Andrew Green steps out from behind the lens and into the driving seat of a Classic Maserati 3200 ‘Boomerang’ for this, his debut car review.
One of the interesting things about car design is that each manufacturer has its own approach to fulfilling what is essentially the same function. And while some car manufacturers follow a traditional route, others go the road less travelled in a somewhat more unconventional way.
So, whenever I sit in a new car the familiarisation process begins: how do I move the seats, the mirrors, the heating controls, the lights and always, where is the petrol release?
That of the Maserati 3200 is, for some reason, in the glove compartment, which is hardly the most practical solution, even if it is an endearing quirk. That aside, everything else is surprisingly conventional, apart from the beloved Boomerang rear light cluster, of course.
The car I drove was a 2001 model and the interior is certainly of its time. Surprisingly comfortable, it has excellent all round visibility and whilst not loaded with the gadgets of today’s cars, it is still a very pleasant place to be. With the added bonus of two excellent rear seats and a fairly large boot, it is, dare I say, practical and certainly made for an interesting school run
The 3.2-litre V8 engine, complete with twin-turbochargers, was surprisingly docile and easy to drive in London traffic, but that isn’t the cars natural habitat and it was only when out of town and on the way to the Wiltshire countryside that the car really came alive. Gear changes were satisfyingly notchy, but the real joy was the jolt of acceleration as the turbos kicked in. The power just kept on coming, a sensation that I never tired of.
Compared to today’s offering the Maserati 3200 is very simple, an understated design with flowing, rounded surfaces. There are no added spoilers or wings, and it is all the better for it. It’s a car that people who know cars rather than one that screams ‘look at me!’
I thoroughly enjoyed my time with it; it is an exceptionally useable and practical 2+2 with an engine that will put a smile on anyone’s face. Would I buy one? No, but then there’s no need to: there is a reason why you get so much car for your money, and the reason is that everything costs a minimum of £1000 to repair – and being an Italian supercar, things will always be going wrong…
The ideal solution is to let Classic Car Club London have the headaches of ownership and you to have the pleasure of driving it. Which is having your cake and eating it. And then going back for another slice.
Photos by Andrew Green @picturecorner