1953 Maserati A6GCS Two-Seat Sports Racer  Chassis no. 2053 Engine no. 2053* see text (original A6GCS engine no. 2067 included)
Lot 628
1953 Maserati A6GCS Two-Seat Sports Racer
Chassis no. 2053 Engine no. 2053* see text (original A6GCS engine no. 2067 included)

Lot Details
1953 Maserati A6GCS Two-Seat Sports Racer  Chassis no. 2053 Engine no. 2053* see text (original A6GCS engine no. 2067 included) 1953 Maserati A6GCS Two-Seat Sports Racer  Chassis no. 2053 Engine no. 2053* see text (original A6GCS engine no. 2067 included) 1953 Maserati A6GCS Two-Seat Sports Racer  Chassis no. 2053 Engine no. 2053* see text (original A6GCS engine no. 2067 included) 1953 Maserati A6GCS Two-Seat Sports Racer  Chassis no. 2053 Engine no. 2053* see text (original A6GCS engine no. 2067 included) 1953 Maserati A6GCS Two-Seat Sports Racer  Chassis no. 2053 Engine no. 2053* see text (original A6GCS engine no. 2067 included) 1953 Maserati A6GCS Two-Seat Sports Racer  Chassis no. 2053 Engine no. 2053* see text (original A6GCS engine no. 2067 included) 1953 Maserati A6GCS Two-Seat Sports Racer  Chassis no. 2053 Engine no. 2053* see text (original A6GCS engine no. 2067 included) 1953 Maserati A6GCS Two-Seat Sports Racer  Chassis no. 2053 Engine no. 2053* see text (original A6GCS engine no. 2067 included) 1953 Maserati A6GCS Two-Seat Sports Racer  Chassis no. 2053 Engine no. 2053* see text (original A6GCS engine no. 2067 included) 1953 Maserati A6GCS Two-Seat Sports Racer  Chassis no. 2053 Engine no. 2053* see text (original A6GCS engine no. 2067 included) 1953 Maserati A6GCS Two-Seat Sports Racer  Chassis no. 2053 Engine no. 2053* see text (original A6GCS engine no. 2067 included) 1953 Maserati A6GCS Two-Seat Sports Racer  Chassis no. 2053 Engine no. 2053* see text (original A6GCS engine no. 2067 included) 1953 Maserati A6GCS Two-Seat Sports Racer  Chassis no. 2053 Engine no. 2053* see text (original A6GCS engine no. 2067 included) 1953 Maserati A6GCS Two-Seat Sports Racer  Chassis no. 2053 Engine no. 2053* see text (original A6GCS engine no. 2067 included) 1953 Maserati A6GCS Two-Seat Sports Racer  Chassis no. 2053 Engine no. 2053* see text (original A6GCS engine no. 2067 included)
1953 Maserati A6GCS Two-Seat Sports Racer
Coachwork by Carrozzeria Fantuzzi

Chassis no. 2053
Engine no. 2053* see text (original A6GCS engine no. 2067 included)
The legendary Italian marque of Maserati had been founded in 1926 as a manufacturer of, predominantly, single-seat racing cars. A number of two-seat sports variants were produced pre-World War 2 but they were relatively rare, particularly in contrast to the many Vetturetta or Voiturette-class purebred open-wheeled racing models they manufactured.

In 1937 the founding Maserati brothers sold their company to the industrialist Adolfo Orsi, who moved their factory from Bologna to Modena, and who retained the brothers' services under a ten-year service contract. Upon its expiry they returned to Bologna where they founded their own independent OSCA company, but in Modena the Gruppo Orsi's Automobili Maserati company went from strength to strength. The A6GCS was a very important model for them, and it enjoyed great racing success right from its debut in time for the 1947 season.

Ever since the first races of the single-seat Maserati 6CM, Ernesto Maserati had nurtured a plan to use that 6-cylinder engine as the basis of sports car. As early as September 1946 Ernesto Maserati and engineer Alberto Massimino had produced an unsupercharged 6C-1500 driven by its new owner Guido Barbieri to race wins at Mantua and then – with Gigi Villoresi behind the wheel – at Voghera. This 1500cc 6-cylinder with single overhead camshaft breathed through three twin-choke Weber carburettors and developed around 90bhp. For 1947 Maserati had learned that Ferrari was poised to launch a new 1500cc V12-engined sporting rival. The news was literally like a red rag to a bull. The result was the Maserati A6GCS. Major styling houses such as Pinin Farina and Frua subsequently produced Gran Turismo versions of the basic A6G – 'G' for 'Ghersa', 'iron' crankcase engined model.

As Massimino adopted a racing orientated ladder frame chassis with oval-section main longeron tubes – made for Maserati by the same specialist Gilco company that supplied Ferrari – the A6G emerged most famously as the A6GCS model – 'C' for 'Corsa' (race) and 'S' for 'Sport'. Drivers Alberto Ascari and Gigi Villoresi excelled in these lightweight and spartan new sports-racing cars through the 1947-48 seasons, and the early-style A6GCS progressed in specialist production into 1953 – at least 16 being manufactured before the twin-overhead camshaft A6GCS/53 replaced it in much more intensive production – over 50 of these later cars – such as '2053' now being offered here – becoming the backbone of 2-litre International sports car competition not only in Europe, but also in the USA.

It is believed that 48 A6GCS/53 cars were produced with Spider bodies and four with the 'Berlinetta Pininfarina' closed coachwork. All were originally delivered with a 1985cc aluminum block, overhead twin-cam, twin-plug engine producing approximately 170 horse power. Through the years, many of the A6GCSs used for racing saw multiple engine changes and subsequent modifications. Often, American engines were inserted into the ageing chassis/body assemblies to replace the careworn 6-cylinder in-line Maserati originals.

