Road racing was very popular in 1950s Italy, with the Mille Miglia as the annual highlight. Many of the major Italian manufacturers provided race-bred sports cars for their rich customers to campaign in the 1000 mile event. Most of these racers were roadsters but after the rain-soaked 1952 edition of the race, the demand for fixed-heads increased.
For the 1953 season Maserati produced a revised version of their 2 litre A6 sportscar. The previously used engine was replaced by a F2 derived DOHC twin spark engine. This was Maserati's first short-stroke engine, resulting in a stunning 7300 rpm red-line. The chassis was the same as used in the old GCS. Factory coachbuilder Fantuzzi had penned an all enveloping roadster body.
Some of Maserati's customers expressed interest in a Pinin Farina designed berlinetta body for their A6 GCS/53. There was no way that Maserati could directly commision Pinin Farina to fit the chassis with bodies, as the Turin based company had just closed a co-production deal with Enzo Ferrari. Long time Rome based Maserati dealer Giuglielmo 'Mimmo' Dei was supplied with 6 bare A6 GCS/53 chassis. He commisioned Pinin Farina to fit them with elegant berlinetta bodies. Eventually four of the six chassis were fitted with Pinin Farina designed bodywork. All of which survive in one form or another today.
Featured is s/n 2060, the star of a 2002 Bonhams auction, where it failed to meet its reserve. It was signed off on September 28th 1954 to Dei. After it was fitted with a Pinin Farina body, it was displayed at that year's Turin Motorshow on the Pinin Farina stand. It's jaw-dropping looks were awarded in June 1954, when a sister car took top-honours in the Rome 'Concorso Internazionale d'Eleganza.' After its Turin appearance 2060 was raced by Dei's Scuderia Centro Sud racing team. For unknown reasons it was converted to Spider-form with a bodywork by Fiandri. Pinin Farina's body was discarded. The same happened to Dei's s/n 2057.
For a period it was campaigned by Scuderia Centro Sud, after which it was sold to German collector Count Doenhoff in the 1960s. In the mean time the body was acquired by Francesco Giardini, who needed a replacement-body for his crashed barchetta bodied A6 GCS/53, s/n 2089. Count Doenhoff tried to acquire an original body for his chassis, in vain. Eventually he commisioned Church Green Engineering to build a new body for his 2060. One of the other berlinettas was used as a pattern.
Today all four original chassis remain (s/n 2056, 2057, 2059 and 2060), with 2089 being a fifth semi-original Pinin Farina Berlinetta. Passionate Maserati enthusiast Franco Lombardi commisioned Giordemengo to rebuilt a body for his original 2057. After the 20 years restoration project Giordemengo started work on replicas, of which two have been completed.
Due to close cooperation of Ferrari and Pinin Farina, these four were the last Maseratis to be bodied by Pinin Farina. The A6 GCS/53 Pinin Farina Berlinetta remains as one of the best looking GTs ever and arguably the best looking Maserati ever.
This was one of the most expensive cars ever sold at auction. Mainly because of it's rarity but also because of it's alarmingly good looks. A specimine sold in November '96 for a whopping ú2.3m (roughly $3.7m)! All that's missing is a jackpot lottery win.
The car was sold for 950,000 US after the auction.
reserve too high?
Anybody's guess about the reserve made at the auction?