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|Not Found on eBay: 2008 Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera Maserati Bellagio Fastback|
|Written by Rich Truesdell|
|Friday, 02 July 2010 09:14|
Not sure how the station wagon fan in me missed this when it was first shown at the 2008 Villa d'Este Concours d'Elegance but now that it's for sale in the Netherlands it's certainly worth a look
The Maserati Quattroporte is one of the world's most elegant and, dare I say, exclusive production four-door sedans. Currently positioned as the Italian alternative to the Audi A8, the BMW 750, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, and the Porsche Panamera, it is sold in extremely limited numbers, giving it an air of exclusivity its rivals can only dream about. Even here in Southern California, Maserati Quattroporte sightings are rare. While thumbing through the just-arrived June issue of the British magazine Octane today, I spied an ad on Page 163 for a 2008 Maserati Bellagio fastback/estate offered by PK Coachbuilt and Classic in Westervoort, Netherlands. This is a very limited-production version of the Quattroporte built by the Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera company. Since 1926, the company (under its previous ownership) has built the bodies for some of the world's most beautiful and acclaimed cars, among them the Pegaso Z-102, the Aston Martin DB4, the Lancia Flaminia GT, the Lamborghini 350, and the Maserati 3500 GT. While the PK Coachbuilt and Classic website appears under construction, there is a phone number listed (+31 (0) 26 8452013)--just in case you're as smitten as I am by what might very well be the most exclusive, current limited-production station wagon on the planet. (Touring calls it a fastback; I prefer to call it a station wagon.)
Just a quick backgrounder.... The current Quattroporte is in its fifth generation. The first-gen version (built from 1963 to 1969) was the original exotic sedan, often seen transporting dignitaries visiting Italy. An updated second-gen version was produced from 1974 to 1978. In the wake of the first OPEC oil embargo, however, it seemed only Arab sheiks could afford the car's sub-10 m.p.g. performance. In 1979, the third-gen Quattroporte appeared, developed while Alejandro de Tomaso owned the marque. Considered the businessman's Maserati, it competed against the Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 and was produced until 1990. Next came the mostly unloved fourth-gen, which shared many components with the rust-prone Biturbo. The fourth-gen (1994-2001) spanned the end of the de Tomaso era (development) and Fiat ownership, before being passed on to Ferrari, itself part of the Fiat empire. It was only after production was supervised under the Ferrari umbrella that the development of the current model began; the production version was introduced in 2004.
The current fifth-generation Quattroporte serves as the basis for the Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera-Coachbuilt Bellagio. It first appeared to the public at the 2008 Villa d'Este Concours d'Elegance, one of Europe's most prestigious classic car events. Its proportions--to my eye at least--are just about perfect. Like its sedan counterpart, it is powered by a Ferrari-based 400-horsepower V8 capable of propelling the two-ton Quattroporte from zero to 60 in less than six seconds and on to a top speed in excess of 160 m.p.h. With nearly 50/50 weight distribution, it provides superlative handling for such a large car. Considering the MSRP of a current production Quattroporte is north of $120,000, I can only imagine what the asking price will be for the 28,000-kilometer Bellagio that PK Coachbuilt and Classic has on offer. As with the one-off 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 C station wagon we have featured here on Automotive Traveler, the Bellagio's new owner will enjoy the same exclusivity of owning a bespoke station wagon/estate capable of moving four people and all their luggage in the lap of luxury.
For more images of the Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera Maserati Bellagio Fastback, visit the Automotive Traveler Image Gallery.