Maserati. It’s an icon of Italian elegance.
Three different drivers, three different experiences. Between July 25 and 30, Maserati let The Independent staff get behind the wheel of a 2019 Quattroporte SQ4 GranLusso. Executive Editor Jessica Mackin-Cipro visited events throughout the Hamptons, and also enjoyed the open roads west of the canal and on the North Fork; Managing Editor Bridget LeRoy meandered around East Hampton, and reporter Nicole Teitler headed to Montauk to visit local businesses.
The price tag on this particular model? A cool $136,160. For more info, visit www.maseratiusa.com.
Maserati Ups The Ante On My Car Game
By Jessica Mackin-Cipro
I’m having car problems. And my biggest is that I am no longer in possession of a 2019 Maserati Quattroporte, like I was two weekends ago. Now I don’t know how I will ever go back to my seemingly inferior vehicles.
I’ve always chose a combination of quality and style when it comes to a car. For me this means a pre-owned BMW and Mercedes. So what there’s a six-CD changer in the trunk? The engine literally lasts forever and it never goes out of style.
But the thing is, I’ve been really busy and haven’t paid enough attention to the fact that my cars may have had their days in the sun (evident by the sun spots on the hood) and are both now nearing an early retirement. And driving around in a Maserati really pointed this out for me. Just like that, the most valuable part of my current vehicle is that I have both an East Hampton and Southampton beach sticker (shh!).
Over the weekend, it was time for me to take this fine piece of Italian machinery out for a spin. So, I picked up the girls and headed to the Hot in the Hamptons Luxury Brunch. What else does one drive to a luxury brunch in but a luxury car? Especially a brunch hosted and attended by a variety of “Real Housewives.” I rolled up to the party feeling like a “Real Housewife of the Hamptons.” Andy Cohen, call me!
Throughout the day, I took the Maserati on every back road I could, even the back roads to the back roads, just so I could attempt to drive at a normal speed during the South Fork’s bumper-to-bumper hours of 6 AM to midnight. But even in traffic, I didn’t mind. I was driving a Maserati. Oh, you want me to pick you up in Montauk? Sure! Be right there!
Later I stopped at the Watermill Center’s annual summer benefit, Tabula Rasa. I felt immediate separation anxiety when I handed her over to the valet. “I’m only going to be here a few minutes,” I told them, feeling like I was a real Maserati owner. The great thing about valeting a car like this is they want to keep it upfront with all the other special cars, and not buried in the back with the average ones.
Following Watermill Center, I drove out to the C.U. Out East Benefit for the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University at Guild Hall in East Hampton, where the Wallflowers and Colin Jost were performing. I drove there with two headlights, unlike my Mercedes, which currently only has one headlight working, and may have been more fitting drive to a Wallflowers concert — get it?
I also took it for a drive down Dune Road in Hampton Bays. One: It’s, in my opinion, the prettiest drive on the entire East End and two: Because it’s open road, something we East Enders don’t come by often.
On Sunday, my husband Joe and I drove to the North Fork — a rare place with no shortage of open road. A few stops along the way included a farm stand for fresh produce, Catapano Dairy Farm to pick up some of America’s finest goat cheese, and the North Fork Doughnut Company.
It’s my belief that you can take on the personality of the car you’re driving. A few days prior I was driving my sister’s pick-up truck during rush hour. I was aggressive and wanted everyone to get out of my way. I was overcome by the need to drive over uneasy terrain to get to the top of a mountain. When I’m driving my BMW convertible I cruise like a Sunday driver, even on a Tuesday, while pick-up trucks try to run me off the road. In the Maserati, I felt powerful. That’s the horsepower. I felt stylish. That’s the impeccable Italian design. I was one with the road. That’s the high-performance tires. This vehicle is race-bred for performance and I played the part of race-car driver (at a responsible speed of course!).
