The Maserati driven by Moss
In the hierarchy of Maserati’s A6G/2000, chassis number 2102 stands proud as the second car of its series and the very first A6G/2000 bodied by Zagato as a berlinetta. Finished in red with black seats, the car is easily identifiable in period photos, boasting a front grille with a large trident surrounded by chrome trim. It is also identifiable by its single front and rear bumpers without air outlets, typical of the first series cars.
Likely used by Maserati for testing in 1955, its first race was at the 7th Rallye des Sestriere 1956 with Attilio Buffa and Gino Munaron, wearing race number 56. It faired well through the early stages of the event, finishing 1st on stages at Imola and 2nd at the Modena Autodromo, but was forced to retire due to gearbox problems. It then raced again at the Trofeo Torricelle with Giseppe Musso, brother of Maserati factory racing driver Luigi Musso. After a very rainy race, Musso finished 10th in class.
One week later, chassis number 2102’s next event was a Monza, but unfortunately neither driver nor result are known. Afterwards, the A6G/2000 was catapulted onto a far bigger stage when it was used by Maserati as a practice car for the Mille Miglia. It was tested by several drivers including the legendary pair of Sir Stirling Moss and Denis Jenkinson. Fresh from their record-breaking win with Mercedes-Benz the year before, Moss and Jenkinson drove the car extensively, and Jenkinson’s thoughts on it were chronicled in the June 1956 issue of Motorsport magazine:
Everything about it was pure racing car, the steering being light and positive…gear changing was great fun…There was quite a lot of exhaust noise…while the smoothness of the six-cylinder engine impressed me enormously…I handed the car over the Moss…without exceeding 5,500 rpm (98 mph), we soon discovered we were averaging a higher speed round the course than we had done in practice last year with a 300 SL Mercedes-Benz…the little Maserati was so much more manageable.
After Moss and Jenkinson finished practicing with the car, it was noted that a new engine, gearbox, and rear axle were fitted in preparation for the main event. For the event it wore race number 318 and was piloted by Arnaldo Bellini with journalist Nicolo Carosio, as co-driver. The pair finished in 117th overall and 25th in class in a race plagued by heavy rain. After the Mille Miglia, the car remained at Maserati’s facilities in Modena for at least a year, where it was modified with air outlets in both fenders and repainted. It was sold from the factory in February 1959 to Carlo Peroglio of Turin, the first private owner.
Maserati’s A6G/2000 chassis and drivetrain proved to be an excellent underpinning for one of Zagato’s most memorable creations. This is clearly evidenced by Denis Jenkinson’s own remarks on this very car.
RM Sotheby's will be offering this beautiful 1955 Maserati A6G/2000 Berlinetta Zagato at their upcoming Villa Erba auction held on the 25th May. For more information on this and other vehicles at the sale, click on the link below. Photos: Stephan Bauer ©2019 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's.