Maserati A6GCS z nadwoziem Celestino Fiandri wiodło żywot jak typowa włoska wyścigówka w Stanach Zjednoczonych. Kilka kolizji, kilka pucharów, silnik zamieniony kolejno na dwie amerykańskie V8, okres gdy uzupełnione o przednią szybę z MGB służyło na dojazdy do pracy, wreszcie proces renowacji i powolne przywracanie oryginalnych części. Cała historia jest udokumentowana, co w takich samochodach zdarza się nieczęsto. Co ciekawe, pod maskę trafił tu silnik o numerze 2067, który ma za sobą start w Mille Miglia w 1954 roku. Aby i cały samochód dal radę wystartować w rękach nowego właściciela w historycznej edycji tego rajdu! Jak droga to zabawa? Dom aukcyjny Artcurial zapowiada cenę 3,75-4,5 miliona euro, czyli około 16-19 milionów złotych. Aukcja już 8 lutego w Paryżu.
1953 Maserati A6GCS par Fiandri
Estimation 3,750,000 – 4,500,000 €
Location: Salon Rétromobile Hall 2.1 Paris Expo – Porte de Versailles 75015 Paris
Date: 08 feb. 2019 14:00
Auctioneer: Hervé Poulain
Chassis n° 2053
Engine n° 2067
– History known from new
– Engine n°2067 which has participated to the 1954 Mille Miglia
– Typical life of a competition car
– Incomparably beautiful model
– Outstanding on the road
This Maserati A6GCS left the workshop in March 1953, with a body built at Maserati by Celestino Fiandri, and was delivered to Tony Pompeo, of Ducati Motors (New York), the distributor of Italian sports and competition cars. It has long been thought that this Maserati was driven by Juan Manuel Fangio in a presentation at the Bridgehampton circuit on 12 December 1953, but recent research has thrown this into doubt. Either way, the car was sold in February 1954 to Donald McKnought, living in Clark, New Jersey. McKnought owned a Siata 208 S which was probably taken by Pompeo as part of this transaction.
McKnight took part in several US races in his Maserati, beginning with the Sebring 12 Hours in March. Sharing the car with William Eager, they had a minor off on the 67th lap, forcing them to retire. Once repaired, the car competed in other races, including a class win in May in the „Regional Suffolk County Air Force”, until 24 July 1954 when Donald McKnought had an accident in the car competing in the Brynfyn Tyddyn hillclimb.
Around 1955, McKnought parted with his Maserati, probably unrepaired, and it passed to Fritz Koster, the Director General of Koster & Keunen, a cosmetics company based on Long Island, New York. Fritz Koster owned another Maserati A6GCS, n°2039, and it is unclear whether he repaired n°2053 or used it for parts. According to the historian Karl Ludwigsen, he would „not have raced much with it”.
In 1958, the car sold to brothers Benny and James Diaz, from Sewell, New Jersey. They ran a workshop and proceeded to restore and modify the car, adding a roll-cage concealed by the headrest, a new exterior rearview driver’s side mirror and removing Fiandri’s original radiator grille. Driven by Benny Diaz, the car took part in various races between April and November 1959, winning several class podium places.
During the winter 1959 – 1960, the two brothers replaced the original engine with a V8 Chevrolet Corvette engine and gearbox, which often happened in the US as it made the car easier to run and maintain. They also fitted a Dana 44 (Mopar) rear axle. The car competed in this configuration between June 1960 and May 1961, achieving two class wins on the circuit at Vineland. In period reports, the car sometimes appeared as a „Corvette-Maserati”.
In 1961, it sold to Gus Buscham, of Iona, New Jersey, who loaned it to Jim Kinsler as a reference model for his own car n°2071. He is also thought to have carried out some work on 2053.
In 1964, Gus Buscham decided to sell the car, and in the 26 September 1964 issue of the magazine Competition Press, there was an advert stating: „magnificent coachwork, V8 Chevie engine, you can buy it without the engine, factory compliant Maserati suspension, apart from the Studebaker 3.70 positraction axle adapted to the Maserati axle.”
The car sold in June 1965, minus the engine, to Louis Casazza, an old friend of Buscham’s. Casazza fitted another V8 Chevrolet engine, new front springs, a new roll-cage and dashboard. He raced it for a while before fitting an MGB windscreen and using it to drive to work. While researching the car, Louis Casazza made contact with Francis Mandarano, owner of „Maserati Information Exchange” and the publisher of the magazine Viale Ciro Menotti. Casazza discovered that Mandarano had just come back from Italy with an engine that was correct for the car. He wanted 100 000 $ for it, however, which Louis Casazza couldn’t afford. Realising that he wouldn’t be able to restore the car properly, Casazza ended by selling it to Mandarano, in August 1989, without the engine. Although Mandarano later claimed to have installed the original 2053 engine, the one he actually fitted was a new engine, probably built by Lunoa Nunelli or Modena Motori, in Modena. As the original gearbox had disappeared, Mandarano installed a A6G-2000 box, the type used in road-going models during the 1950s. In October 1992, the car appeared on the cover of Viale Ciro Menotti and Francis Mandarano continued to drive it at Maserati events until 1994-1995.
In 1995, he sold the car to Japanese collector Hiroshi Kobayashi, who sent it to Epifani Restorations, in California, for a major overhaul and to have certain incorrect details put right. He used the car in touring events in the US, such as the Colorado Grand. In August 1998, it was offered for sale by Fantasy Junction, in Emeryville, California, and was acquired the following year by Julio Palmas from Texas. He had further work carried out by Epifani Restorations. It was at this point that the gearbox was replaced with an A6GCS version „which could use period parts” and the American rear axle housing was replaced with a correct part manufactured in Italy.
This Maserati A6GCS then passed into the hands of Bruce Canepa (2004-2006), Peter Hosmer (2006-2007) and Craig Davis who sold it in 2012 to the current owner.
For information, A6GCS n°2067 was bought new by the amateur driver Bruno Venezian, and took part in 1954 in the Mille Miglia and the Naples and Imola GP races. Sold by Venezian in 1954, the car then disappeared. At one point engine n°2067 appeared in car n°2062, before being sold to Fantasy Junction by the owner Michael Willms, when he discovered the original engine for his car n°2062 with the collector Fred Simeone.
It is engine 2067 that is installed in this car. The new engine was not bought by the current owner when he acquired the car, as he preferred to have a car with the correct type of period engine.
With regard to the original engine of the car presented here, n°2053, it was sold by the Diaz brothers, through the intermediary Otto Linton, to Karl Ludwidgsen, as a spare engine for A6GCS n°2039. It was then installed by Howard Richelsoph in Gordon Birrell’s car n°2052, and is still there today, although this car has changed hands since.
Thus, the Maserati A6GCS presented has lived the typical life of a race car, and comes with clear and continuous history, which is rare for this type of machine. Having initially had a series of enthusiastic amateur drivers who carried out modifications allowing them to continue enjoying their passion, the car then passed into the world of collectors, rediscovering some kind of integrity. Equipped today with the genuine engine from #2067 that participated in the 1954 Mille Miglia, here is an opportunity to acquire one of the most beautiful racing barchettas of all time. Graceful, lightweight, agile and rare, the Maserati A6GCS is the stuff of dreams for all motor racing enthusiasts. We were enthralled by our test-drive of this car. So light, with unlimited power and ferocious acceleration. Its extraordinary road-holding is a joy to behold. At the end of our test-drive, intoxicated by the experience, all we wanted was to drive this car in the Mille Miglia!
It comes with inspection reports by two marque specialists who have delved into the past, John de Boer and Walter Bäumer. We invite interested clients to consult them.