Culture / Cars

This Gorgeous 1954 Car Is Still Turning Heads — and Winning New Awards

BY Jim Shi // 05.25.16

The jury has spoken. A gorgeous 1954 Maserati A6 GCS with a beguiling coach-built body by Pininfarina was named Best in Show at this past weekend’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa D’Este. 

Another post-war Maserati, a 1956 450 S, was awarded the Trofeo BMW Group’s Best in Show award at the Lake Como gathering just two years ago.

The sultry A6 GCS, now part of the Monaco-based Destriero Collection, made its debut at the 1954 Paris Auto Show and immediately won hearts for its elegance and originality. Based on Maserati’s A6 range built between 1947 and 1956, the A6 GCS featured an inline-6 engine capable of generating 190 horsepower.

Its first owner was Count Alberto Magi Diligenti, of Italy, who entered it in a number of races, including the 1955 Mille Miglia. Interestingly, the curvaceous berlinetta was originally penned in 1952 by Pininfarina designer Aldo Brovarone for fellow Italian brand Cisitalia. Financial woes at Cisitalia, however, resulted in Battista “Pinin” Farina using the long-bonneted body to clothe a Maserati chassis.

Indeed, October 1954 saw this very Maserati A6 GCS (chassis #2059) debut at the Paris Salon, from which it was purchased by Count Diligenti, who entered it into the Mille Miglia the following year. Of the four examples of the GCS built, the Villa d’Este winner — equipped with a 190bhp six-cylinder Formula 2 A6GCM engine early in its life — is said to be the most original.

This beauty, a 1933 Lancia, won the Coppa d'Oro.
This beauty, a 1933 Lancia, won the Coppa d’Oro.

As the winner of this year’s Best in Show, the A6 GCS has earned its owner another trophy in the form of the A. Lange & Söhne timepiece exclusively awarded to Villa d’Este winners: the Lange 1 Time Zone “Como Edition.”

While the A6 GCS received the judges’ vote, the crowd favorite, and recipient of the Coppa d’Oro, was a stunning 1933 Lancia Astura Serie II.

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