1992 Maserati 222SE UK RHD Manual Coupe. Only 7 left! For Sale
By the time Alejandro de Tomaso acquired Maserati in 1976, the famous Modena firm was ailing and the market for their beautiful but troublesome mid-engine supercars like the Merak and the Bora was dwindling.
Launched in 1981, the Biturbo was an attempt to broaden the customer base and bring the thrill of Maserati ownership within reach of not quite the common man, but the BMW-driving man, at any rate. The first series production car to use a twin turbo engine, it was initially available with a 2-litre V6 unit featuring three valves per cylinder and quadruple camshafts, the range soon expanding to include 2.5 and 2.8-litre engines.
Performance from all units was suitably impressive, with a seamless wall of torque that pushed the cars to highly illegal speeds with almost alarming rapidity. Keeping the whole thing on the road was a straightforward suspension configuration of MacPherson struts and independent trailing arms, with one of the earliest uses of the 'TORSEN' (torque sensing) limited slip differential.
On the outside at least, the styling was pleasingly understated with a stubby silhouette and purposeful stance that oozed discreet aggression, especially from the rear with its menacing quad exhausts. Inside was rather more flamboyant with acres of hand-stitched leather, walnut and suede inlays and the famous oval gold clock. The 222 model of 1988 was particularly attractive following a styling makeover by Marcello Gandini of Lamborghini Miura/Countach/Diablo fame. With 248bhp on tap from its 2.8 V6, it could sprint to 60mph in 6.1 seconds with a top speed of 149mph.
This 222SE is an extremely rare RHD version with the desirable 5-speed manual gearbox – only 210 were made, mostly with automatic transmission, and there are only a handful still registered in the UK today. Supplied new by Meridian Modena of Lyndhurst in March 1992, it was formerly owned by saloon car racer Ken Costello of MG V8 fame and has been in the current ownership since 2014.
It has covered only 67,825 miles from new with a good service history comprising eight stamps in the book up to September 2012 at c.53,500 miles when the clutch, cambelt and turbos were all replaced. I've had it serviced twice in my ownership, once at Migliore Cars of Bromsgrove and then again at McGrath Maserati in June 2017 at a cost of £2,592 since when it has covered less than 300 miles.
Other invoices show that it had stainless steel exhausts fitted early in its life along with Dinol anti-rust treatment, four new shock absorbers and Schutz underbody treatment in 2012, a new alternator in 2013 and a new starter motor in 2015.
In very good order throughout with a very well-preserved black leather and grey Alcantara interior, it has an MOT until July 2019 with only three minor advisories (rear wheel bearings slightly noisy; one tail light out). Supplied with all its original handbooks in the original leather wallet, it also has nine old MOTs back to 1999 at 43,948 miles.
Long undervalued, these understated but fearsomely rapid sporting saloons have only just begun to receive the recognition they deserve and I know that this exceedingly rare RHD manual version, with its illustrious previous owner, could yet prove a canny investment... Another case of ‘buy now while you can still afford to’, perhaps?
All serious offers considered. Only selling due to loss of garage space.
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