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    Maserati A6 Review (1947 – 1956)

    Overall Summary

    Dusty Cars Rating

    The A6 might be the most significant series of Maserati cars ever produced, not due to its innovative features, but for the fact that it mmade Maserati what it is today. Up until the A6, there was no mass produced road Maserati. The company was already massively successful due to the fact that their racing cars easily competed (and often won) against the likes of Ferrari beasts, but there were no production models that would make Maserati stand out for people who were not familiar with racing.

    The A6 had one incredible advantage compared to most of its rivals. It was not the engines, which were good, but by no means groundbreaking. It was the incredibly lightweight body which made the car far more agile and an absolute joy to drive.

    The A6 was not one car, but rather a series of street and racing models produced from 1946 to 1957. The name A6 came from Alfieri, one of the Maserati brothers, and the number of cylinder of both of the engines used in these cars.

    Speaking of the engines, the displacements were 1.5 l and 2 l and their power ratings varied significantly. However, even the weakest and oldest version of the engine, with only 65 hp was fun to drive due to low weight. However, power was rising over time, so it went all the way up to 197 hp for the A6GCM racing model.

    The different versions of the car were styled by some of the most famous designers in the world, including the likes of Alberto Massimino, Gioacchino Colombo, Ernesto Maserati, Pininfarina, Fiandri, Frua, Zagato and Vignale.

    Driving & Performance

    The car was an absolute joy to drive in every version. The initial model had a SOHC 1.5 l engine with two valves per cylinder and just 65 hp. However, with the speed of 94 mph, it was faster than most other cars with such power rating, since its weight was under 1,000 kg.

    Maserati did not lack funds, so it is very likely that the only reason why they went on to production cars was so that they would qualify for the “Sports car” racing category. This means that the car was geared towards racing, so it had to be incredibly good to drive.

    The A6G which came next had about 100 hp, but the racing car at the time was far more potent, chunking out 197 hp and reaching 150 mph, enough to become a serious competitor for Ferrari. Moreover, this kind of success, lead to the A6GCS/53, which is the most significant A6 road car. The 2 l DOHC produced 170 hp and, with the weight of just 740 kg, reached the top speed of 147 mph, while being able to corner far easier than almost anything else on the road.

    Next one in the A6 bloodline was the A6GCS with the mentioned 2 l engine which had 120 hp. The massive increase in power is even more significant when we know that the car made use of a tubular chassis which dropped weight to just 630 kg, which is incredible even by today’s standards. Add to this that the engine was positioned unusually, allowing for an amazingly low center of gravity and the A6GCS became an absolute wonder. Just imagine if a capable car today suddenly got lower center of gravity, almost twice as much power and almost twice as little weight in just two generations. It would be an absolute beast and this is what the A6GCS was. The top speed rose to about 130 mph. However amazing, the A6GCS was not the most significant A6 – it came after two generations.

    The A6G/54 was the last of the A6 models with the power of 150 hp.

    All of the A6s were incredibly lightweight, and especially after introducing tubular chassis, so their cornering credentials and acceleration were much appreciated. The driving feel was further improved by the precise four-speed gearbox and the soundtrack that you would get from revving the engine higher.

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    Equipment & Comfort

    As opposed to the classic Maserati Ghibli, for example, the A6 was obviously derived from a race car, so the various interiors of the different models all reflected this. Although some of them were significantly different from others, they all had circular instruments, usually scattered around the dashboard. Some models, like the A6G/54 had clocks even in front of the passenger, while most others had them placed more conventionally behind the steering wheel. Fantuzzi’s A6GCS/53 Spyder probably had the most recognizable interior, with a small number of clocks and a few switches in front of the passenger. The inside of this car seemed stripped and devoid of anything but the absolutely necessary, thus adding to the racy feel of the car.

    The seats were very supportive on this model as well, although reassuring side support was common for majority of A6s. Also, seats were usually covered with high-quality leather. The central column usually had a big transmission tunnel which would further widen near the gear lever. Depending on the model again, the doors were more or less plush, ranging from racing bare to elegantly lush with leather upholstery.

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    History & Development

    After a bit more than a decade of notable racing success, Maserati brothers’ hand-built cars were already very famous among car enthusiasts. Moreover, this success brought enough funds for the company and further developments, but the brothers decided to sell it to the Orsi family in 1937. However, they were to stay in the company for 10 more years and the last thing they did was create a completely new straight six engine.

    The 1.5 l unit was not very powerful, with just 65 hp, but the car was successful, mostly due to its incredible driving dynamics stemming from great suspension and low weight.

    The A6G 2000 came in 1950 with a bigger engine of 2 l and 100 hp of power which made it a bit faster (going just over 100 mph), but also far more responsive. Moreover, rear suspension got upgraded using semi elliptic leaf springs.

    Next in line was the A6GCS which brought loads of improvements and led the way towards the most revered A6GCS/53. The improvements included things like a new engine with increased displacement to 2 l and almost twice as much power as the previous model, topping out at 120 hp. The engine also had an off-set position which lowered the center of gravity and made the car far better for cornering. Lastly, and very importantly, the A6GCS had a new tubular chassis which managed to increase rigidity, but also reduce weight to just 630 kg, making this one of the best driver’s cars available at the time.

    The A6GCS/53 came as a Barchetta by Fantuzzi, or a Berlinetta by Pininfarina, the latter often being called the best looking A6. Furthermore, only four of them were made, so it is even more exotic. The power from the 2 l DOHC I6 rose to 170 hp and the speed went all the way up to 147 mph. At the same time, weight remained very low (just 740 kg), so the A6GCS/53 was one of the best driving machines at the time and, until today, the most revered street A6 ever, especially as a Berlinetta.

    The final version was the A6G/54. It was produced from 1954 and it came with a new version of the 2 l engine, originally producing 150 hp. In the final year of production, dual ignition was added and it gave the car 10 hp more. Even though the A6G/54 was an amazing car in every respect, it never really overshadowed the previous version.

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    Facts & Figures

    Body2- door coupe, convertible, fastback
    1.5 l I6 SOHC
    2.0 l I6 DOHC
    Dimensions and weight
    Wheelbase~ 91”
    Length~ 150”
    Width~ 60”
    Height~ 35”
    Weight~1,800 lb
    Maserati A6 years of production
    1947 - 1956
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