I'm not much of a pickup truck guy. Nothing against pickup owners but I've just never yearned to own one. Until now, that is, because I just recently learned that five first-generation Maserati Quattroporte Series II sedans were turned into pickups to act as support vehicles for the 1967 Formula One Italian Grand Prix. Not only were they made into pickups, though, they were also firetrucks and one of them is heading for auction with Artcurial on Feb 2.
The conversion of these Maserati Quattroportes was the idea of CEA, an Italian fire extinguisher manufacturer, who hired Italian coachbuilder Grazia to build it. Grazia didn't modify the chassis but instead chopped the roof off from the B-pillar back and turned it into a two-door pickup, similar to an Australian ute. So I guess it's more of a dueporte. What was originally a luxurious back seat then became storage for a pump, water reserve, and fire extinguishers, and a two-handed water cannon was fitted to the roof. Behind the water storage compartment, Grazia fitted a pickup bed with a steel bed liner, which acted as a platform from which to use the water cannon.
However, the rest of the Quattroporte was unmodified. So it still packs a 4.7-liter V8 under its long hood, making 260 horsepower, with a manual transmission, and rear-wheel drive. The black steelies likely weren't factory options but they look so good they should have been.
All five of the Maserati firetruck conversions were sold following their service in F1 and have exchanged hands several times since then. This specific one was given a professional, period-correct restoration by the current owner and has all of its original documents and even period photos. Its original color was "Argento Auteuil" silver, but it now wears its F1 service car livery. However, its original black leather interior is still there.
Only around 500 first-gen Maserati Quattroporte Series II sedans were made in the late 1960s, which makes them incredibly rare to begin with. That makes the five F1 firetruck versions even more special, so it's no wonder that it's estimated to sell for as much as $271,000.
Forget its rarity, though, this Maserati Quattroporte F1 firetruck is just cool. It still has all of the style and charm of the original Quattroporte sedan, with the added coolness of it being a functioning firetruck. It's such an odd merging of worlds, both style and function, that it's almost impossible to not fall in love with it. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to get my house appraised...
Got tips? Send 'em to firstname.lastname@example.org