n total, Carrozzeria Frua completed fewer than 20 bodies for Maserati’s A6G/2000 chassis. Although the Frua spiders may garner greater recognition, the beautifully styled Berlinettas were featured in Maserati’s official catalog and offered a unique blend of sporting and grand touring characteristics. Today, these rare Maseratis appear fresh, modern and utterly distinctive when compared with other 2-liter Italian sports cars of the period. Chassis 2114 was completed by Gilco — the company assembling bare chassis frames for Maserati and Ferrari — in mid-1955 and subsequently delivered to the Maserati works in Modena, Italy, where it was mated with the A6G/54’s beautiful twin-plug, dual overhead camshaft engine. According to facsimiles of the original factory build sheets, 2114 was equipped with the finest Italian high-performance accessories, including Marelli coils, Weber carburetors, outside-lace Ruote Borrani wire wheels, Abarth exhaust and the latest Pirelli Stelvio tires. In total, it is believed that just four Frua Berlinettas in this style were completed; yet because of subtle variations in detail and trim, each body was essentially a one-off design. Shown at the 42nd Annual Paris Auto Salon on Maserati’s stand, on December 9, 1955, this car was invoiced to official Maserati importer Simone & Thepenier in Paris. By year’s end, Garage Mirabeau sold the exclusive Maserati to its first owner, Grueder Setbon. The sports car was certainly cherished by Setbon, remaining with the family for approximately 25 years. In 1980, Richard Crump was able to purchase the Maserati, selling it four years later to Anthony MacLean, a Swiss collector with a passion for coachbuilt Maseratis and Lancias. MacLean commissioned a comprehensive mechanical rebuild, then traded the car as a partial exchange against an A6GCS sports racer. The Berlinetta remained in storage for a decade. In 1999, U.K. collector Andrew Green bought it and commissioned a ground-up restoration from Bill McGrath. Between 2000 and 2002, the Frua Berlinetta underwent a painstaking restoration. Throughout, a concerted effort was made to restore the car while remaining faithful to the original techniques of construction. With cosmetic work well under way, attention was turned to a mechanical rebuild. As the owner intended to participate in tours and rallies, McGrath installed a new crankshaft and connecting rods along with custom-made valve guides and reprofiled camshafts. A Weber specialist rebuilt the original 36 DO4 carburetors, cast new choke levers and machined new jets for smooth, consistent operation. The engine block — presumed to be an original factory replacement unit — did not display a serial number, so the owner requested that it be stamped 2114/2. The exacting restoration effort culminated with a well-deserved First Prize at the Maserati Club Annual Concours d’Elegance at Stanford Hall on May 26, 2002. In 2003, the A6G/2000 was displayed at Goodwood and at the Maserati Club U.K. exhibition at the Classic Car Show at Birmingham’s NEC, where it was awarded the Special Prize. Later that year, it was sold to famed Jamiroquai front man and passionate car enthusiast Jason “Jay” Kay. Unlike many collectors who rarely use or display their prized automobiles, Kay is a firm believer in driving all his cars and participating in the classic car hobby. Not only has this splendid Maserati received a number of prestigious concours awards and participated in the most exclusive classic car rallies, it has a file that supports its fascinating history and noteworthy pedigree. With copies of the original Maserati build sheet, a comprehensive restoration file, registration records, a driver’s handbook and a FIVA carte d’identité, this A6G/2000 is impressively documented and primed for new adventures.  

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1955 Maserati A6G/2000 Berlinetta
Number Produced:59 (all bodies)
Original List Price:N/A
Tune Up Cost:$1,500
Chassis Number Location:Stamped on the chassis, as well as on a small plate spot-welded to front cross member
Engine Number Location:Rear of the block, between camshafts
Club Info:Maserati Club International

IThis car, Lot 23, sold for $1,650,000, including buyer’s premium, at the Gooding & Company Pebble Beach Auction on August 18, 2012.

I’m going to start this profile with the bottom line. This magnificent Maserati, one of my favorite cars anywhere and anytime, was hammered sold exactly on the low estimate of $1.5m, against a high estimate of $2m. As such, I feel this car was one of the great bargains of the Monterey sales week and that the new owner has grabbed a true pearl. Well bought.

Now that we’ve cleared the room of those who just don’t get it, the rest of us can pull our chairs closer together and bask in the glory of this remarkable car.

Practically everyone I know, including myself, has for decades chanted the lament, “Why, oh why aren’t Maseratis better appreciated? Why are they so discounted against (insert your choice of marque)?” Well, it is often true that the market is driven by opinions, rumors, deeply held “facts,” misinformation and just plain ignorance rather than objective truths and personal experience.

A different kind of drive

It’s seldom a good idea to compare the dynamics of high-performance cars of the 1950s with those of today. It’s that kind of thinking that results in the conventional wisdom of “all those cars drive like trucks with no brakes.” They don’t, of course, but they simply require a completely different style of driving, in which the driver has to be an active participant in the effort. You have to plan ahead which gear you will be using for the next corner or hill, use engine braking as much — if not more than — the foot brake, and not be dependent on wide sticky tires to make you look good, but be able to feel the limit of adhesion and use gentle drifts around corners.

As a contradiction to the notion that rare equals valuable, some opine that Maseratis of this era are not more valuable because so few were made and so their profile is almost invisible. But comparing them with the production numbers of contemporary Ferraris, we see that’s not the case.

Ferrari 250 Europas, with 52 built, trade in the $700k–$900k range, while the 410 Superamericas, of which there were 37 made, bring from $1.6m to $3m. There were 59 A6G/2000 cars built, and they were the Modenese firm’s first attempt to build a streetable GT car.

For both Ferrari and Maserati, true regular production was still a few years away, but the 250 Europa and the A6G/2000 were proof that the need for regular cash from wealthy private customers to support factory racing was pressing.

With bodies from Allemano, Zagato and Frua, prices of these cars range from $500k to $1.7m. And while the Zagato and the much rarer Frua cars are certainly sexy, the rather understated appeal of the “businessman’s express” Allemano coupes continues to capture more and more adherents — including me.

Easy entry into any rally, event or tour

Noted U.K. Maserati specialist Bill McGrath superbly restored our subject car a decade ago. Not only were the paint, interior and bright trim done to top standards, but the mechanicals were rebuilt — with sensitive upgrades — to ensure strong, reliable event performance.

A concours winner, this car has also competed successfully in the Mille Miglia Storica. So, here’s an example of a Maserati, with a superb — but certainly settled — restoration with a replacement engine block that brought the top-of-the-range price. That doesn’t sound like an underappreciated car to me. In fact, it is representative of a healthy trend I am seeing in the market — that cars are being judged by their inherent and intrinsic appeal, and people are willing to spend what is required to obtain the best example of a car that meets their needs and desires.

Although there are four Frua coupes on the A6G/2000 chassis, all have slight variations, so they might be more accurately called one-offs. When you understand that the 1,400 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwings are now approaching $1m and that this Maserati can get you into every concours, rally and tour you want to enter, the value appears ever clearer to see.

This Maserati is beautiful, has been maintained well enough since the restoration that it is more than presentable, and it is sorted for miles of driving enjoyment. In short, it’s the ideal for which most of us yearn — a capable car that looks good and drives even better, with no fears of falling leaves or a newly oiled road. With relatively little effort it could once again be freshened for the show circuit if so desired, but I’d like to think the new owner will put a few more thousand aggressively driven miles on it before that happens. ?
(Introductory description courtesy of Gooding & Company.)

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