The devil makes work for idle hands, and I'm sure many of us have more often than not resorted to trawling through the classifieds in search of unloved or interesting used cars.
If you had ten grand and a free parking space, and were suitably inclined, there's a vast array of engaging tin that could take pride of place. You're not going to get into bona-fide supercar territory with £10k, though, but you can get close thanks to an oft-overlooked Maserati coupé.
The Maserati 3200 GT was well received when it arrived in UK dealers in 2000. It offered stylish looks, four seats, a desirable badge and – as you'd hope – a suitably evocative powerplant. Nestled between the 3200's strut towers is a twin-turbocharged 3.2-litre V8 that could thunder out 365bhp and 361bhp, singing all the way up to a peak of 6750rpm.
Admittedly the six-speed manual might not have been – brace yourselves – the best option. At the time, we reckoned the somewhat antiquated four-speed automatic was actually the better choice, more befitting the car's nature. It also could keep up better with the engine's frenetic power delivery, which would occasionally make the manually shifted versions hard to handle.
Still, if you were looking for a bit of weekend fun, or something for the odd blat across Europe, I'd still be inclined to opt for the manual. At least you'd then have the option of a bit more engagement, and I'm sure you could adapt your driving style to get the best out of it. Get your shifts right and you'd potentially fire your Maserati from 0-62mph in as little as 5.1sec, but it's more likely it'll do it in around six dead. Find a clear enough stretch of autobahn and it'll crack over 170mph as well, seeing off those pesky run-of-the-mill saloons and estates.
For ten grand these days you'll see a myriad of 3200 GTs on offer, some looking a little leggy and others looking absolutely on the button. This six-speed manual 2001 Maserati 3200 GT is a case in point. It might have a higher mileage than similarly priced examples, at 86,000 miles instead of around 50,000, but it looks flawless. It's clear that it's been cared for and the lack of wear to the interior suggests that it's endured long, relaxed trips rather than frequent short hops.
More reassuringly, it's got a comprehensive stack of service history that includes costly but necessary servicing like a replacement timing belt and new cam chains. Elements like a complete toolkit and unused tyre repair kit – because, you know, that'll really help when you've blown the sidewall out at 120mph – further suggest that this has been a cosseted car, instead of one that's been run by someone who thought it might be a bit of cheap fun.
An MOT until December, the original red master key, all the original booklets and inches of service history – including bills for a service and new brakes 1500 miles ago – adds to the appeal. Even more comfortingly, it's been sold by a dealer. If it disintegrates a few miles down the road, or proves to be exactly the problem child you hoped it wouldn't be, at least you'll have someone to drag it back to.
Justifiably you're going to be concerned about running costs. Buy a good one, as the listed example appears, however, and you'll only have to budget a couple of grand a year to run it. For a 170mph-plus luxury GT with that soul-satisfying V8 and comfortable interior, that feels like a potentially justifiable amount.