You’ve liked cars since childhood. What were your favourites?
I have always admired luxurious cars with power and space. Two particular cars that I would dream about as a child were the Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL and the BMW 7 Series.
Big, luxurious and fast — that’s a nice mix. What about sportscars?
I do admire some sinfully powerful machines and the way they sound. But I have never been a fan of hardcore two-door supercars. I am more into the uniqueness and the timeless beauty of classic cars. Whether it’s the design, the engine or the interior, there is always something very different and unique that is so difficult to find or reproduce in modern cars. My passion for classic cars began fairly recently, about eight years ago. A friend of mine introduced me to these as an investment. I bought my first classic around the same time and it was for investment purposes based on my friend’s advice.
That was sound advice and many people are dabbling with classic cars for the same reason these days. Tell us what you bought.
It was a 1973 Rolls-Royce Corniche. Following that, I bought 1963 Mercedes-Benz 250 SE Cabriolet. I developed an instant liking for these cars and started to spend more time in understanding the different aspects of classic cars and began appreciating them more.
Then you picked up your Maserati Quattroporte Royale III...
Yes, I bought it a few years ago from the same friend who introduced me to classic cars. He is a very serious collector and has some of the best models in the region. This Maserati was not really my first choice at the time. However, given a choice now, I would definitely pick this car as one of my favourites. I can’t think of any other sports saloon that can come close to this.
It looks in great shape for a car that’s almost 30 years old.
Thank you. It has very low mileage, about 27,000 kilometres, and I try to keep it in good nick. The sound of the engine is exhilarating and I still get goosebumps each time I start the car. The 4.9-litre V8 is still a powerful unit. It’s mated to the three-speed automatic and both are rock solid. I am sure they will last for 50 years! The challenge is usually with the interiors. The leather starts to fade and cracks start to appear on the edges.
They all sound great, even now with a new force-fed engine. Yours is quick too, right?
It has a top speed of 230kph and the acceleration is great — this is what I love the best about it; the sheer power it generates. All the while, it feels quite effortless. The drive is smooth and stable and since it sits quite low to the ground, it grips extremely well on the roads. I haven’t had any serious issues with it. One of the best things about this particular car is apart from being an extremely rare beast, it is not too difficult or expensive to maintain. Finding parts is relatively easy and it does not fall into the generation where they have complicated chips and computers in it.
So in case the original part is not available, it is easy to find a generic alternative that does the job. I had a minor problem with the power windows and the side mirrors and I could not find the original parts as their production has been discontinued. But I was able to find suitable replacement parts.
Where do you enjoy driving the Maserati the most?
I love driving it on quiet roads but when I am in the city, I occasionally drive it around JBR and Palm Jumeirah. It gets a lot of attention, especially during weekends. When parked in JBR, I get at least six or seven notes on the windshield from people who either want to buy the car or want more information about it.
Do the younger generation know what it is?
I believe not many people would know about the rarity of this car. I would say it’s the looks of the car that attracts them.
This would probably be some people’s dream car, but you have others that you aspire to...
Yes, my dream car would be a 1962 Maserati 3500GT superleggera or a Sixties Maserati Mistral. I’ve seen one in Dubai and will let you know if I manage to buy one.