1988 Maserati Karif Sales Brochure Sure Got Weird And Creepy Fast


The 1988 Maserati Karif isn’t exactly the most beautiful car to ever be sold, and its performance more than 35 years later is nothing to write home about. Still, with only 221 ever produced, it is quite rare. Just ignore the whole thing where Maserati supposedly planned to build 250 of them and couldn’t find enough buyers. This is a rare and special car that was built to only the highest standards for the most discerning of luxury sporting enthusiasts. After all, if the sales brochure says it, it has to be true, right?

As our friend the Car Brochure Addict shared on Twitter recently, the official sales brochure for the 1988 Karif claims, “It is a car with a strong personality and an innate vocation for making driving a pleasure, an expression of sensuality, powerful emotions are guaranteed for anybody who knows how to experience them.” Later, the text reads, “From the moment it was created there was never any doubt that the Maserati KARIF would become a collector’s item: a two-seater with an aggressively styled front end, which hides an extremely generous engine under the bonnet.”

Sure, it only made 250 horsepower and 284 pound-feet of torque, but remember, this was the late 1980s. A world where you could buy a 300-hp Toyota Camry didn’t exist yet, so we’re not going to go too hard on Maserati for talking up the Karif. What we will go hard on is just how creepy and weird things get in a different paragraph:

The Maserati KARIF: an exceptional road “animal”, an exciting driving experience, an invitation to feel like a racing driver again or for the first time; the subtle pleasure of feeling the throb of so many pounding horses and of knowing you can control them. Although the car looks modern overall, it exudes that classical style that cast such a powerful spell over us, whilst keeping up with the “state of the art” situation that modern technology has accustomed us to.

It was a different time, but come on. Someone had to have read this and at least thought, “You know, maybe we should take out the part about ‘feeling the throb’ and getting pounded by horses,” right? At least one person? No? Nobody? They literally read, “the subtle pleasure of feeling the throb of so many pounding horses and of knowing you can control them,” and thought to themselves, “This is a completely normal thing to publish with our company’s name on it,” all the way up the line until it actually did get published. In the official U.K. sales brochure.

Now, to be fair, especially since the rest of the copy is a little wonky, it’s entirely possible that it was simply poorly translated into English. Perhaps in the original Italian, words such as “throb” and “pounding” don’t have such sexual connotations. Then again, we’re talking about Maserati in the 1980s here. If you told us that line was written while the head of marketing was on a brief break from snorting fat lines of coke and sexually harassing his teenage secretaries, we’d probably believe you. After all, it was a different time.



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