Maserati A6GCS: A Very Nice Sports Racing Car

Last summer at the Tuto Italiano day at the Larz Anderson Museum of Transportation one of the highlights was seeing a Maserati A6GCS sports car.  These are very rare cars as only 16 of these cars were built between 1947 and 1953.  These cars were often entered in sports car races such the Mille Miglia, Targa Florio, and the Le Mans and did well, but they did seem to suffer from reliability problems.

Maserati A6 GCS (12)

Maserati A6GCS

The model designation A6GCS was based on the first letter “A” of Alfieri Maserati, “6” for six cylinder engine, “G” for ghisa (Italian for cast iron), “C” from the Italian word Corsa for racing, “S” for Sport.

Maserati A6 GCS (2)

Most Of The Maserati A6GCS Cars Left The Factory With Only The Single Central Headlight

A works entered Maserati A6GCS won the first race it entered when Alberto Ascari won the Circuit of Modena race in September 1947.  Later that year, in October, both Alberto Ascari and Luigi Villoresi retired from the Turin Grand Prix due to gearbox issues.

Maserati A6 GCS (3)

The Maserati A6GCS Was A Race Car Thinly Disguised As A Sports Car

The Maserati A6GCS was raced as part of a works sponsored team or cars that were sold to “gentlemen racers”.  The selling price for these cars was about $13,500US, which was considered as a good deal at that time for a legitimate sports racing car.

Maserati A6 GCS (7)

The Maserati A6GCS Came With A Trunk

The 1,978cc 6-cylinder engine originally came from an A6 touring car that had 65 horsepower at 4,700 rpm.  The A6GCS engine was modified to produce 130 horsepower at 6,000 rpm.  The engine had a single overhead camshaft, just two valves per cylinder, three Weber carburetors, and a 11.1 compression ratio.  The car weighed just 672 kilograms or 1,480 pounds, so the car had good performance.  The reported top speed was 118 to 127 miles per hour.

Maserati A6 GCS (4)

The 1,978cc Maserati A6GCS Engine

The interior is rather spartan.  On the dash, I see a Mille Miglia decal.  In 1948, Maserati entered a A6GCS in the Mille Miglia driven by Alberto Ascari, but he had to retire.  In 1953 Mantovani finished 6th Overall and Giletti finished 10th Overall (1st and 2nd in class) and in 1954 Musso/Zocca finished 3rd Overall and Venezian/Orlandi were 5th Overall (2nd and 3rd in Class) at the Mille Miglia race.  So the Maserati A6GCS had a good record in this famous road race.  Today these cars are often seen in the Mille Miglia rally.

Maserati A6 GCS (8)

The Interior of the Maserati A6GCS Is Spartan

The Maserati A6GCS had a four-speed transmission.  The image below shows that the shifter has a gate to differentiate the gear positions.  Also note the pad on the body brace to eliminate the pressure point on the passenger’s leg.

Maserati A6 GCS (5)

The Maserati A6GCS Seats Two But It Is Not Spacious

It was a pleasure to see this car.  It was very impressive and not surprisingly, it generated a lot interest.  Too bad the owner never started it up, so we could hear the sound of that engine.

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