Automotive beauty, as we all know, lies in the eyes of the beholder, its subjectivity giving rise to countless discussions and even arguments among car aficionados. Some cars, however, are so beautiful that they transcend discussion and argument, and are appreciated by all as the epitome of exquisite car design. We think the Maserati A6GCS/53 Berlinetta falls into that class.
The design is infallible from any angle, from the large oval grille-adorned front with the massive Maserati trident, along the gently sloping hood and fenders, over the low roof with the wrap-around windscreen, to the taut, almost austere tail end. The wrap-around windscreen and the massive brake drums peeking through the wire wheels mark it as a car from the fifties, but the design is timeless.
Fifty-two A6GCS S/53s were manufactured by Maserati from 1953 to 1955. All were powered by an aluminum inline 6-cylinder, double overhead cam engine displacing just under 2-liters (1985 cc). The engine produced 170 horsepower at 7,300 rpm. A four-speed manual transmission provided the power to the rear wheels.
Forty-eight of these cars were fitted with open Spyder bodies. Some of Maserati’s potential customers expressed an interest in having a car with a coupe body, specifically one designed by Pinin Farina, one of the top carrozzerie (body shops) of the day. However, Pinin Farina had just signed an agreement with Ferrari to be their main body designer and, quite understandably, they were reluctant to work directly with Maserati for fear of offending Mr. Ferrari.
To work around this impediment, Maserati sent six bare chassis to their sales representative in Rome, Guiglielmo Dei, who then personally commissioned Pinin Farina to build coupe bodies for the chassis. The first Pinin Farina A6GCS Berlinetta appeared at the Turin Motor Show, with a sister car debuting at the Paris Motor Show, both to great acclaim. At Rome’s Concorso Internazionale d’Eleganza auto show, a stunning two-tone coupe with an extra-low roof line took home the top prize.
Pinin Farina completed four Berlinettas and returned the two unused chassis to Mr. Dei. Over the years two of the four original Berlinettas were rebodied as Spyders for racing, and the separated bodies found their way onto other Maserati A6GCS/53 chassis. Today, five A6GCS/53s exist, four with original Pinin Farina bodies and one with a replicated body.
The A6GCS/53 Berlinetta: http://www.maserati-alfieri.co.uk/alfieri93.htm
Image by Edvvc