Fascinating monograph of one of Maserati’s glorious racing models recounted across 16 pages that feature classic photographs and exclusive testimonies.
The original A6G had a relatively short commercial life, due in part to a lack of horsepower, however Maserati remedied the situation with a new straight-six short-stroke engine, with chain-driven double overhead camshafts, derived to some extent from the A6GCS sports racing cars and A6GCM Formula 2 single seaters. With a displacement of 1,985 cc and fed by three carburettors, the engine developed 150 hp at 6,000 rpm (increased to 160 hp with twin-plug ignition from 1956), propelling the car to an impressive 210 km/h (131 mph) thanks to long gearing and Zagato’s lightweight body.
The A6G/54 was offered in the company’s sales brochure with four different body styles including coupé and spyder designs by Frua and a more formal coupé design by Allemano. 60 cars were built in total in just over three years but, interestingly, 20 were sold with the fourth option, Zagato’s competition-oriented coupé style. Most of the early examples were sold abroad while, from 1956 onwards, several went to Italian privateers who raced the model extensively in hill-climbs, long-distance road races and track events. Maserati’s technical refinement and Zagato’s relentless quest for aerodynamic purity resulted in the ultimate racing berlinetta of the 1950s, which competed convincingly in the 2 litre GT class, taking top honours in the 1956 Italian championship and racking up a number of hill-climb class victories right up until the early 1960s.