1949 Maserati A6 1500
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L. Limited edition cars
. 61 cars produced
World War II represented a watershed for Maserati. Before it produced exclusively Grand Prix cars, afterwards it started to produce also “Gran Turismo” cars a consecrated myth - finally within reach of gentlemen drivers and the dreams of mere mortals. The Maserati A6 were a series of grand tourers, racing sports cars and single seaters made by Maserati in Italy between 1947 and 1956. They were named “A” for Alfieri Maserati (one of the Maserati brothers, founders of Maserati) and “6” for their straight six-cylinders engine. The A6 1500 grand tourer was Maserati's first road car. Its development started in 1940, but it was halted as priorities shifted to wartime production. It was commissioned by Adolfo Orsi, owner of Tridente firms since 1937 when it was taken over by the Maserati brothers. Also, this car is the last project developed by Tridente, which at the time of the sale had signed a ten years pact to provide their technical consultancy. The decision to start building the “Gran Turismo” road car was taken in 1945, and the first two prototypes began testing already in the summer of 1946. The car was presented at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1947, with a Pinin Farina coupé bodywork, named Turismo Coupé with retractable headlights – a solution then abandoned. Pinin Farina hypothesized two different bodies for the first two chassis no. 053 and 054 but the car went into production had a cleaner and more harmonious line, without the applied fenders. The price at the time was 4.5 million LIT. After a difficult start, orders began to grow thanks to the brilliant victories achieved on the tracks. Fame also grew since prototype car, with chassis no. 053 became the personal car of Evita Peron. The A6 1500 was powered by a 1.5 litre (1.488 cc) aluminium and magnesium engine, that was the basis for any racing and street cars produced by Maserati in the following years. The straight six-cylinders engine was named A6 TR (“Testa Riportata” for its detachable cylinder head), was based on the pre-war Maserati 6CM unit and is similar to the A6GCS “monofaro” sports car's 2.0-litre unit. It had a single overhead shaft and a single Weber carburettor, producing 65 hp at 4,700 rpm. From 1949 some cars were fitted with triple carburettors. The chassis frame featured double-wishbone front suspension, derived from racing practice, while at the rear there was a coil-sprung live axle. Top speed, depending on coachwork, was in the region of 146 to 154 km/h. These cars had a lovely combination of performance and luxury that set the pattern for Maserati road cars of later years. The Maserati A6 1500 was produced in 61 units, with chassis numbers from 051 to 0112: two were built in 1946, three in 1947, nine in 1948, twenty-five in 1949 and twenty-two in 1950. They were, for the most part, body-coupé bodied by Pinin Farina, as well as one cabriolet, again by Pinin Farina and a specimen bodied as “Panoramica” by Zagato.
The Maserati A6 1500, chassis no. 078 was completed at the factory in Modena in 1948. On September 8 of that year it was shipped to Pinin Farina for its coachwork. The chassis received a Blu Scuro (Dark Blue) coupe body trimmed with red leather and velour interior. The car was then returned to the factory on April 9, 1949. Three days later this beautiful car was completed and offered for sale. On May 3, 1949, this car was sold to its first owner, Vittorio Giol, a wealthy landowner and winemaker living in San Polo di Piave, Treviso, Italy. His father, Giovanni Piol, a farmer, was emigrated at the beginning of the Nineteen Century in Argentina where, in Mendoza, he established a big winery becoming in a short time, "the king of the wine". Father of 8 sons, he returned back to ltaly and, being very wealthy, in 1919 he purchased the whole village of San Polo in Piave with the castle, the winery (established in 1427) and the vineyards from the Papadopoli family, bankers in Venice. At the time, Vittorio’s brother owned Maserati A6 1500 chassis number 059. Mr. Giol enjoyed chassis no. 078 until 1953 when he sold it to an American, Lemuel R. Ladd, who was stationed in Munich, Germany in the US Army. He is supposed to be the same Lemuel Ladd who was a racing driver before WWII. An important figure in East Coast sports car racing, Lem Ladd was an active member of the Automobile Racing Club of America, an early road racing organization that included automotive luminaries such as the Collier Brothers, Briggs Cunningham, and George Rand. Before WWII, Ladd owned the Oak Hill Garage, Boston’s leading foreign car specialist, and participated in ARCA races with a sports car of his own design – a V-8 powered special called the Old Grey Mare. Ladd parted with the car in 1956, and its whereabouts for the next three years are presently unknown. However it is known that Federico Lambetano of Padua, Italy purchased the car in 1959 and retained it for the next four years. In 1963 this A6 1500 Maserati came into the ownership of David Chopourian of Billerica, Massachusetts. He owned this car for the next forty years. In May of 2003 Chopourian advertised this car for sale in Hemmings Motor News saying that it “Garage find needing full restoration, 35,000 US $ firm.” Following some international correspondence, this car was purchased in 2003 by Pier Angelo Masselli of Italy. In 2008 the car’s restoration was completed by Bluccino (di Baldone Luciano) of Ravenna, Italy. The restoration is well documented, with an accompanying file containing hundreds of photos detailing the entire process. In an effort to improve driveability, a modern five-speed gearbox has since been installed, though the original four-speed Maserati unit accompanies the car. In September 2011 the car received Certificate Number 162 from the Maserati Club Italy. It was shown on the Bluccino stand at the Auto e Moto d’Epoca, Padova, Italy the following month. In 2012 it received a Certificate from the Automobile Club of Italy. In 2012 Masselli sold this A6 1500 to Peter Wiesner of Salzburg, Austria. Wiesner showed the car at Retro Classics in Stuttgart, Germany in March 2012. The next month the car received an FIVA Identity Card, making it eligible for all the important vintage automobile events in the world. And in June of that year the car was the subject of an extensive written appraisal by Franz Steinbacher of Vienna, Austria. In 2013 this Maserati A6 1500 was purchased by Peter Fodor of Los Angeles, California. A most notable event during Peter Fodor’s ownership of this car has been its participation in the 2013 Mille Miglia with co-driver David Osborne. The car has been the subject of meticulous expertise by Maserati expert Adolfo Orsi, who reports numerous documents. The car is now part of an important collection.