MY MASERATI JOURNEY SO FAR....

Singhaa88

Junior Member
Messages
82
In light of the recent measures taken by UK government I thought I would take the opportunity to do a similar write up to others, on to how I arrived at owning a Maserati and my personal experience of owning a Maserati Granturismo Auto S.

I guess the ideal starting point for this overview is to identify the initial point of becoming a petrolhead or at least appreciating a car, which for me I guess is similar for a lot of us on here, childhood. I can recall from an early age being brought up in a petrolhead type family, influenced heavily by the likes of my dad with an avid following of F1, Top Gear and Fifth Gear and my uncle (some of you will know by the name of @Stu…) who seemingly always had a hankering for automotive perfection, seemingly with his latest project this hasn’t deteriorated in any form. Indeed, I can recall being in a certain Uncles black M3 (E30 shape – I’m guessing, Stu maybe you can confirm?)

Fast forward to a few years back in 2016 and at the ripe old age of 27, I was in the position to buy my first, what I considered to be, high end sports car… a Porsche 911 997 Gen 1 Carrera 2 S. I can recall that collection day to every granular detail, the moment of sitting in that car, outside RSJ Sports in Slough on collection day, the feeling of this car is now mine, overall sense of achievement and absolute WOW factor…needless to say I loved the car and ownership. So much so, that within 6 months, I had already done a deal with RSJ to upgrade from my Gen 1 to a Gen 2 C2s, shortly after taking ownership of the 2nd 911 the fascination of making the car sound better hit home, where a Akrapovic system was then fitted to the car. Shortly after this my wife fell pregnant and I had to screw on a sensible head, realising that the 911 wasn’t the best family car choice… out went the 911… in came the Jaguar XF-RS in french racing blue… 5 seats, 4 doors & 575bhp to rear wheels… a true family wagon! The Jag was a great car, got loads of attention for the right reasons, made a great noise (custom pipes) and tried to kill you at every turn making it an experience to drive but my love for 911 and a sports car was still there, so out went the Jag and in came the 3rd 911 997 GTS… the pinnacle in my view of the 997 era and what a car, especially after I had a Akrapovic system fitted to the car! Needless to say, 6 or so months later I decided that it was time to move on, and sold the GTS and got myself an RS6 as the “modification” mindset took hold of me, a full decat exhaust, stage 1 remap (750bhp and 900+nm of torque), lowering module and a metallic purple full car wrap later… it was time for that car to go after running into engine troubles… at this point I gave up and bought a Range Rover Sport, citing no more sports cars for a while….

All through these fortunate times of being able to have the pleasure of owning some amazing cars, I had been witness to Stuarts numerous Maserati’s and his journey moving through the models to the Granturismo Strad he owns now, and one thing had stuck with me the whole way through… compared to the 911 especially, that SOUND!

Needless to say, around 6 months after saying no more sports cars, there was quick impromptu screenshot of a Blu med Granturismo for sale at Richard Grace being sent one evening to Stuart, and the decision the next day had been made… lets go Italian! I called and spoke with Richard at some length that day in regard to the car, and of course his reputation proceeded him and more importantly his reputation is bang on! He took the time to tell me about the car, what he knew about it and telling me the perks and issues of the GT cars, what to look out for etc etc, needless to say that afternoon I had worked out a deal with Richard and I was picking it up the following week!

Collection day was a little different to the 911 I must admit, I was feeling a little apprehensive about whether I had made the right choice or not, I got to Richard’s (after he kindly collected me from the station) and saw the car and immediately had a smile on my face, this was going to be fun! Once all the particulars were sorted, I headed back the 300 odd miles back to Maidstone, Kent. There were some odd niggles that arose on the journey home which was discussed with Richard and an agreement was made to get them sorted. The car was arranged to be booked into AV Engineering for the niggles to be sorted but not before both Stuart and I were booked on a Maserati Owners Skills track day at Thruxton... needless to say, the car wasn’t pushed as hard as I would have without the niggles, but I had a great day and the enjoyment of the car was growing thick and fast! So around 4/5 weeks of ownership, into AV she went for the niggles to be repaired and a set of Larini sports cats and X pipe to be fitted…. at last that NOISE was mine to enjoy!

Then there were a few weeks of enjoyment before heading back off to AV for an oil service, new discs and pads on the rear and repair of the well-known boot-lid leak, unfortunately mine had, had a leak that ruined the electronic handbrake module which was replaced due to water ingress... The car was then ready to be driven before my next to do list item was started, which transpired to only be a few weeks away, although I didn’t know it yet.