It is understood that this particular Maserati A6GCS, chassis serial '2053' was sold new in October 1953 to P. Ducati Motors, USA, which is believed to have been a company run by importer Antonio 'Tony' Pompeo. A comprehensive history file with the car has been compiled by specialist researcher John de Boer, and it includes photography of a car believed to have been '2053' in its original form, being demonstrated at Thompson Raceway in October 1953, by five-times World Champion Driver Juan Manuel Fangio.

The car is believed then to have been acquired by Donald McKnought of Cranford, NJ, who co-drove it with Bill Eager in the March 1954 Sebring 12-Hours classic. Mr McKnought also drove the car to finish 6th in the Abraham Lincoln Trophy race and 8th in the President's Cup at Andrews Air Force Base before William Eager won the main event at Suffolk County AFB, Westhampton, NY. The owner then won his class with the car in the famous Giant's Despair Hill-Climb, before suffering an accident at the Bryfan Tyddyn circuit.

The car then appears to have been acquired by the leading Maserati A6GCS exponent of the time, Fritz Koster. The original engine – now reportedly installed in chassis '2052' in Newport Beach, California - appears eventually to have been sold to eminent journalist and historian Karl E. Ludvigsen, via Otto Linton, for car '2039'. '2053' - less engine - then passed to the Diaz brothers, Benny and James Jr., of Turnersville, NJ, in 1958. They ran a body shop in which the car was prepared for a return to competition, this time with Chevrolet Corvette power, as was commonplace for European-built racing cars of the era. A roll-over bar was also added which was hidden within a freshly-added headrest. As described in Mr de Boer's chronology, they raced the car in this configuration until 1961. The car then passed to Gus Buscham of Iona, NJ, who sold it to eventual long-term owner Louis Casazza, in 1964. Mr Casazza uprated the front springs, fitted a new roll bar and newly made dash and raced the car 1965-66 at Vineland and Marlboro. He then fitted mufflers and used '2053' as a "go to school street car" (he was a teacher).

Mr Casazza sold '2053' in 1989 to its fifth owner, MIE Corporation. During this period of ownership the car benefited from considerable restoration work. In 1995, the car was sold to Hiroshi Kobayashi of Japan, eventually returning to the USA in 1999 when it was sold to Dr. Julio Palmas. Although the car had seen minimal use since the restoration work was finished, Dr. Palmas commissioned greatly respected Italian car restorer Nino Epifani to perfect the car to original cosmetic and mechanical specifications effectively regardless of expense.

The interior is finished in flat silver paint as it would have been by Maserati. The correct fuel pumps, located next to the passenger's seat, were located, restored and fitted at Epifani Restorations, as was the differential. The under carriage, rear stowage area, and engine bay are all beautifully detailed to show standards, and are true to original in virtually every respect. The engine number is stamped on a pad forward of the bell housing and includes Maserati insignias. The simplistic dash is ignited by the bright teal gauges which are meant to be easy to read at high speed.

Today the car remains in impeccable mechanical and cosmetic condition as was demonstrated by its 'Best in Class' and 'Most Desirable' awards at the New Hampshire International Speedway Concours D'Elegance, as well as the 'Sid Colberg' award at the Palo Alto Concours d'Elegance. The car is detailed for show, and - we are told - operates as if it just left the factory. The paint and bodywork is outstanding, and are appropriate for a car of such substantial value. Early photos of this car show it with a head faring which was removed in 2003 by Epifani Restorations. The car sits on painted Borrani wire wheels with nearly new tires. The Plexiglas windscreen is unmarked. The cross-drilled trunk, door, and hood latches are all intact and beautifully restored, as are each of the Maserati emblems.

During the 2009 season the current owners had the opportunity to exercise the car in the prestigious Shell Historic Ferrari Challenge, winning at Infineon Raceway. Last year the car enjoyed a strong showing at the Monterey Historic Automobile Races at Laguna Seca where it qualified on the front row and finished second - proving its capabilities against a field of well prepared and historically significant automobiles, including another Maserati A6GCS.

The possibilities for this car are almost endless. It is an eligible and welcome entrant in virtually every prestigious event in the world, from the Pebble Beach Concours to the Mille Miglia and Monterey Historics, as it has completed the FIA Heritage Certificate and FIVA certification process.

As is now commonplace for high value competition cars of this era, the engine currently fitted to this chassis, stamped '2053', is a reproduction unit thought to have been built by noted engine constructors Nuova Lunelli of Modena, Italy. This engine, which makes '2053' eminently useable for road and track events, was installed in 1992, as published in the journal Viale Ciro Menotti (Issue No. 62).

Now accompanied by original Maserati A6GCS engine no. '2067', the historical continuity of this package is greatly strengthened. According to John de Boer, engine no. '2067' was original to chassis '2067', delivered new to Mr. Bruno Venezian who had addresses in Bologna and Trieste, Italy. Venezian contested the 1954 Mille Miglia in a car thought to be '2067', and further competition records indicate his participation in the Gran Premio di Napoli and Gran Premio di Imola. More recently, engine no. '2067' had been removed from chassis '2062' at the time of its restoration and acquired by the current owners of this A6GCS through respected UK dealer Gregor Fisken. Engine no. '2067' has been recently rebuilt by marque specialist Mario Linke in Germany, with only five race weekends since, and is said to be virtually ready to install in '2053' should the new owner desire to do so.

Anyone who has ever followed a well-driven Maserati A6GCS over the Raticosa, Radicofani and Futa Passes on the prestigious Mille Miglia Retro in Italy will confirm the Modenese throughbred's fine handling and performance at close quarters. Serial number '2053' offered here is a mouth-watering example of the genre. It is just one bid away from being yours.
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