The things you learn with this hobby! You cruise eBay, looking for interesting and affordable cars. Scroll through page after page of almost-bargains until something catches your eye. Like this 1/43 Maserati A6GCS/53 Berlinetta by Leo Models. Kind of cool looking with those side-pipes, and my collection lacks any Maseratis, so why not? Free shipping from China to boot!
And just look at the nice packaging, with taped foam to protect the finish and a classy Maserati box.
So after shooting a bunch of pics last night I started digging in to the history of the car. The 1953 A6GCS was derived from the A6, and was powered by a short-stroke, double ignition, 2-liter inline six that could rev up to 7300 rpm and produce 170 bhp. The “G” stands for Ghisa, cast iron block, and “CS” for Corsa and Sport, meaning it was intended to be raced in events like the Mille Miglia.
This particular car (chassis 2056) was one of six chassis that Rome dealer Giuglielmo Dei acquired and then commissioned Pininfarina to complete four cars. The base plate for this model indicates it was driven in the 1954 Giro di Sicilia by Gravina and Prizzi. So off to the Internet for more research on Gravina and Prizzi.
The 1954 Giro di Sicilia, held on April 4th, started with 171 cars contesting the 1088 km course. Curiously racingsportscars.com only lists Paolo Gravina as the driver of this A6GCS and shows no finish place. But supercars.net illuminates the tragic story of Chassis 2056 in one terse paragraph:
2056 – Crashed by Gravina during the Giro di Sicilia in 1954 and killed co-driver. Abandoned by the factory and restored by Carrozzeria Campana in 1991, it has been seen at the Maserati Museum and the Maserati Exhibition in 1998.
As for poor Prizzi, I couldn’t find any further information: can any LaLD readers shed further light on him?
This model features a nicely finished interior, complete with a chromed filler tube and a detailed dash.
Looking through my stash of driver figures for those with period correct open-face helmets, I found this navigator but had to perform radical surgery (no anesthesia!) to make him fit.
So in Prizzi’s honor, here are a few shots from the 1954 Giro do Sicilia: