Beautiful. Elegant. Purposeful. I’ve caught myself fantasizing about this particular variation on the Maser A6GCS since it got so much camera time in the BBC2 program, The Real Italian Job: James Martin’s Mille Miglia. While the program is a fairly poor trip through the contemporary Mille Miglia Rally, and the chef’s Maser gave out far too early to really see the beautiful sights of the Mille, there is a shining highpoint that made the program well worth watching: the absolutely captivating A6GCS. Although the dealer doesn’t mention it, this car appears to be the very example featured in the program—notice the Mille Miglia rally number featured on the car here, James Martin’s car bore the same number.
Maserati created a variety of different sportscars under the A6 model designation, from rather luxurious coupes to open-top enclosed-fender sportscars. This stripped-down, (mostly) open wheel variant though is, for me, the title holder. She’s absolutely marvelous, looking something like a machine that somehow successfully combines the Formula Car, Sportscar, and Hot Rod. There’s nothing here that doesn’t need to be, there are no dramatic design flourishes—it is the very essence of form following function.
This example, chassis #2006, is currently among the stock of London dealer Cars International Kensington. One of only 3 of this variant made, she was supplied new to Baron Nicola Musmeci in May, 1948. The Baron wasted no time preparing the car for the Targa Florio the following March, where it placed 4th. He repeated the trip around Sicily the following year, bringing this little machine home in 5th place. The car also raced as a Formula 2 car with the passenger seat blocked out and the road equipment stripped out, and even entered the Mille Miglia in 1951.
Musmeci apparently didn’t tire from the car after the string of successes because the car didn’t change hands until 1972. Sadly the next owner largely mothballed it after a body restoration, and we haven’t seen it on the track until Cars International, after acquiring the car (presumably for Martin) in 2007, entered her in the 2008 Mille Miglia. It has since been restored again, this time with a complete engine rebuild as well. Count ’em. That’s 3 owners since 1948. The James Martin program went into some detail about James buying this car, but was Cars International the “owner”? When Cars International says they “acquired” the car, they did so on Martin’s behalf? This is all assuming I’m right and that this is indeed the James Martin car, which seems more than likely.
I’ve been obsessing about this car for quite some time now, even pouring over this Gilco chassis construction diagram. Why should I let my non-existant welding skills get in the way of building my dream? After all, I’m going to assume it’s HIGHLY unlikely that one of these will come available in my price range any time soon.
More photos and information on the dealer’s info page.