Late last week I finally picked up my Jaguar XJ12 from the workshop. All the way home, I felt like a proper Jaguarman. Yet, for the majority of the week leading up to this, I had constantly had Maserati on my mind. Confusing.
I will get back to you with an update on my XJ12 – I promise. But when I haven’t mentioned the car since I first introduced it back in June (in the article: My First Jaguar: XJ12 Sovereign), it’s frankly because there hasn’t been anything to report on. My XJ has simply lived at the mechanic. But after three months there, it was finally time to drive her home again. Albeit in dreadful weather, but the big Jag did its best to make it at least feel like the sun was shining: a V12 is truly something very special.
So I was feeling very much like a Jaguarman – even if I had forgotten to bring my leather driving gloves. But the thing is; all week long I had only Maserati on my mind, to the point where I had started to feel convinced that I was a Maseratiman. I believe it all kicked off with two friends of mine who had been chatting about their 3200 GT’s. Readers who are now overbearingly thinking to themselves “he obviously means 3500 GT” are in some respects right. I do vastly prefer the 3500 – the fifties-GT and one of the most classic of classic Maserati’s of all times. Yet to those readers, I might have to disappoint you, as it was in fact the 3200 GT which I just couldn’t get out of my mind. Yes I know, it is in many ways too new for ViaRETRO, and too new to be considered a real classic. Even if both of my friends feel differently. About both statements, I believe.
Let me openly confess, that I have indeed considered whether such a millennial 3200 GT might be something for me. I even came to the conclusion that this might very well be the case. It is a proper GT, it is a relatively proper Maserati, and it is much, much, much cheaper than a 3500 GT. At least to purchase. The rumours of course suggest that it is not at all cheap to maintain and repair. And that does scare me – especially after having just picked up my Jaguar after three months in a workshop.
Not that I am in any way comparing a 3200 GT with my XJ12. Not at all! But this is where I have a second confession to make, as I also have a weakness for Jaguar’s strongest opponent to the Maserati – the period Jaguar XK8. Dear me, is there no end to this misery?!?!
Apparently not. But clearly, as a Jaguar owner – a Jaguarman, even – I obviously can’t ignore that Jaguar actually beat Maserati into the genre, which I suppose one could call “the reinterpretation of the true GT car”. Our most faithful ViaRETRO readers will of course know already, that the Grand Tourer is by far my favourite type of car.
The XK8 is a truly traditional GT car. SO traditional, that its suspension is partially based on that of the original XJ-S. But then the XJ-S was of course world-class, so surely that’s not a bad thing? I’m sure most will agree that it isn’t – at least not as bad as several other things on the XK8. Such as its Ford-infested interior. However, despite Jaguar digging deep into the Ford parts bin, I still really like the XK8. Probably just as much as I like the 3200 GT. After all, what’s not to like about a classic – or at least semi-classic – GT car with a potent V8 engine and a beautiful design?
But why would I want to get involved with these relatively modern super-GT cars? Easy – the answer is written right here:
I’m aware that some will now point out that the Maserati is significantly faster. But in this context, that hardly matters as a GT car just needs to be fast – not fastest. The main issue is rather that either have the potential to end in sorrow – and poverty: The Jaguar XK8 also doesn’t have the best reputation for reliability and cheap maintenance. Still, I would love to have both in my garage. Naturally, in the real world I would choose either one or the other. There is after all no reason to tempt fate.
So today I’m basically just seeking simple and well-founded advice: According to our discerning, knowledgeable and experienced ViaRETRO-readers, which of the two millennial super-GT’s would be the most sensible to purchase?
ViaRETRO-bonusinformation: Yes, this is an extreme case of “relative rationality” – but then again, that too is an important skill to master. Perhaps even more so for a self-confessed classic car enthusiast wavering between Jaguar and Maserati youngtimers. The question “most rational to purchase” could simply be rephrased “least deranged to purchase”, for those readers who just can’t comprehend the first question.