Unique 1956 Maserati A6G/54 Zagato to Star at Concours of Elegance in Under Two Months’ Time

The Concours of Elegance is delighted to announce that a spellbinding 1956 Maserati A6G/54 Zagato Berlinetta has joined the lineup for this year’s show. This exceptionally rare car – a stand-out example of Italian automotive artistry and engineering brilliance – will star alongside over 60 of the world’s most significant motor cars, all drawn from the leading private collections around the globe. The event, which is firmly established as Europe’s premier Concours d’Elegance, will return to the stunning grounds of Hampton Court Palace from 30th August to 1st September for an automotive extravaganza like no other.

Regarded as one of the most exclusive sports cars of the post-war era, the Maserati A6G/54 Zagato offered a compelling blend of coachbuilt elegance and highly-strung motorsport derived performance. Out of a production run of some 60 A6G/54 models, only 20 were designed by Carrozzeria Zagato, with the remaining examples styled by Allemano and Frua. Zagato’s bespoke Berlinettas were all hand-crafted between 1954 and 1957, featuring a shapely and extremely lightweight aluminium body, along with the now distinctive “double-bubble” roof.

These elegant aluminium Berlinetta bodies were cloaked over mechanicals that were closely related to the completion cars of the day, offering a compelling cocktail of style and motorsport capability to contemporary buyers. Under the bonnet, the A6G/54 was powered by a 2.0-litre, dual overhead camshaft inline-six engine, derived from Maserati’s renowned A6GCS and A6GCM competition cars. Featuring three Weber carburettors and a twin-spark ignition system, the motor delivered a potent 160bhp, putting it right at the sharp end of the performance car world in the mid 1950s. The car’s sophisticated mechanical setup also included independent front suspension, hydraulic drum brakes, and Borrani wire wheels, all designed to enhance its performance on both road and track.

The car that will be on display at Hampton Court later this summer is chassis number 2155 – believed to be car 17 of the 20 Zagato Berlinettas built. It was originally delivered by Maserati to Zagato for its coachwork to be completed on April 15, 1956. It was duly completed and returned to the Maserati factory by early summer, before being delivered to its first owner, Luigi Fornasari, a notable racer of the time. Fornasari received the car just a few days before the 1956 Mille Miglia began, and formed up on the starting line with the bodywork still entirely unpainted, a striking look that accentuated the Maserati’s stunning aluminium coachwork.

On the day of the race, Fornasari set off from Brescia well before dawn and ran well through the early morning until he encountered rain-lashed roads in Ravenna. The sculptural, bare aluminium Maserati came off the road and landed on its roof. Fornasari wasn’t hurt but the car was significantly damaged and was retired. After the race, it was swiftly sent back to Zagato to be repaired, when it was painted in Silver Metallic and fitted with a more modest radiator opening and striking, lowered headlights. A bespoke alloy trim, a flash of metal from front bumper to door handle, capped off the new design, and it is the only known A6G/54 Berlinetta by Zagato to feature this embellishment.

Following its rebuild, the car changed hands several times, passing through owners like Roberto Federici and Gianfranco Peduzzi, and competing in various European hill climbs and races throughout the late 1950s. By the 1980s it had been repainted in red, and equipped with covered headlights, appearing at concours events and shows around the world. In 2000 this precious Maserati underwent a comprehensive restoration, returning it to its original 1950s configuration.

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