The Maserati Quattroporte is Brutally Beautiful
There are cars out there with so much personality, so much presence, that they can be likened to people. ’32 Ford roadsters are like James Dean in his prime. Early Chevy Cheyenne pickups are the Marlboro Man, rugged, chiseled and all-American. Aston Martin DB9s are supermodels, perfect bone structure and all.
The 1984 Maserati Quattroporte, though? It’s a sharp-suited Mafia enforcer. I’ve never seen another car that exudes this much quiet, barely-restrained menace. There’s not a single curve anywhere on the Giugiaro-designed bodywork; instead, it’s all angles and razor-sharp creases. There’s nothing that immediately catches the eye at first glance, but if you look closely you can see the aggression smoldering underneath the surface. The grille juts out obstinately from the front clip, providing a strong focal point that directs your gaze right to the trident emblem, as if to leave no doubt about its heritage and connections. Long dual chrome exhaust tips just barely peek from underneath the rear bumper, flashing like knives hidden under French cuffs. The 4.2-liter V8 growls softly at idle and at low RPM, building to a low-pitched throaty snarl with more throttle. It’s at those higher RPMs that the Quattroporte drops its restraint and shows its true, violent colors. That snarling soundtrack becomes the backdrop to stunning acceleration. It may not be the absolute fastest car I’ve ever been in, but having a car of this size pull that hard is still a source of major excitement.
Weirdly, though, that restrained brutality doesn’t extend to the interior. Instead, the inside of the Quattroporte is refined, a walnut leather and white mahogany lounge with wide, plush buckets up front and delicate, spare trim. It’s a supremely comfortable place to sit and watch the world fly past at 120 miles an hour.
This particular Quattroporte has some incredible history all its own. According to the current owner, Manuel Minassian, the previous owner was personal driver to former Gambino family boss John Gotti. The man smoked five packs of cigarettes a day, and Minassian relates the story of how he had to detail the interior seven times, eventually using baking soda, to free the car from the smell. The Anthracite Green paint is this one’s original color, although a recent respray has left the car looking fresh. It’s a stylish, brutal machine, and I can’t help but love it.
Photography by Sean Lorentzen and Andrew Schneider