Do you remember those cryptic ads back in the ''80s showing a gorgeous convertible (this 1986 Maserati Biturbo Spider, as matter of fact) on a winding mountain road and the tag line, "She always insisted on doing the driving."? The campaign was an utter failure, of course, because nobody knew what the car was, but as it turns out, the car was pretty neat and these Biturbos are rather rare to find today. With Maserati getting its mojo back recently, it''s possible that these cars will find new appreciation among enthusiasts, because they''re really fun little cars. Like all Italian hardware, the one you want to own is a nicely preserved original that''s been maintained, not restored or neglected, and this one fits the bill perfectly. That''s original black paint that''s holding up well, given that it''s been 30 years since it was applied by Giuseppe at the factory in Milan. The ergonomic design isn''t long and low like you''d expect from a Maserati, but it has an ''80s sensibility that makes you feel good when you climb out as with some more well-known exotics. Fit and finish are about par for the course from Italy and if you know Italian cars, It''s character, right? Fortunately, this one has few character marks and important stuff like the chin spoiler and rubber bumpers are in great shape. Nobody, but nobody, does interiors like the Italians. Lots of luscious tan leather is exquisitely crafted and blended with real wood trim and plush carpets to make for a unique driving experience. Everywhere you look there''s evidence of hand craftsmanship, and the hides are holding up remarkably well. Lots of luxury features were expected in a bespoke car like this, ranging from power windows to A/C to a full array of gauges in a no-nonsense pod ahead of the driver. There''s also a lovely analog clock in the center of the dash, something that automakers today have bogarted but which Maserati never stopped providing. An AM/FM/cassette stereo was probably state-of-the-art in 1986 and even today it sounds decent with the top down. A nice-fitting black convertible top has a BMW-esque profile and the trunk is big enough to be useful on trips. The Biturbo name refers to the twin-turbocharged 2.5-liter V6 under the hood, which made a respectable 192 horsepower and gave the Spider performance to match its name. Not an all-out sports car, but a grand tourer in the finest tradition of the Mercedes SL and Jaguar XJS. The engine bay is impressively clean with lots of evidence of maintenance over the years, making it the kind of Italian car that it''s OK to fall in love with. It starts easily and runs well, and if you like to drive, you''ll find it quite rewarding out on the open road, even with the automatic transmission. Rear-wheel-drive handling is rewarding and agile, with powerful brakes that are more than up to the task of reeling it in. A beautifully made exhaust system gives the V6 a distinctive exhaust note that''s undeniably Italian and you''ll also find a full-size spare tire strapped under there. Handsome 14-inch alloys are original and carry 205/60/14 Pirellis with lots of life left in them. Seriously, where else can you buy a turbocharged Italian 2-seat convertible for under $15,000? Call today! This vehicle is located in our Charlotte showroom. For more information, please call (704) 598-2130 or toll free (866) 542-8392.