Maserati A6 were a series of grand tourers, racing sports cars and single seaters made by Maserati of Italy between 1947 and 1956. They were named for Alfieri Maserati (one of the Maserati brothers, founders of Maserati) and for their straight-six engine.
The 1.5-litre straight-six was named A6 TR (Testa Riportata for its detachable cylinder head), and was based on the pre-war Maserati 6CM; 65 bhp (48 kW). It first appeared in the A6 Sport or Tipo 6CS/46, a barchetta prototype, developed by Ernesto Maserati and Alberto Massimino. This became the A6 1500 Pininfarina-designed two-door berlinetta, first shown at the 1947 Salon International de l'Auto in Geneva (59 made) and the spider shown at the 1948 Salone dell'automobile di Torino (2 made).
A 2-litre straight-six (120 bhp) was used in the A6 GCS two-seater, «G» denoting Ghisa, cast iron block, and «CS» denoting Corsa & Sports. Also called monofaro, the 580 kg single-seater and cycle-winged racing version first appeared at Modena 1947 by Luigi Villoresi and Alberto Ascari, and won the 1948 Italian Championship by Giovanni Bracco. Fifteen cars were made 1947-1953, of these being two-seaters (630 kg).
The A6G were a series of two-door coupe and spyders by Zagato, Pininfarina, Pietro Frua, Ghia, Bertone, Carrozzeria Allemano and Vignale. These had alloy engine blocks.
The acronyms identifying each model are interpreted as follows:A6: the name of the series: A for Alfieri (Maserati), 6 for six cylinders.
G: «Ghisa», cast iron, the engine block material.
CS: «Corsa Sport», for racing sports car.
CM: «Corsa Monoposto», for single seater racing car.
«1500» or «2000» indicate the rounded up total engine displacement in cubic centimetres; while suffixes such as «53» denote the year of the type's introduction.
The A6 1500 grand tourer was Maserati's first production road car. Development was started in 1941 by the Maserati brothers, but it was halted as priority shifted to wartime production, and was completed after the war. The first chassis, bodied by Pininfarina, debuted at the Geneva Salon International de l'Auto in March 1947. This first prototype was a two-door, two-seat, three window berlinetta with triple square portholes on its fully integrated front wings, a tapered cabin and futuristic hidden headlamps. The car was put into low volume production, and most received Pininfarina coachwork. For production Pininfarina toned down the prototype's design, switching to conventional headlamps; soon after a second side window was added. Later cars received a different 2+2 fastback body style. A Pininfarina Convertibile was shown at the 1948 Salone dell'automobile di Torino, and two were made; one car was also given a distinctive coupé Panoramica body by Zagato in 1949, featuring an extended greenhouse. Sixty-one A6 1500s were built between 1947 and 1950, when it began to be gradually replaced by the A6G 2000.
The A6 1500 was powered by a 1,488.24 cc (90.8 cu in) inline six (bore 66 mm, stroke 72.5 mm), with a single overhead camshaft and a single Weber carburettor, producing 65 hp (48 kW; 65 bhp); starting from 1949 some cars were fitted with triple carburettors. Top speed varied from 146 to 154 km/h (91 to 96 mph). The chassis was built out of tubular and sheet steel sections. Suspension was by double wishbones at the front and solid axle at the rear, with Houdaille hydraulic dampers and coil springs on all four corners.
The improved A6G 2000 began to replace the A6 1500 from 1950. The A6 engine was enlarged, precisely to 1,954.3 cc (119.3 cu in) with a bore and stroke of 72x80 mm; it retained the single overhead camshaft. Also thanks to triple carburettors, output was between 90–100 hp (67–75 kW; 90–100 bhp) and top speed 160 to 180 km/h (99 to 112 mph). The chassis retained the same measurements of the A6 1500, but the rear axle was now sprung on semi elliptic leaf springs.
The model debuted at the 1950 Turin Motor Show, wearing Pininfarina coachwork. Just sixteen cars were built, all between 1950 and 1951. Nine received 2+2 fastback bodies by Pininfarina; Frua built four convertibles and one coupé; lastly one got Vignale coupé bodywork designed by Giovanni Michelotti.
Maserati A6GCM (1951–53) were twelve 2-litre single-seater («M» for monoposto) racing cars (160-190 bhp), developed by Gioacchino Colombo and built by Medardo Fantuzzi. The A6 SSG (1953) was a GCM-revision pointing to the Maserati 250F. It won the 1953 Italian Grand Prix driven by Juan Manuel Fangio.
To compete in the World Sportscar Championship, the A6GCS/53 (1953–55) was developed (170 bhp), spyders initially designed by Colombo and refined by Medardo Fantuzzi and Celestino Fiandri. Fifty-two were made. An additional four berlinettas and one spider were designed by Aldo Brovarone at Pininfarina, their final design of a Maserati, on a commission by Rome dealer Guglielmo Dei who had acquired six chassises. Also, Vignale made one spider.
The 1954 Mondial de l'Automobile in Paris showed the A6GCS/54, which came in berlinetta, barchetta and spider versions (150 bhp), with designs by Pietro Frua, Ghia and Carrozzeria Allemano. It was also referred to as the A6G/2000 and 60 were made.
This car won the Polyphony Digital Award at Pebble Beach in 2014, and will likely be included in Gran Turismo 6 or Gran Turismo 7.
After a two-year hiatus at the 1954 Mondial de l'Automobile in Paris Maserati launched a new grand tourer, the A6G 2000 Gran Turismo—commonly known as A6G/54 to distinguish it from its predecessor. It was powered by a new double overhead camshaft inline-six, derived from the racing engines of A6GCS and A6GCM, with a bore and stroke of bore 76.5x72 mm for a total displacement of 1,985.626 cc (121.2 cu in). Fed by three twin-choke Weber DCO carburettors it put out 150 hp (112 kW; 150 bhp) at 6000 rpm, which gave these cars a top speed between 195 to 210 km/h (121 to 130 mph). Dual ignition added in 1956 increased power to 160 hp (119 kW; 160 bhp).
Four body styles were offered: a three-box Carrozzeria Allemano coupé (21 made), a coupé and a Gran Sport spyder by Frua (7 and 12 made), and a competition-oriented fastback by Zagato (20 made). Total production between 1954 and 1956 amounted to 60 units.