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Monday, November 28, 2022

1955 Maserati A6G/54 2000 Spyder by Zagato heads to auction

As Maserati works to rebuild itself, it’s important to remember the things that made this Italian automaker great. Things like this Zagato-bodied 1955 Maserati A6G/54 2000 Spyder, which is heading to auction with RM Sotheby’s which is hosting a sale on August 19 coinciding with Monterey Car Week.

The A6G/54 was the final iteration of a model that launched in 1950. It featured a twin-cam, twin-spark version of the base A6G’s 2.0-liter inline-6, along with aluminum-finned drum brakes. Intended for racing, 60 examples were built through 1957, with 21 getting Zagato bodywork. Even among that small group, the car headed to auction—chassis 2101—is special.

Chassis 2101 was the first of the Zagato-bodied cars, and was built as a more luxurious Spyder rather than a race car. It was also exhibited at the 1955 Geneva Salon, where it caught the eye of Argentinian dictator Juan Perón.

1955 Maserati A6G/54 2000 Spyder by Zagato (photo via RM Sotheby’s)

Perón bought it, but requested modifications that included deleting the original fog lights and oversized Maserati trident badge, while adding a hood scoop and fender vents. The color was also changed from Grigio Piombo (lead gray) to Blu Algisto Scuro (cold dark blue).

By the time these changes were completed, Perón’s regime was crumbling, and the order was cancelled. In its new form, shassis 2101 was exhibited at the 1958 Paris Salon and was sold to American embassy staffer Louis W. Schroeder. Two years later, Schroeder sold the A6G to United States Air Force lieutenant colonel Sherod Santos, who was stationed in France at the time.

Santos sold the Maserati in 1966, and it continued to change hands over the decades. A restoration to its 1958 configuration was completed in 2003, and since then the car has made occasional concours appearances, including at Pebble Beach in 2003 and Villa d’Este in 2013.

1955 Maserati A6G/54 2000 Spyder by Zagato (photo via RM Sotheby's)

1955 Maserati A6G/54 2000 Spyder by Zagato (photo via RM Sotheby’s)

With its unique Zagato bodywork, the A6G/54 2000 Spyder is a classic example of the golden age of Italian coachbuilding. That’s why it’s expected to command between $4.5 million and $5.5 million at auction.

Maserati is now going electric, undertaking the biggest revamp of its lineup in years and even returning to racing in Formula E and the European GT2 series. But coachbuilt cars aren’t part of the modern automotive industry.

Monterey Car Week runs Aug. 12-21 in and around Monterey, California. It culminates with the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on Aug. 21. For our full coverage, head to our dedicated hub.

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