While Britain was busy building luxury, executive sedans such as Jaguars, Italy replied with the 1963 Maserati Quattroporte, with design by Frua. It so wanted to be a Jaguar, that if you looked fast, you could be excused for thinking you’re looking at an old XJ6, until you see the front, which is slightly different, thanks to its jutting square headlights. The Quattroporte was undoubtedly a luxury automobile, and came equipped with electric windows, optional air conditioning and more. Contrary to the Jaguar, however, which sold by the many thousands, only 679 Maserati Quattroporte units were produced and sold before the model was retired in 1970.
The Quattroporte’s standard engine was a 4.1-liter V8 engine, with four camshafts, which was renowned for its great smoothness and the amount of torque it produced. It also pumped out a very respectable 260 horsepower, allowing for a top speed of 140 miles per hour and a 0-60 time of 8.3 seconds, both excellent figures for a large luxury automobile. A few of the limited production runs had even larger, more powerful V8 engines, with 290 horsepower. The engine was coupled to either a three-speed automatic transmission, or an excellent five-speed ZF manual gearbox.
For a while, the 1963 Maserati Quattroporte was the fastest sedan in the world, and although its overall popularity can not but be diminished by its very limited production run, it retains a cult following to this day, and rightfully so.