The A6G/54, unveiled at the Paris Auto Show in 1954, represented the ultimate evolution of the A6 series, Maserati’s first postwar sports car. Developed from the highly successful A6GCS sports racing cars and the earlier single-cam A6 road car, the A6G/54 was an exclusive gran turismo; its fine engineering and exquisite attention to detail embodied the very best qualities of the Maserati marque.
Based on a lightweight tube-frame chassis, the A6G/54 borrowed a variety of features from the A6GCS, including many of its race-proven braking, steering, and suspension components. At the heart of the car was a gorgeous, all-aluminum twin-cam six-cylinder engine that Gioacchino Colombo had originally developed for racing. In order to create a more civilized dual-purpose car, Maserati engineer Vittorio Bellentani altered the original design, implementing wet sump lubrication, chain-driven camshafts, and a revised valve train.
Equipped with three Weber 40 DCO3 carburetors, and available with an optional twin-plug cylinder head, the A6G/54 was among the best performing sports cars of its era. Famed automotive journalist Hans Tanner, in testing an A6G/54 for Motor Racing, found that the new Maserati offered “instantaneous acceleration, faultless roadholding and excellent handling.”
In typical Maserati practice, several different body styles were commissioned for the A6G/54 chassis. While Allemano and Frua offered luxurious bodies designed for road use, Carrozzeria Zagato of Milan constructed a series of berlinettas out of lightweight aluminum for customers who demanded that their Maserati be capable of winning races.
In total, 21 Zagato Berlinettas were built during 1955 and 1956, with the limited production distinguished by at least three distinct body styles. These Maseratis were potent, well-rounded sports cars, and they excelled in the two-liter GT category. With competition primarily in the form of Zagato-bodied Fiat 8Vs and Alfa Romeo 1900s, the A6G/54 Berlinettas were frequently raced in Italian hill climbs and major events such as the Mille Miglia.