Buying a GranCabrio advice

M4rcoT

New Member
Messages
2
Hi there,

I'm a newbie and just discovered this brilliant resource.

Finally going to scratch my Maserati itch after bottling buying a GranCabrio 4 years ago. Have a 2014 V6 F-Type to trade-in worth around 22K and don't want spend more than 13k on top of the trade-in so looking at the bottom end of the market. Seen a few for sale in this price bracket but would love any advice on what to watch out for in these older / higher mileage cars. Given my limited mechanical knowledge (and notoriously expensive garage bills) can anyone recommend a person / company to do a pre-purchase once over? Will probably keep it 18 months and do 5k miles in that time, so want to try and avoid massive service costs during my ownership.

Cheers

M
 

eight

New Member
Messages
9
Hello and welcome. I'm new too.
I'm near Manchester so Autoshield in Chorlton would be where I'd take a car for checking. Finding a known and recommended independent for service and repairs would be the only way I'd consider one of these cars as the main dealers seem a touch (!) expensive.
Richard Grace Cars are a good place to buy from (he contributes to this forum) and his cars look spot on from what I can see.
This is a really good forum with tons of knowledge available - somebody knowing much more than me will be along shortly!
 

dickygrace

www.richardgracecars.co.uk
Messages
5,088
Welcome to the fold, you’re right to have a car PPI’d but you can’t say who til you know the car. You’ll need to go with a specialist local to where your chosen car is for sale. There’s some great specialists dotted around.
 

dickygrace

www.richardgracecars.co.uk
Messages
5,088
Richard Grace Cars are a good place to buy from (he contributes to this forum) and his cars look spot on from what I can see.
Thanks for saying so, I do all I can to ensure they’re spot on. To @M4rcoT I’m more than happy to speak to you regards what to look out for.
 

Doctor Houx

Member
Messages
105
I purchased a 2010 (60) Grancab with 34k miles and FSH from Parks with 3 previous owners from a sportscar dealer (but not Mas specialist ) this time last year for what you are looking to spend. Did not do a PPI but rather a post purchase inspection whilst it was still under warranty, and the only concern was the corrosion on the subframes, which is well documented elsewhere on this forum. In hindsight a PPI maybe would have helped a bit more with negotiation, but I got a great part ex as it took them 4 months to sell the Alfa I traded and they only made £1k over what they gave me after prep and putting a warranty on it, so I think I got a good deal.

Nothing structural with the corrosion but surface rust worse than you would have expected on a low mileage car with FSH. Got it professionally cleaned, rust treated then Dinitrol coated for c £600 at Rustbusters in Spalding. Other than that its been spot on. Rarely used in winter, but I just ran it this weekend and it started 1st time, all electrics fine. Taken to my home in Le Mans last year and a fun trip, but limited on the luggage it can carry.

Fab noise and looks and very happy with it, so will keep long term. I'm thinking of fitting a Larini X pipe to make it even louder this year!
 

zagatoes30

Centenary Club
Messages
13,422
Grancabs are now just in the place I could stretch too but the move to Ireland has killed that idea the VRT would be silly. I think they are stunning cars, buy well, PPI and then enjoy
 

M4rcoT

New Member
Messages
2
Thanks to all for your contributions. Looks like might be one near Harrogate that fits the bill any suggestions for a specialist to do a PPI up in that neck of the woods. Thanks
 

O37

Junior Member
Messages
75
Good choice, an incredible car, still loving it after 4 years, you just need the sun. It generates positive attention where ever it goes - yet to bump into one on the UK roads!

I know your on a budget but I'd seriously suggest a sport variant - (from Sept 2011 - see SM thread with further detail) - I'd definitely drive both before you purchase.

Bills to date haven't been significant, which may be against public opinion.

With regards myself I've had no major issues, it's well cared for - garaged, on a trickle charger and SORN during the winter months.

