One Of Four: 1956 Maserati A6G/54 Frua Coupe

The car under consideration here is an unrestored classic born of a legendary marque at the beginning of the postwar Italian automotive renaissance. It is a 1956 Maserati 2000 Gran Sport A6G/54 coupe, chassis number 2140, to be offered at auction by Gooding & Company at their Pebble Beach event in August. Pictures and further information on this stunning survivor can be found here on the Gooding & Company website.

Only 60 of this variety were built by Maserati between 1954 and 1956, which already makes this a rare car. Then one must take into account the bodywork. This one of four A6G/54 coupes bodied by Pietro Frua: chassis numbers 2063, 2103, and 2114 are the others. Of these, only three are known to still exist. Equipped with a 2-liter DOHC inline-6 good for 160 hp and skinned in lightweight aluminum, the coupe would easily have topped out at more than 120 mph. Possibly much more. I encourage our readers to skip to the 1:12 mark in the YouTube video that Gooding has supplied. It’s a shame that they felt a soundtrack was still needed at this point in the video; that exhaust note is really all the music required.

Perhaps just as remarkable is the car’s condition: original and unrestored. Although it is flaking from the body, this Gran Sport wears the same paint now that it did when it was part of Maserati’s exhibition at the 1956 Paris Motor show. In more recent exhibition, the rusty steering column and cracked leather haven’t slowed it down. It’s been shown at several Concours events, winning an award Pebble Beach. This was likely the 2nd place finish in the Postwar Preservation category in 2015 since this is the only mention of a 1956 Frua coupe since the car resurfaced. At that time, the car was considered a barn find. Although I initially doubted, pictures of the Maserati’s previous home exist online– and it looks like a relatively normal if a bit run-down, garage. In fact, the car parked next to the Maserati is even buried under bales of old magazines. Of course, that car looks a lot like a late 50’s or early 60’s Ferrari 250 GT. So yeah, totally normal garage.

All this notwithstanding, this Maserati is a heartbreakingly beautiful piece of rolling art, effortlessly evoking a bygone, perhaps half-mythic era of style and grace. In terms of value, in 2017 a similar Frua coupe sold at auction for a little less than 2.4 million, though that example was restored. In 2018, a more common (if such a word can be used in this context) Berlinetta by Zagato went for 4.5. This car had also been restored. It remains to be seen if the pristine patina of this example drives the price to even more extreme heights. What is certain is that we’ll never see another example of an unrestored A6G/54 go under the gavel– unless, of course, you know the whereabouts of chassis number 2063.

All images copyright and courtesy of Gooding & Company. Photos by Brian Henniker.

WANT ADS

WANTED 1961-1974 Jaguar E Type Contact me if you have an xke or XK Contact

WANTED 1987 Dodge Charger Looking for a 1987 Dodge Shelby Charger GLHS Ready to buy now, serious buyer Contact

WANTED 1966-1970 Dodge W300 W500 Crew Cab Looking for a late 60s Dodge Crew Cab for complete restoration project. Contact

WANTED 1969 Chevrolet Camaro pace car Looking for a 1969 camaro pace car project . She’ll, basket case etc. Contact

WANTED 1974 AMC Gremlin Looking for decent condition preferably stick Contact

Submit Your Want Ad

Comments

  1. Pebblebeachjudge

    Sold in Paris At a full wack sale in February 2015 for $2’300’000, plus I figure another $250,000 in repairs, duty, etc, it’s hard pressed to see it returning the money after 5 years. Nothing fun about a car with old wiring, dead paint And chrome and needing total restoration that will send it up another 400,000 at a wholesale shop. Not an exciting car to drive, better looks of course. Very rare, only 4, but not a Zagato either. Let’s see if the speculator was smarter than Most of us. The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

    Like 18
  2. Pebblebeachjudge

    Sold in Paris in February 2015 for $2’300’000, plus I figure another $250,000 in repairs, duty, etc, it’s hard pressed to see it returning the money after 5 years. Nothing fun about a car with old wiring, dead paint and needing total restoration that will send it up another 400,000 at a wholesale shop. Not an exciting car to drive, better looks. Very rare, only 4, but not a Zagato either. Let’s see if the speculator was smarter than Most of us.

    Like 1
  3. DETROIT LAND YACT

    Gorgeous.
    Budget allowing…I’d make a replica and a roadster…Tesla underpinnings.

    Like 1
  4. Ginga

    Whats that red thingy bopper in the engine compartment ?

    Like 4
    • Fred Veenschoten

      Looks like a horn to me.

      • Ike Onick

        A “rosso athingamaboppoletto” on the order sheet. Very rare option in 1958.

        Like 5
    • DANNY V JOHNSON

      Ginga, that red thing-a-ma-bob is the horn.

  5. Hoss

    Did a mob boss own this car ? Did he get whacked in
    this car ? Looks like bullet holes all over the car.
    Just Kidding !!!

    Like 2
  6. Howie Mueler

    Wow!! Very cool, and original tool kits. Would like to see this restored.

    Like 1
  7. JB

    Very cool article and very cool car! Well done!

    Like 1
  8. Bigbird

    These are very high end cars. Need to restore, set in a exotic car museum and there it be. Not a drivable car, very hard to keep in tune. This reminds of my TR7 Triumph, you could drive it, long or short distance, but the question always came up “will this thing start” to go home. More than not no…..sold at a loss.

    Like 1
  9. DANNY V JOHNSON

    I hope the person that bought this car has deep pockets. As an automotive artist, I find this to be a beautiful design and it deserves to be restored.

    Like 3
  10. Tin Box

    Funny how many comments are ‘can’t drive, no fun to drive’ etc…this thing just completed the Cal Mille – a thousand mile drive around central and Northern California. Sounds pretty usable to me, and no worries about rock chips.
    No fun? Beg to differ on that – I’ve had the pleasure of driving a Zagato and Frua spyder A6GS’s – both very very enjoyable, and the sound. Light, delicate, and quick.

    Like 12
  11. chrlsful

    Y I did the ’50s/60s Italian restores in ’70s to 81or 2..
    YET – never did lambo, maserati, ferrari (lancia, fiat, arbarth, alpha). Many out of good ol Goldies right there in E. MA.

    This one’s pretty nice, condition 3 or 4 compared to the 1s and 2s I got asa kid. Safety ck’n drive – restore, mod, drive sompin I coulda never afforded otherwise – till nother heart stopper… to sell, do it again. Lots of buddies laughed as they had the early muscle. I liked these better ~

    Like 2
  12. DCasey

    That is a beautiful car! I would drive the wheels off that thing.

    Like 3
  13. Martin Horrocks

    This is an ultra well-known story as covered by several people above. How can you describe the car as unrestored? Mechanically, everything has been restored by marque experts. The owner wanted to preserve the look of the car as found (his prerogative, made no sense to me), which also cost huge money as it is probably easier to restore than re-commission at this level.

    Pebble Beach in August is not notorious for bargains……and unless some world event comes along in the meantime, this will make mega money. JayKay has/had one a beautifully restored concours winner, but this ex Banion car will sell better than that.

    Like 1
  14. t-bone BOB

    Asking price $2,500,000 NOT SOLD

Leave a Reply to Pebblebeachjudge Cancel reply

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.

*

Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.