These days, if you were to walk into a showroom looking for a new car, £15,000 is only enough to buy you a small supermini. However, thanks to depreciation you don’t have to spend all that dough on some dingy little tin can, instead you could buy something bigger, with more leather, and Italian. Something like the Maserati 4200 GT.
We covered the 4200 GT briefly way back in 2017, and while values for these cars haven’t changed dramatically since then, they are creeping upward. With examples still available for as little as £10,000, and really rather good ones up for grabs for £15k I believe it represents an excellent option for the cash. When new they were criticised for their slightly wayward handling when being thrashed around a track. Additionally, many felt that for their sticker price of around £60,000, the more agile 996 generation Porsche 911 was a superior choice. Well, turns out the 996 had engine detonation issues, so let’s focus on the Maserati for now. In fairness, the 4200 GT was never meant to be thrashed around a track, sure there were numerous sportier versions, but really the 4200 GT has always been just that, a grand tourer.
The 4200 GT started out life as the nearly identical 3200 GT, which featured the highly distinctive and divisive ‘boomerang’ style taillights, which straddled the line between being an interesting design cue and looking like something you picked up from Ikea and had you mate glue on. The 4200 GT took a more conservative route and ditched the boomerangs, luckily they didn’t come back. The rest of this Giugiaro design is, in my opinion, a rather timeless one, classic coupe proportions and one of the most beautiful interiors of any car from the 2000s make this a pretty desirable 2+2. If you look at the classifieds, the different colour combinations between the exterior and interior are really intriguing too, and while olive paint, emerald carpets and cream seats may sound a bit out there, on the 4200 GT it looks genuinely classy, something I didn’t think I’d ever say about such combo.
While the 3200 GT and the 4200 GT look about as different as Jedward, the mechanical changes are substantial. Maserati decided that it was time to retire the old, twin-turbo 3.2-litre V8, which was as old as the concept of an automobile, and replaced it with a variation of the naturally-aspirated 4.2 litre V8 found in the Ferrari 430, albeit without the flat-plane crankshaft. That endowed the 4200 GT with 385 horsepower and enough poke to reach 60 mph in 4.9 seconds and a top speed of 177mph. This engine change and reportedly improved reliability make the 4200 GT a better choice than the older 3200 GT in my opinion, and with price ranges for the two cars being pretty similar, there really isn’t any reason to go for the car with the boomerangs on the back, unless you’re Australian.
While not incredibly rare with almost 14,000 made, 4200 GTs are a lot more scarce on the roads than their successor, the GranTurismo, which are about as difficult to find in London as the ground is. They’re even rarer than their Ferrari cousins, the 360 Modena and the 430 Scuderia. However, you won’t have trouble finding a nice example for sale, with many low mileage examples listed on the classifieds. The 4200 GT is a car that has improved with age, taking time to settle into its grand touring role in the eyes of us petrolheads, and now is the perfect time to put one in your garage.