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I had a Maserati

I want to start out this post by sharing a secret: You can get a nice, new Maserati sedan for under $90k.

$90k is a lot for a car. It is definitely the most, by far, I’ve ever spent on a car. But it’s on the low end of what people pay for high-end luxury, sporty, sedans. It’s what you’d pay for a nice Audi, and less than you’d pay for a Telsa Model S or a BMW M5. But the impression everyone has is that they’re much more expensive. Indeed, every time I disclosed that I had a Maserati, people had fantastic views of how much it must cost, usually their number was a least double. There are certainly Maseratis that fit the bill, but I had the Maserati Ghibli SQ4 with the GranLusso trim, and even with all that it came in around $90k.

The only reason I start off like this is to level-set. We’re San Francisco Bay Area tech folks who make more money than your average American, but we’re not running around buying Ferraris and Lamborghinis, those are really expensive! Folks I know and work with around here have cars in similar price ranges. Still, it was a fancy indulgence for us. The other two cars we have here are a 2000 Oldsmobile Alero and a 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe.

But I really did want to talk about my car, finally. I didn’t blog about it when I got it because it felt like some weird bragging. The experience of having this car has been a delight, and one I’ll never forget. The three year lease ended this week, and I’ve been pretty sad about it.

So, story time! How’d I end up with a Maserati, anyway?

First of all, I like cars. I subscribe to Car & Driver magazine, I’ve watched tons of Top Gear (and Grand Tour), and I stay up to date with car news, increasingly with an eye towards the latest on electric cars. If I had time for more hobbies, I’d learn vehicle mechanics and delight in tinkering with an old sports car. I like to think we’re open-minded and reasonable when we cast a net for a new car, and that means we’re not really loyal to a brand. The Hyundai Santa Fe we have as a family car was a great choice, and we’re really happy with it. We know our cars.

Having a Maserati makes no sense.

They don’t hold their value. They aren’t reliable. They’re not the fastest or most powerful car in their class. They’re gas-guzzlers. The air-conditioning in them isn’t even that good!

But the first time I took one for a test drive, I knew I had to have one some day.

First off, I loved driving it. The sound of the engine is like nothing else, and it’s so much fun to drive especially through hilly, windy roads. I didn’t even need to be going fast to enjoy how the car took those turns. Secondly, they’re beautiful. Imagine standing in line for your sandwich and glancing out the window to admire your own car. I did that often. Finally, it was comfortable. That’s what you get for going with a nice trim in a luxury sports car. No stiff racing seats for me!

I started off with a toy model, which has lived on my desk since 2017. But when we lived in San Francisco I didn’t drive very much and we only had one parking space, I’d have to wait.

Fast forward to 2019. We had our first child and I was getting ready to start a new job. That’s a lot of change! And I wanted something to tether to me to my pre-child life, but made sense in our new life. Now that we were no longer in the city, another car was something we needed anyway, so we went big.

We brought home our Ghibli in March of 2019. And it was a blue SQ4, just like my toy!

And I snagged my vanity plate.

The first year was a ton of fun. I took it to work, of course, but MJ took it to work sometimes too, it was the car we took out on date nights and errands all around the bay area. When we gave the keys to a valet, they always kept it out front, sometimes to the chagrin of our friends who had cars that were more expensive and got parked in the lot. It was beautiful and fun to drive.

The second year was 2020. In March 2020 everything shut down due to the pandemic. Suddenly, neither of us were driving to work. We weren’t driving anywhere! I didn’t even leave my county for most of 2020, and rarely left our town. So I’d still take the car out when I went to Target or the grocery store, but road trips and fancy dinners were now off the table. I also got pregnant in 2020, so we were particularly cautious and stayed close to home. 2021 largely continued this trend, though I did start going out to parks more often to work for an afternoon here and there, and I drove my car to get there.

As we entered March of 2022 and the lease ran out, we had a decision to make. Do we get another car? Do we buy this one and keep it another year? Do we return it or sell it? Given how much we drive it and the expense, we decided it was time to let this all come to a close. The pandemic has also caused supply chain issues for cars, and the used car market is booming, so it actually made sense for us to sell it instead of turning in the lease.

Last week I took it out a couple times to say goodbye, I joked with my friends that we were out on a date.

The sale was finalized and they picked it up today.

Driving this car always cheered me up and I’m sorry to see it go, but it was a delight while it lasted and I’ll hang on to that.