|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.)