There have been many collaborations between Italian and American automobile manufacturers over the years, but possibly none as maligned as much as the Chrysler TC by Maserati. Having met Alejandro DeTomaso while at Ford, Lee Iacocca collaborated with DeTomaso to build a sports car incorporating the best of Italian and American design and engineering. What resulted was the TC, a convertible based on the Dodge Daytona chassis available with three different engines throughout the car's three year production run. On offer was a 2.2 liter turbocharged engine with a 3 speed automatic, a 3.0 liter Mitsubishi V6 with a four speed automatic. The rarest engine and drivetrain combination of all was a 2.2 liter, turbocharged 16 valve four cylinder with a Maserati designed twin came head produced by Cosworth, mated to a Japanese IHI turbocharger and hooked up to a 5 speed manual Getrag transaxle. To add further diversity, the pistons in this engine were made by Mahle in Germany. The alloy wheels, while Italian, were sourced by Fondmetal, a Formula One supplier.
This was certainly an interesting vehicle, but sadly, few took notice. It also didn't help that the motoring press derided this car as little more than a warmed over Chrysler LeBaron. Only 500 TCs were made with the 2.2 liter engine with the Cosworth/Maserati designed head. There are clean examples of TCs to be had in the market, but it's quite uncommon to stumble across a low mileage example of one with the Getrag gearbox and Maserati/Cosworth engine. Here is one for sale with just under 50,000 miles in Michigan.
1990 Chrysler TC Convertible by Maserati. Only 49,000 original miles. Very rare TC with only 500 ever being built with a 5 speed Getrag manual transmission and a 16 valve Cosworth "Maserati" head on a 2.2L turbocharged inline 4 cylinder engine. The TC was a vehicle built in partnership with Chrysler's Lee Iacocca and Alejandro DeTomaso of Maserati. Produced to give the availability of a luxury sport coupe with both Italian and American heritage.
This low mileage TC is presented in brilliant red with plush hand stitched Italian leather seats. Equipped with a body colored hard top and tan soft top. Power windows, locks and mirrors. Infinity sound system, power driver and passenger seats. Leather dash, armrest and door trim and speciality designed aluminum wheels. This TC is in excellent condition throughout. Leather has less than average wear and exterior is free of rust or problem areas. Issues noted: passenger side hard top window is delaminating and the engine has a bad valve cover gasket, a very common problem but is able to be fixed. Runs and drives excellent. Starts right up and transmission shifts smooth through each gear. Vehicle is being sold as-is.
To be honest, I never liked the TC. And I still don't. But the TC has its loyal following and an active owners club, which will no doubt help in sourcing bespoke parts for this car's engine. For an enthusiast looking for something out of the mainstream, it is hard to beat the uniqueness of this vehicle for the price.