Painstaking Final Preparations on Classic Maserati for Villa d’Este
Photography by Rémi Dargegen for Petrolicious
Among the oldest of automotive events the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este was established in 1929, three months before the stock market collapse. It managed to hold on semi-regularly for the next twenty years as the Italian coachbuilding industry was fairly robust. But the show was canceled for 1951 as many coachbuilders struggled with the modern era and were going out of business.
Revived in 1995, the show now honors the coachbuilt classics from the pre-war years and also awards a prize to the latest and greatest design studies and concepts. The Concorso’s philosophy regarding classics is to feature and honor the most original cars and those restored to original specs, rather than over restored.
To that end, we had the pleasure of observing the diligent final preparations on a car scheduled for the grand show. With the help of a good friend, we had access to, arguably, the best restoration workshop in Italy (Quality Cars, near Venice).
And what a car! It’s a 1956 Maserati A6G 2000 Zagato, incredibly rare and bestowed with a wonderful figure. A few hours were spent with the guys as they labored to get everything just so. Their every gesture was careful and measured, and everything last detail considered to make the Maserati shine, but always mindful to respect its originality. And, just as new, the car was finished in Ruby Red with a period correct Butter-colored vinyl interior offset by Ruby Red piping.
With every hour that ticked by, the excitement and anticipation grew, until the carrier arrived to transport the car to Cernobbio. After it was loaded and the truck’s large tailgate closed, at that moment, every worker who spent so much time and attention on the car watched it leave, just hoping it would impress the jury, and win a prize.
We saw it again Saturday morning, being unloaded from the carrier and driven to the Villa d’Este by its owner, with majestic Lake Como in the background. The car competed in the “Only Maserati” class, along with many other incredible machines: 1929 Maserati V4 Sixteen Cylinder, 1953 Maserati A6GCS PininFarina, 1956 Maserati A6G Allemano Coupe, 1957 Maserati 150 GT Prototype Spider Fantuzzi, and 1965 Maserati Quattroporte first Series Frua.
By the end of the day, we knew it hadn’t won the Villa d’Este Coppa d’Oro (Gold Cup). But the A6G 2000 was still eligible to win the class prize and the Villa Erba Coppa d’Oro on Sunday. Sadly though, it didn’t win either.
As the competition ended on Sunday night, we were doleful but after having spent time with the Maserati and team preparing it, it was number one in our hearts. And to be honest, it was just an incredible experience. We’re looking forward to covering it next year, ready for another experience and sure that we’ll have better results next time around!