The ex-Brussels Motor Show
1955 MASERATI A6G/54 BERLINETTA
Coachwork by Carrozzeri Zagato
Chassis no. 2112
This closed-cockpit Maserati Berlinetta was completed at Officine Maserati's legendary factory in the Viale Ciro Menotti, Modena, in November 1955. It was carefully finished and prepared by the Carrozzeria Zagato specialists in Milan in time for it to star at the Brussels Salon motor show the following February.
Copy factory build sheets with the car record that it received twin plug ignition, A6GCS valve springs, flywheel, wheel hubs, brakes and steering, and an 80 litre fuel tank. The wheels are noted as Borrani, the exhaust system by Fiandri, and the instruments were Jaeger with English labeling.
Chassis 2112 is listed by Maserati historian Luigi Orsini as having gone to none other than Paul Frere, the celebrated Belgian motor racing journalist, author and racing driver, but we believe that Mr Frere was infact loaned the car for test purposes rather than being its first owner.
The factory archive history makes no mention of this Ferrari factory team driver of that year - and records instead that this handsome Zagato berlinetta was liveried in rosso with grey interior upholstery, and was exported to specialist dealer Charles Rezzaghi's Mille Miglia Motors company, in San Francisco, California.
Its racing history is unknown- and given the specification, it is very unlikely the car was not raced- but we next catch up with it a few years later, still in America. In the 1980s it was owned by a Mr Ron McKinney of Phoenix, Arizona who contacted the Italian factory to request a front bumper and grille which would enable him to complete the car's restoration.
Chassis 2112 eventually returned to Italy where it was preserved for several years by that pioneering classic and historic car connoisseur, Count Vittorio Zanon, President of ASI - the Italian historic car association.
It subsequently passed from him to Brescia collector, Giuseppe Bosio, before entering private German ownership, from which it was sold via BROOKS in 1999 to the present Italian owner, a keen enthusiast with a small stable of high quality sports cars.
In 1998 this handsomely presented Maserati A6G/54 berlinetta had successfully completed the popular Mille Miglia round-Italy classic, and in the present ownership it has continued to participate in high calibre events including the Tour Auto. It is of course fully eligible for the vast majority of similar rallies run not only in Europe but also in Japan, Australia and the USA, not to mention circuit racing classics such as Goodwood and the exclusive Ferrari Maserati Challenge.
Recent work has included fitting correct type Weber carburettors, rebuilding the distributor, fitting proper type instruments and rebuilding the transmission. The only notified modification from factory specification is the sensible addition of an electric fan.
On a brisk test drive with the owner in the hills above his villa last month, the author was impressed with 2112s smooth power delivery, nimble handling and even the positive brakes. Roadholding on the narrow section tyres was surprisingly good, and it was possible to keep up a high average speed even on uphill sections, the gearlever slotting satisfyingly into place with each change, every burst of acceleration accompanied by the throaty six-cylinder bark of the exhaust reverberating across the surrounding countryside. It was not hard to imagine the thrill of guiding this lightweight Maserati through a twisty section of the old Mille Miglia route, nor the smiling faces of the locals as they waved the little red bolide past!
These mid-'50s Zagato-bodied Maserati berlinette are exceedingly rare (20 were made), lovely to look at, rewarding to drive, and are probably the most widely eligible of all historic sports cars. They are also easily supported and serviced by well-established marque specialists. Accompanied by its Italian registration papers, FIVA passport, ASI homologation (gold), copy owners handbook and build sheets, here is a thoroughbred classic which would provide an ideal introduction to 'the big time'...
Exposé au Salon de Bruxelles en février 1956, ce coupé Maserati, carrosserie Zagato rouge, fut ensuite exporté aux Etats-Unis pour revenir dans son pays d'origine où il devînt la propriété du Comte Vittorio Zanon, président de l'Association Italienne des Automobiles Historiques avant de gagner l'Allemagne puis, à travers une vente Brooks en 1999, retourne en Italie chez un collectionneur averti. Des travaux récents ont permis linstallation de carburateurs Weber et de linstrumentation identiques à lorigine. La distribution a également été refaite ainsi que la transmission. La seule modification aux spécifications dorigine dont nous sommes informés est ladoption dun ventilateur électrique.
Propulsé par un moteur six cylindres en ligne double-arbre de 1985 cm3 alimenté par trois carburateurs horizontaux Weber et accouplé à une boîte quatre vitesses, il est encore capable d'atteindre les 200 km/heure.
Il a participé avec talent aux Mille Miglia 1998 et promettra à lacheteur la possibilité de participer aux événements historiques internationaux les plus prestigieux. Cette voiture sera livré avec ses documents dimmatriculation italiens, son passeport FIVA, son homologation A.S.I. Or (plus haute distinction), une copie du manuel du propriétaire et lhistorique dusine.