Thank you, Maserati, for reminding me that driving is fun. During a busy life filled with trains, plane, automobiles, Jitneys, Ambassadors, Luxury Liners, Hoppers, Lyfts, Vias, Ubers, and everything in-between, it’s a nice reminder that no matter what, you should always enjoy the ride. And the ride is always a little easier to enjoy in a Maserati.
Maserati To Montauk
By Nicole Teitler
Maserati: it’s not a car, it’s an experience.
I’d never driven a car with an MSRP reaching six figures. Purchasing my 2011 Hyundai, straight from the showroom post-college graduation, was about the biggest sense of automotive accomplishment I’ve achieved. So, when the opportunity to drive around a Maserati Quattroporte GranLusso for 24 hours presented itself, I was zero to ecstatic in 1.5 seconds.
The symbol of Maserati is a trident, the weapon of choice for Poseidon/Neptune, God of the Sea in mythology. Symbolically, Maserati is already connected to the East End, a place surrounded by water and those who have based their livelihoods off of it. And the sleek design of Quattroporte alone begged to be photographed. These waves of thought, in my mind, created a connection to the car that goes deeper than luxury. A car takes you from point A to point B. In this case, rather stylishly so. But at the end of the day, a car, no matter what the price tag, is about those in it and the adventures it drives us to.
Having the car wasn’t enough. I had to be seen in it. I needed to be noticed. I put on my red one-piece bathing suit as a top, with white jeans, to patriotically compliment the blue shimmer of the exterior. It reminded me of Montauk, blue like the ocean with subtle sparkles like the clear night sky.
Aiming to be mildly boastful yet inclusive, I sought out as many local businesses as I could to photograph with the car. Holiday House Hamptons in Bridgehampton, benefitting the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, with Paddle Diva and DanceBody; The Lobster Roll in Amagansett; Gig Shack and Fin jewelry in Montauk. I dropped by The Montauk Beach House, Deep Hollow Ranch, The Montauk Lighthouse, and, concluded the day at John’s Drive-In. By including these establishments, with their teams or a just quick snap-shot, the car transformed from a solo experience to a communal one. I was the one behind the wheel but the gas pedal took me to the places that
I felt invincible driving such a power piece of machinery, gliding my hands over the wood-accented leather steering, blasting throwback music, opening the sunroof and all the windows. My Maserati hair was complemented by the salty air as I went back and forth on the stretch, from place to place, smiling to every passerby. However, nothing could overpower the joy that came from sharing my experience with others.
Not everyone has the means to drive such a lavishly designed car, not even myself (yet). But for a brief moment, we all shared in on a dream. The Hamptons is globally recognized as a place for people with money, a place to be seen. Underneath it all, year-round it’s a small town based on community support. For 24 hours, my Maserati was just that. A vehicle bringing people together.
Drive It Like Your Kids Live Here
By Bridget LeRoy
As soon as I held the keys, I broke into a panic. I’m a bit, ahem, older than the other drivers, and here was a machine of such power and beauty and value that I felt the weight of responsibility in a very adult way.
But getting behind the wheel, I felt like a kid again. “What does this button do?” I asked my husband. There are lots of buttons and screens and gadgets to play with in the fully-loaded Maserati Quattroporte (which means “four-door”) which I drove around East Hampton for the afternoon and evening.
Driving the Mas was a little like riding a tiger – again, I was fully aware of the power that simmered under the hood. A bit of a scaredy-cat, I never really took it to its full potential, but the acceleration rate, when I did let it go in my own, old-lady fashion, was obviously impressive, the hallmark of a company known for making the sportiest of sport cars.
My husband, Eric Johnson, and I, went to Guild Hall to see Dawes in concert with G.E. Smith. G.E., an old friend, was in the parking lot when we pulled in (two hours early, because I wanted my blue baby to have a good spot). The legendary musician was super impressed with the vehicle, and we gave him a tour of the inside and outside.
Driving the Mas back to the office, I realized I was probably not the demographic for this sexy beast. But it was fun, for a moment, to sit at the cool kids’ car table.