limit images to no wider than 400 pixels in width. No more than one image per comment please.