According to factory records supplied by the ever-helpful Maserati expert Ermanno Cozza, this desirable car left the factory on February 22, 1957, and was delivered new to Maserati’s California dealer, M. Rezzaghi. Records show that the car was next owned in 1959 by M.C. Valdez of San Diego and further evidence shows that it was owned by William Victor Hahn, also of San Diego, from June 1972 onwards. Claudio Zampoli of 1990’s Cizeta Moroder 18-cylinder fame then owned it for a decade, during which it sat apart in his Los Angeles dealership before he sold it to Oliver Kuttner, a well-known aficionado of Italian exotica.
In 1987 it was purchased by Jay Jessup, who described its condition at the time as a rolling basket case. The body was in primer and showed no evidence of any accident damage—not the slightest door ding in fact—and there was no rust in the frame. Restoration began and all missing parts were either located or made to be as close to the original as possible.
As the car’s rarity and appeal became clear, the previous goal of simply turning it into a runner was upgraded to a full-blown restoration. The process was assigned to Rob Stewart, a very experienced and meticulous Charlottesville, Virginia, area restorer who traveled to England to examine another Frua Spider, S/N 2123, to help with this restoration.
Once the restoration was completed in 1993, the car was awarded no less than that year’s First in Class at Pebble Beach, First in Class at Reading in 1994 and again at Meadow Brook the same year.
The car then took a break from the concours stage before reappearing at the 2000 Monterey weekend at the Maserati celebrations around the Monterey Peninsula. As the venerable Pebble Beach Concours office has a rule that no car should be re-admitted during a 10-year time span, the owner did not expect to partake in 2000. However, two months before the show the Concours staff called, explaining that the car’s presence was very much desired. It did very well in the Concours, finishing third in class despite the now older repaint and the briefest of pre-Concours preparation. The presence of just-restored, exceptional Maseratis from all over the world made the result that much better. The car was seen that memorable weekend by the current owner, himself a Concours champion, and a deal was struck to purchase it.
The condition today is still extremely good and the car has immense visual presence. The panel fit is excellent and the bodywork smooth and graceful. With immaculate chromework and polished Borrani wire wheels, the Maserati is both pretty and purposeful. The interior has been fully retrimmed. The red painted dash and machine-turned aluminum instrument binnacle with Jaeger gauges have very strong visual appeal. The odometer shows just 802 miles, which is probably the distance the car has traveled since the restoration was completed.