If I briefly go back to the first few days of ownership, the overall goal for me was to have the car detailed, ceramic coated and PPF’d as it had been previously. At some stage one of the previous owners had opted for the PPF to be removed and the paintwork was looking a little tired and in desperate need of a refresh, so the plan was to multistage paint correction and then PPF and ceramic coat… However, after a few conversations and back and forth with my detailer most notably pointing out that PPF highlights that what is underneath it, and looking at my heavily stone chipped bumper, bonnet and several large chips on the wings... a respray was needed! So, herewith the next to do list item was planned with a sprayer recommended to me by my detailer, and with that within a couple of weeks off went the car for a week or so work for full bonnet, bumper respray, and wings blown in. After dropping the car off the sprayer then notified me of the passenger door showing signs of pitting so this was also added to the list of works to be done, with me hoping that this was all going to be worth it and whether I was going to gain anything out of this work in terms of feeling better about the looks of the car. A week later and clasping eyes on her was a visual treat, the paint glistened, and the car looked (well the front of it) how it should.

Next came a 12-week period of letting the paint sit before any work and PPF could be added to the car, where my usual high maintenance of washing the car regularly and keeping it in check just fell out the window, instead the car was driven hard in wet or dry weather, and more importantly enjoyed as I hadn’t had the car for longer than a period of 3 to 4 weeks at a time so far, a period really where I felt I got to know the car to a point where I was comfortable pushing the limits here and there.

At this stage, it was nearing the time to drop the car off to the detailers for early March, so I opted to take the car for a new set of rubber all round (Mich PS4) and for the car to be spaced to get the stance to my liking… luckily my eagle eyed uncle had spotted a set of spacers that Richard Grace was selling, so I quickly took them off his hands and took with me to the tyre fitter for the aforementioned rubber, spacers and full geo set up… Upon leaving that garage, the instant feeling was that the car was absolutely transformed and now felt a lot more planted to the road, alas before I could really push the car it was time to now drop it to the detailers.

Fast forward to now and I’m 3 weeks down the line from it being at the detailers and have just collected it today (all safely of course) and its looking immaculate, the paintwork is gleaming and the car just looks how it should be in my eyes and I can’t wait to get it out on the road and start enjoying the sunshine… well at least until the next to do list thing is planned…
 

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Singhaa88

Junior Member
Messages
82
As an overview of the whole experience so far of ownership though, I must say… this car is pretty awesome.


Whilst fundamentally it’s a different kind of car to a 911, I find that’s where my comparison lies having had a lengthy spell of ownership in that area, and I suppose if I take the 911 GTS which was implied as a GT car as well as a potential hooligan on the road/track car there are similarities which can be drawn.

For one the ride, both seem to ride fairly soft in my opinion in comfort/normal mode and both ride fairly hard in sports mode, Maserati slightly harder for me which isn’t necessarily a bad trait until at least I start suffering with a bad back! The GT surpasses the 911 on looks by miles, and definitely sound and noise, the way the Larini pipes work their magic and echo a V8 scream behind me is something else, and something that will always put a smile on my face and any face that drives the car/experiences it.

The interior for me lets the car down which will be no surprise to most owners on here, to me, it feels dated and whilst not archaic its very close… needless to say a new ICE is on the planned upgrades to try and bring it into the 21st century slightly, and for me the 911 trumps the GT on interior. In terms of driving experience, well, there is nothing like a 911 on the edge being pushed, and the feedback it generates whilst making the hairs of your arms stand on end, something the GT doesn’t quite match on the same level of intensity, but then a 911 couldn’t fit my wife and young son in which the GT can do, which for me is a huge win at this point of my life. The acceleration of the 911 over the GT would be noticeable but easily excused, mostly down to the way the GT sounds whilst doing it!

As a conclusion, the GT is a different kind of ownership than I’ve experienced before, it’s not the most powerful car in the world but it is quick enough and if you’re going to be overtaken, better to do it looking cool I guess! Although, having said all of that, with clear roads today on bringing the car home via a rather spirited drive, these cars can move and if you hold them in the upper realms of the rev range they do move quite quickly, showing me I have more of this car to uncover yet! This car I will admit, always does put a smile on my face when I drive it and it is always an experience to drive it, in an “occasion” type sense and I must say that, it does give me that same sense of achievement and absolute WOW factor every time I turn that key, which is helped by the noise of the thing, again kudus to Larini there!

The added capability of being able to cart a small young family across the country when needed is for me a game changer, along with the fairly large boot space which fits my golf clubs nicely! So for me this car trumps the 911 and everything else I’ve so far owned and I can’t wait for the aforementioned government enforced UK shutdown to finish so I can start organising some track days this year so I can really put it through its paces at long last! Looking forward to getting out to more meets this year also and hopefully meet a few of you on here too!
 

StuartW

Centenary Club
Messages
8,262
Great write up Aaron & I'm pleased that you're still smitten. It was a real find getting your favourite colour in this spec, and it's a well cared for car too which you are clearly continuing as you do with all of your cars. Too bad it will be covered in road rash though once the circuits open again later this year