Unique Zagato-bodied Maserati A6G Spyder heads to auction

WORDS: NATHAN CHADWICK PHOTOGRAPHY: RM SOTHEBY’S

A one-of-one 1955 Maserati A6G/54 2000 Spyder is to be put up for sale by RM Sotheby’s at its Monterey auction in August.

One of just 21 Zagato-bodied cars on the A6G/54 chassis, it is the sole example the carrozzeria produced in Spyder form. Chassis 2101 stands out further because it is the only one not built as a racing barchetta, and was presented at the 1955 Geneva Salon in luxurious trim.

The car was finished in Grigio Piombo (lead grey) for the Geneva show, and featured a standard flat hood, unadorned wings, a large chrome trident that spread across the grille and two inset foglamps. It also boasted suede upholstery throughout the cabin.

Its first would-be owner was none other than Juan Perón, the three-time President of Argentina. He wanted the car, but asked for a few changes, including a more standardised grille arrangement, a hood scoop, straked wing vents, a new windscreen and a new colour – Blue Algisto Scuro (cold dark blue).

However, by the time Zagato had finished the work Juan Perón was embattled in a popular revolt and the order was cancelled. The car was stored by Maserati until 1958, and shown at the Paris Salon that year. At this point another politician took a shine to it – an American embassy employee called Louis W Schroeder. He took delivery in April 1959 and promptly drove the car to watch the 1959 Le Mans 24 Hours.

A year later the Spyder was sold to Lieutenant-Colonel Sherod Santos, then serving with the United States Air Force at the Chateauroux Air Station in France. He asked Maserati to rebuild the engine, but was displeased with these efforts and got a French specialist to redo the work. The car followed him to the US but the engine problems persisted, with a new cylinder-head gasket and exhaust valves ordered from the factory.

The car was sold again to an unknown individual, before winding up in the stewardship of George Sackman of California. He kept it for 12 years, and repainted it red. Angelo Ferro, of California, took ownership in 1980, but rarely used the Maserati over the next 20 years. In 2001 Genoa Racing of San Franciso restored the car to Perón specification, a process that took two years.

It then appeared at the 2003 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and won a class award at the 2004 Quail Motorsports Gathering, and Best of Show a year later at Concorso Italiano. It was bought by a British-based collector in the early 2010s, who showed the car at the 2013 Villa d’Este Concorso d’Eleganza and the St James Concours d’Elegance.

Since 2013 the Maserati has been part of the Oscar Davis collection, and has been maintained by Leydon Restorations; as part of this it’s had the correct Autoflux fuel pump fitted, its carbs rebuilt, and its brakes and fuel system refreshed.

No estimate was given at the time of writing, and the car will be going under the hammer between August 19-20, 2022 at RM Sotheby’s Monterey sale.


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