The Hunt


I came into Biturbo ownership after owning a 1987 Lotus Esprit Turbo HCI, a 1985 Toyota MR2, a 1972 Datsun 240Z, and various other less notable cars. I had to abandon the two seater style when my first child was born, but still wanted to get something powerful, sporty, and a bit offbeat in a four seater. So I picked up an '85 Biturbo initially, but it turned out to be a real lemon from the east coast of the US, not worth putting any effort or money  into. So I sold that and then searched for about a year until I found the 228.

This car was built in November of 1988. I've owned it since the fall of 1999. I believe that it is an original Vancouver car, accident free, and I am the third owner. The government run insurance company here will provide you with a report on a car's accident history and registration for a nominal charge. I ran a report on the car before I bought it and found that it had been registered in BC since new, and that it had no accident history, other than a claim for glass damage and a break-in. I found out later also that the trunk had been repainted, but it must have been paid for privately. Probably the owner damaged it himself and didn't want to make a claim that would have driven his rates up.

The first owner was a young guy whose dad bought it for him and who had it only a year or so. The second guy was a real estate developer who had it for most of its life. Maseratis less than 15 years old cannot be brought into Canada from the States since they don't meet crash standards (not a good thing for a family car I suppose), so I had to find one in the country already. I saw an '89 Spyder from Montreal advertised in Hemmings in the summer of '99 and had the guy send me some pictures, but I just couldn't bring myself to buy a car unseen from a place 3,000 miles away known for loading salt on the roads. I also looked at a 1989 228 when I was on a trip to Toronto, but had the same concern about salt, it was an automatic, plus the guy was reluctant to sell it to me in Vancouver since he also wanted the follow on service business in Toronto. After several months of looking, I had basically given up hope of finding a rust free (i.e. Vancouver or Victoria) car.

I continued to check on the 'net once in a while for Maseratis though, mostly just to see what I was missing south of the border. I started looking at Alfas locally instead, and test drove a '91 Alfa 164S that was in great shape and had had some nice engine work done on it. Just as I was going to get serious about the Alfa, I saw this 228 at Infoseek. I was surprised that it was a local car (Whistler) being advertised on the Internet. I called the guy up and went up to see it the following weekend. He let me take it for a nice test drive, almost all the way to Pemberton. But over the next week or so we could not agree on price. Plus the car had a lien on it. Apparently the guy had put a 'pre-emptive' lien on the car, in order to prevent anyone else from putting a lien on it. I then went out of town on business for two weeks, only to find out that while I was gone he had sold it to a dealer in Vancouver for less than what I had offered him! A call to the dealer with the same offer I had made to the guy at Whistler quickly secured the car for me, once I had proof that the lien had been discharged. I never did figure that one out. Money problems of some sort I guess.

Here are pictures of my previous '85 Biturbo, the Spyder from Montreal that I was originally considering, my 228 as it was when I bought it, and again with the Ghibli Cup Wheels and Nitto tires.


1985 Biturbo

Spyder in Montreal

My 1989 228 as purchased  


My 1989 228 With New Wheels and Tires