$2.2 Million Bid Declined On A 1953 Maserati
September 6, 2013

$2.2 Million Bid Declined On A 1953 Maserati

Car collectors dish out enormous amounts of cash to get their hands on classics, rare models, and other vintage vehicles. It is common for these vehicles to be sold for $1 or $2 million and, in some cases, upwards of $20 million, as I covered in a recent post.

In co-operation with Top Speed, we can bring you interesting information like this from the automotive world.

In a recent RM auction at Pebble Beach, a bid of $2.2 million was declined because it did not meet the reserve bid on a 1953 Maserati A6GCS/53 Spyder by Fantuzzi, chassis number 2053. However, a similar model did receive a $2.6 million bid at the auction and was sold.

Only 48 Spyder models were made and are valued between $2.5 and $3.5 million.

This particular vehicle had a stellar racing history. In 1955, it sustained some on-track damage, and during the 1960’s it was powered by a Chevrolet engine. Originally, it was a US imported racing machine with the number 42 on its hood and front fender panels. In 1954 it was driven by the legendary Juan Miguel Fangio for its first laps. In 1999 it was returned to America and underwent a six-figure restoration to return the Spyder to showroom condition.

The fenders were tall to accommodate the taller tires used in the racing of that era. The rear wheel wells were lined with aluminum and vented below the taillights. The large fuel tank fit under the entire trunk with a chrome gas filler cap large enough to stick your entire hand into it. The twin exhaust ports were on the driver’s side and each side had access hatches for a quick driver change if needed.

The interior of this Spyder was restored to a bare metal cockpit. It has an oversized steering wheel that assisted the driver in maneuvering the race car around the wild corners of the tracks used in that era. The gauges are authentic turquoise Jaeger Le Couture with porcelain dial faces.

The power was produced by a Dual Overhead Cam 2.0 liter in-line six cylinder, pushing 170 hp and an estimated 148 pound-feet of torque. Three Webber Dual-Choke Carburetors supplied the fuel and it had a Dual Spark ignition.

Performance was estimated at 11.5 second 0-60 mph and top speed at 112 mph. Fuel mileage was estimated at 18 city, 22 highway, and 19 combined.

The history of this Spyder is as follows:

Chassis number 2053 was sold and delivered to Tony Pompeo at P. Ducati Motors in 1953. It was recorded making demonstration laps at Thompson Raceway on December 12, 1953. Then it was sold to a civilian, Don McKnought, early in 1954. He entered it into the 12 hours at Sebring; it only completed 67 laps and did not finish the race.

It was involved in an accident at Brynfan Tyddyn Road Races in Pennsylvania. In 1955 it was sold to Fritz Koster, who also owned another Spyder, chassis number 2039, but raced 2053 very little. It was then sold to James and Ben Diaz who raced it briefly, then removed and sold the engine replacing it with a Chevrolet V-8 and returned it to the track. It was sold to Gus Buscham in 1961 who sold it three years later to Louis Casazza.

Casazza owned chassis 2053 until 1989. He sold it to Frank Mandarano who installed a high performance Maserati engine to match the chassis. He also vowed to return the car to its original look.

In 1995 it was purchased by a collector named Hiroshi Kobayashi. In 1999 it was returned to the US after Dr. Julio Palmaz purchased it and restored it to its original condition at an estimated cost of $200,000.

In 2003, Peter Hosmer acquired chassis 2053 and in 2006 it was purchased by the current owner.

Image Credit: RM Auctions via TopSpeed.com

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