Things to be observant:

Check for any noise from the front suspension, I've had drop links changed
Front discs ( check if changed - 30mm min. thickness ) will cost approx £750 on the sport - now drilled and grooved discs then you add the cost of pads! plenty of thread on here, rears should be fine unless high mileage...
Wheel bearings can be issue and they are expensive as they are embedded in the hub (££)
No known issues with Engine or gearbox but ensure service history matches current mileage and use - I read you don't want to service but it may help on re-sale - can get a main dealer standard service for £1200 (2 years / 12K miles) or a specialist for less than half the price (I believe is yearly) - haven't heard a really bad word on either route taken.

Check obligatory warning lights etc, TPMS can be temperamental in cold weather - see if the PPI reads any ECU codes?

General paint and panel condition around front and rear quarter panel which should have a 3M protection sheet in place.

Finally check rear tyres - ~£250 ea -Pilot sports recommended over the standard fitment Pirelli....easy to spin up if you have a heavy foot!

Good luck in your search...
 
Last edited:

Zep

Moderator
Messages
3,483
All good advice

But just to make sure there is no misunderstanding: Sport brakes are the same size as the originals - 360mm dia - as are the pads. But the discs are drilled and grooved. Minimum thickness is 30mm.
 

Navcorr

Member
Messages
3,127
Also, as far as you can, check out the condition of the roof hydraulic hoses.
... yet to bump into one on the UK roads!
Drove past one today - being delivered after service at a guess. Gorgeous Blu Sofisticato.
Dark blue roof, up as you'd expect, which raises a potential question.
Have you experienced any problems with your hydraulic roof hoses?
A couple of friends have GCs and both have had to replace a number of hoses.
I've a Spyder which despite being older has been fine.
 

O37

Junior Member
Messages
75
All good advice

But just to make sure there is no misunderstanding: Sport brakes are the same size as the originals - 360mm dia - as are the pads. But the discs are drilled and grooved. Minimum thickness is 30mm.
Well spotted, my mistake, should have referred to the official news release, which states the change. I'll update...

http://www.maserati-alfieri.co.uk/alfieri06qqqqqqqqq.htm

.<sport>.... the adoption of grooved and drilled dual-cast brake discs.
 
Reactions: Zep

Doctor Houx

Member
Messages
105
Check obligatory warning lights etc, TPMS can be temperamental in cold weather - see if the PPI reads any ECU codes?
I also find I get the electric handbrake warning light sometimes in these cold months when I first start up, even though garaged. I always leave the car with the handbrake off when garaged, so not a problem, and after running a few miles, I switch off, restart and warning goes away and handbrake works fine.
 

elan

Junior Member
Messages
68
I had my car inspected by Enso Automotive, who are close to Harrogate. They did a thorough job and were always happy to speak and provide good advice.
 

O37

Junior Member
Messages
75
Also, as far as you can, check out the condition of the roof hydraulic hoses.
...
Have you experienced any problems with your hydraulic roof hoses?
A couple of friends have GCs and both have had to replace a number of hoses.
...
Interesting to know, I have had no problems to date and the roof is regularly lowered
 

O37

Junior Member
Messages
75
I also find I get the electric handbrake warning light sometimes in these cold months when I first start up, even though garaged. I always leave the car with the handbrake off when garaged, so not a problem, and after running a few miles, I switch off, restart and warning goes away and handbrake works fine.
Could be the park brake shoes reaching a lower limit, had shoes taken off and cleaned as they generate a lot of debris and can make a scraping noise at low speeds. Cheap to replace but need to be careful of the alternatives listed as some are incorrect fitment (as I discovered).
 

Navcorr

Member
Messages
3,127
Interesting to know, I have had no problems to date and the roof is regularly lowered
I think that's it - regularly cycling the roof.
I was wondering if the longer GC hoses were problematic.
Not something widely reported afaik so would assume not.
Perhaps worth checking with a probe though for signs of leaks - hoses, fabric & rams. Reservoir too.
Both cases I know of where dealt with under warranty thankfully otherwise it would've been quite painful.
 

eight

New Member
Messages
9
Just to add if the Harrogate-ish car is dark blue with yellow calipers it's dropped in price by 1k in the last couple of weeks - it was 35k.