Heritage

A Look Back: Maserati Quattroporte celebrates its 56th birthday with a nod to its royal lineage

Royalty and high-ranking government officials have driven Maseratis throughout the last six decades.

Photo courtesy of Maserati

Italy has been the historical home for luxury performance cars for a century. The Maserati Quattroporte has been around for half that time, serving as a coach for royals and high-ranking government officials since its birth.

The Quattroporte traces its roots back to the Maserati 5000 GT known as The Shah of Persia. Only 34 models of the coupe were produced. The first was delivered to Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, the last King of Iran. Other buyers included Karim Aga Khan, the son of Prince Aly Khan; Gianni Angellini, the head of Fiat; and Adolfo López Mateos, the President of Mexico.

Maserati 5000 GTMaserati traces the roots of its Quattroporte back to the 5000 GT.Photo courtesy of Maserati

Series I of the Quattroporte kicked off production in 1964 and ran through 1966 with 230 units produced. It was equipped with a 4.1-liter V8 engine that achieved 260 horsepower and was paired with a five-speed manual transmission. A three-speed Borg Warner automatic transmission was available upon request.

The second iteration of the Quattroporte, Series II, included many upgrades including twin headlights, a leaf-sprung solid axle, and a completely redesigned interior. The dashboard was now trimmed with real wood fascia. The Series II was offered with the 4.1-liter base engine, as well as a new 4.7-liter power plant that delivered 290 horsepower. The Quattroporte 4700 was equipped with the larger engine and had a top speed of 158 mph making it the fastest four-door sedan in the world at the time. Maserati made 776 Series II models by the time the generation ended in 1969.

The second generation of the Maserati Quattroporte debuted at the Paris Motor Show in 1974 and went into production shortly thereafter. The Quattroporte was nearly dead on arrival. Due to a downturn in the economy and the company's financial woes, Maserati produced just 13 Quattroportes between 1974 and 1978.

Maserati Quattroporte third generation 3rdThe Maserati Quattroporte Royale was a luxurious take on the new generation of the sedan.Photo courtesy of Maserati

The Quattroporte made a triumphant return to dealership lots in earnest in the late 1970s. In December 1979 the tradition of Quattroportes being owned by the world's elite, continued with the delivery of a Quattroporte to Italian President Sandro Pertini at the Quirinal Palace in Rome.

This version of the sedan featured a more high-end interior than Maserati's had before. It was powered by variants of the engines available in the first generation Quattroporte. The car was on the market until 1990. Maserati sold 2,145 Quattroporte IIs.

In 1982, an order was placed for an armored Quattroporte for the President of Italy, Sandro Pertini, to use. The model, with a Dark Aquamarine paint job featured a beige velvet interior. Its large ashtray featured a pipe holder between the rear seats, a modification to the original design requested by Pertini himself. There was also a bar cabinet, telephone system, and intercom that could address people outside the car. All four windows were electronically controlled, as was the roof.

Maserati Quattroporte third generation 3rdThe interior of the third-generation Quattroporte was significantly more upscale than the first and second generation.Photo courtesy of Maserati

In 1986 the "Royale" version of the Quattropporte was launched as one of the most luxurious to date. It had soft leather seats, burr walnut dashboard and door panels, a radio telephone, and a stow-away folding table. Under its hood was a powerful 4.9-liter V8 engine that achieved 300 horsepower. Just 51 Royale models were built.

The car became more closely associated with celebrities in the 1980s. Famous Modenese tenor Luciano Pavarotti was one of them. Today, the list of celebrities who have driven Maseratis is long. Singer Gwen Stefani, soccer star Lionel Messi, Olympic champion Apollo Ohno, comedian Jay Leno, and Academy Award nominee Bradley Cooper make the roster.

Maserati Quattroporte 3rd generationLuciano Pavarotti poses in his third-generation Quattroporte.Photo courtesy of Maserati

The Quattroporte is still the official car of the President of Italy. Current President Sergio Mattarella used a sixth-generation version of the sedan with a Blu Istituzionale paint job and Black Piamo (black lacquered wood) interior that is paired with Pieno Fiore leather. The model was powered by a 530-horsepower, twin-turbocharged V8.

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This gorgeous 911 sports a rebuilt title.

Cars and Bids

Values of even less desirable Porsche 911 models have skyrocketed in recent years, but the early- to mid-1990s cars have always been special. This one falls well within the parameters, though it's got a backstory that will turn many buyers away. This 1991 Porsche 911 has a rebuilt Texas title, and as one commenter noted, the issue could be the result of a collision with a deer.

Rebuilt title or not, this car's quite the looker. It wears Grand Prix White over black leather, and it feature power windows and exterior mirrors, a sunroof, and a unique Turbo body kit. It has been modified, although lightly, with 18-inch wheels, power front seats, and a new stereo system. Under the rear engine cover lies a turbocharged 3.3-liter flat-six that makes 315 horsepower. It's connected to the rear wheels via a five-speed manual transmission.

1991 Porsche 911This is one of the most iconic sports car silhouettes ever.Cars and Bids

This car's apparently flaw-free appearance hides the rather nasty fact that it has a rebuilt title. A detail-oriented commenter on the auction mentioned finding information on the car's damage, including repairs performed after a collision with a deer and subsequent hair removal. We'll let you decide how that impacts your feelings on the car.

1991 Porsche 911The interior looks untouched, though those are replacement seats.Cars and Bids

If it's any indication of how valuable a good condition example of this car would be, it was bid to $95,000 with a rebuilt title and still didn't meet the reserve price. While it's a bummer for those hoping their bid would be the one, cars like this do occasionally pop up without deer damage, so it's worth keeping your eyes open.

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The Hemi Orange package brings unqiue style to the Durango.

Dodge

The Dodge Durango isnt the newest or most refined SUV on the market, but it offers great comfort, good tech, and a handful of raucous powertrian options. The long-running family hauler is due for an update, but in the meantime, Dodge has given it a new Hemi Orange package with unique styling touches.

Dodge already offers the Hemi Orange package fo the Challenger and Charger, and now it's available for the three-row Durango. The package is available for the R/T trim, which comes with a 5.7-liter V8.

Dodge Durango Hemi OrangeDodge offers four exterior colors with the package. Dodge

Much of the Orange package's content comes on the outside, where Dodge adds orange and gunmetal hod stripes, black taillights, and grey/orange badging. The SUV rides on black 20-inch wheels, and Dodge offers different black "Lights Out" 20-inch wheels. Four exterior colors are available: Destroyer Grey, Diamond Black, Octane Red, and White Knuckle. Inside, the Durango gets orange sticthing and unique patterns in the upholstery. Dodge says the stitching extends throughout the interior, including to the gauge cluster, armrests, console lid, and steering wheel.

Two upgrades are available for the Hemi Orange Durango. The first is the Orange Plus Package, which adds a power sunroof, a 19-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, and a load of driver aids. The Tow N Go package is available for four-wheel drive models, and brings the 20-inch Lights Out wheels, orange brake calipers, and a Bilstein high-performance suspension system.

The Durango R/T Hemi Orange is available now. It carries a price tag of $1,995. The Orange Plus package costs $4,500 and the Tow N Go package costs $5,095.

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