Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Circle of life: 2003 Maserati Spyder Cambiocorsa

What kind of car would you drive if you had life by the balls?  How about a sexy red Italian convertible with a fancy sounding manu-matic transmission?  You can be on top of the world one day and just as easily crash back to earth the next.  We have just that type of story here with this 2003 Maserati Spyder in Newtown, CT for $11,000 via craigslist.

This Maserati Spyder only has 34,000 miles and has reportedly never seen rain or have been left out of the garage.  The car looks to be in near new condition for a car from 2003 and has a beautiful red full leather interior.  It was the sellers dream car as he wistfully recounts, "I bought this car was I thought I was on top of the world....sadly now I am at the bottom and this is the last piece to go."  Divorce forces sale of this drop top and he is a very motivated to move the car.

The car has one notable fault: the Cambiocorsa transmission is in need of a new clutch.  Online forums seem have wildly varying opinions as to the clutch life on these transmissions.  Some owners have reported up 50k in clutch life with others reporting only a quarter of that mileage.  A complete clutch repair will run in the vicinity of five grand. 

The Italian word Cambiocorsa translates into racing change.  This transmission can shift gears in .25 seconds in super performance mode making its changes nearly as quick as the Ferrari 360 F1 box.

See another car for sale with a worse break up story? email

Cory is selling his 1995 Mercedes E36 wagon and moving onto a 1995 Mercedes C36 project.


  1. My divorce forced the sale of my lovely Frau and Speedy. Frau was a 1972 Mercedes Benz 280se cabriolet low-grill and Speedy a 1970 Mini Cooper. I was sorry to see both cars go but am forever grateful for that damn divorce. Rebirth eventually followed by new to me classics.

  2. I imagine that, like any other clutch, its lifespan depends on how often you shift under full power. Still looks like a bargain, although it will never impress anyone as much as its Ferrari sibling. What do these cost without a blown clutch?

    1. I'll answer my own question: there are several at the $20K and below price point:

      So this deal does not look fabulous, unless you decide to do the clutch yourself (OMG, what did I just say?). In that case, another divorce may be added to this car's storied history.

  3. Just leave in in your driveway. The chicks will come to you.

  4. One of the most indescribably bland looking Italian cars ever offered. That non-descript front end and that horrid chopped off rear... When I see these cars in the wild they actually make me irritated and angry. If that is the Italian emotion they were going for in this design I simply don't get it. No wonder it is $11k.

    1. I see what you're saying, but I like the subdued look. It's not as in your face as other Italian cars, and I believe there's a time and place for both of those types.

  5. Disagree. I always loved this design, though I much prefer the original boomerang tail lights that never made it stateside. Understated but still gorgeous, a less-trashy/flashy Ferrari. Why is this one so cheap? I know they can be had for around $20 but this is almost half that... even if it need's a $6k clutch, still seems low.

  6. But you'd end up with a $20k car, with a brand new clutch for about $15k! Probably better off than chancing paying $20k and then doing a clutch 6 months down the road.

  7. My first car was a 1962 Maserati 3500 GT Viginale Spyder bought in 1970 for $2000 which was the price of the cheapest Pinto or VW. Silver on red, but a bit more run down looking. It to needed a clutch soon after we got it, but to change the clutch you had to pull the radiator, pull the engine forward, and then either take the transmission out through the passenger compartment or pull the head from the engine, rotate the block 90 degrees, then pull the engine out. What fun. Adjusted for inflation this is about the same situation.

    Wish I hadn't traded that car for a VW Dasher to take to college.

  8. BionicTorqueWrenchDecember 1, 2016 at 5:44 PM

    I understand this is the same gear-shift system as was used in same vintage Alfa Romeo with the selespeed gearbox. I had one of those, with and they didn't have any clutch problems. But the advice there was to lift when shifting, just as you would with a manual. If you really wanted racing changes, you could keep your boot in, and it resulted in really aggressive shifting, but I imagine would burn our the clutch pretty quickly.


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