Sunday, November 05, 2006

Maserati Ghibli V8

I was talking with Jorrit last week while he was trying to fit the new brakes on the car. We got 'round to the subject of fitting the Maserati 3200 V8 engine in the Ghibli.

I know that Modena Performance in Germany can make this modification and Jorrit knows of another person in Germany that can make the change. Enrico also has the upgrade documented in his pages (which is where I got the picture from) and he's lucky enough to have drivent the car!

I've always been put off the idea primarily by the thought of the engine sump on the longer engine resulting in further reduced ground clearance on the front of the car. However, after talking with Jorrit, it appears that the V8 engine actually has a thinner engine sump. Therefore, ground clearance at the front of the car with this engine shouldn't be any worse than on the standard Ghibli.

The other thing that puts me off this modification is the weight. The Ghibli is a pretty balanced car, but I imagine that with the extra weight at the front of the car then it would start to understeer a fair bit? Jorrit commented that the extra weight would be more than balanced out by the extra performance of the car and I suppose that if the car was set up well, the understeer could be balanced around fast corners with oversteer controlled with the right foot.

The 3200 V8 is a lovely sounding engine... if you've heard a 3200 GT fitted with a nice exhaust, you'll know what I mean. However, I've heard stories that it's not the easiest or cheapest engine to maintain, even compared to the V6 engine in the Ghibli, which has to be well maintained else it's not very forgiving.

It's got me thinking again though. I came across a low mileage 3200 GT engine a couple of years ago going for a very good price. It was from an insurance writen off car, but the engine was in perfect condition; it was the rear of the car that had been smashed up. I was only after 3200 GT turbos at the time, but they wouldn't break the engine for me, instead prefering to sell the entire engine as one piece. I've always had a tinge of regret that I didn't buy that engine. For double the price I paid for the 3200 GT turbos that I acquired, I could have purchased the entire engine! Admittedly, it would probably take a couple of weeks to fit the engine into the Ghibli.

Maybe if this opportunity presented itself to me again I'd be less quick to dimsiss it.

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