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A6 1500 GT Zagato Coupe
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  Maserati A6 1500 GT Zagato Coupe      

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Country of origin:Italy
Produced from:1946 - 1950
Numbers built:61 (all versions)
Designed by:Zagato
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:January 25, 2010
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Click here to download printer friendly versionAfter the factory had moved to Modena in 1940, the relationship between owner Adolfo Orsi and the Maserati brothers had quickly deteriorated, but they were bound by contract to work for the company they founded in until 1947. Fortunately their enthusiasm and dedication made sure their work did not suffer from the difficulties. While most of the Orsi family's factories were virtually destroyed in the second world war, the Maserati works suffered only minor damage, so production could begin shortly after the violence was over.

During the War the Maserati brothers continued the development work, which concentrated around a new six cylinder engine. In remembrance of their late brother Alfieri, the new engine was known internally as the A6. Simplicity of the design was key, as the engine was intended for a production car; the initial fixed cylinder head was quickly discarded because the performance advantage did not make up for the increased complexity. A novel feature was the valvetrain, which used rockers to actuate the valves and allowed for easy valve adjustments. In 1946 two conventional oval-tube frames were constructed for the new 1500 cc engine. The chassis were suspended by wishbones at the front and a live axle at the rear.

Pinin Farina was commissioned to body the first chassis while Zagato was responsible for the second chassis. Dubbed the '1500 Gran Turismo', the new car debuted at the 1947 Geneva Motorshow with the Pinin Farina Berlinetta body. Similar in design to the legendary Cisitalia coupes, the new Maserati was an obvious highlight of the show. A year later at the Turin show, a slightly more civilized, but equally appealing Pinin Farina design was debuted, which would form the basis of the production cars.

With only 65 bhp available the small two seater was no stormer and in 1949 the factory debuted a more powerful engine. Triple Webers, higher compression, a more aggressive camshaft and an adjusted timing increased the power to 90 bhp. Four more cars were equipped by the factory with the '3C' package and a large number of the other cars were later retrofitted with the package. Overall performance was definitely increased, but at the end of 1950 the Maserati brother's last design was replaced by a more powerful 2-litre version of the 'six'.

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  Article Image gallery (14) 052 Specifications