1952 Maserati A6GCM pictures and wallpaper

1952 Maserati A6GCM

Even amidst the bitter end and the rather uncertain future, one thing that was certain was the sheer fact the Maserati brothers new how to design and build grand prix cars.

The death of their brother Alfieri not only struck at the very soul of his brothers it too killed the business heart of Maserati. Great cars at bad times continued to shrink the Maserati operation down to practically nothing. But even as the brothers were being ushered out without their own name, they couldn't help but influence such great cars as the 4CLT and its evolutions. It was as if no matter what they touched it would become great whether they were trying or not.

To borrow a couple of well-known phrases, 'Why re-invent the wheel when the old one isn't broke?' As the brothers were left without their company and their name, the new management at Maserati were left with what became incredibly popular grand prix cars. The most famous and competitive of these evolutions was the 4CLT/48. However, when the Maserati company decided to get back into making grand prix cars they knew they needed the right combination of pieces in order to make another successful design.

One big piece they already had and perhaps didn't fully realize it. Another big piece would come to them in 1951. 1951 would be the last year in which Alfa Romeo competed in Formula One. What that meant was there would be one talented designer out of a job very quickly. Gioacchino Colombo had been with Enzo Ferrari at Alfa Romeo before World War II and had helped to design the all-conquering 158 Alfetta. This, and its 159 derivative, would go on to win the Formula One World Championship the first-two years of its existence. The 158 was one of those designs, like the 4CLT, that was as timeless as it got in grand prix racing. Colombo knew how to stick with key elements and to bring other important elements on to make what was old even better.

Another key piece would be Alberto Massimino. He had gained experience as an engineer with Fiat, as well as, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari. Massimino was already with Maserati and he would end up overseeing the entire racing model production.

Given the talents of Massimino and Colombo, and their ability to recognize aspects that work, as well as those that don't, it wasn't too surprising when they began by looking at what the Maserati brothers had done in order to derive the new chassis they would build.

The Maserati 4CLT/48 had been a very popular and successful design. The new blood at Maserati recognized the potential of the old and set about tapping all of its potential. They knew the overall design of the car was sound; it just needed to be mated with newer, and better, technology to take and old successful car and make it a new successful car. What would eventually result would be known as the A6GCM


The A6GCM name would be derived as follows: the A6 represented the name in the series. The 'A' stood for Alfieri (Maserati) and the 6 represented the number of cylinders used in the engine. 'G' stood for Ghisa, which noted the engine block was made of cast iron. The 'C' stood for Corsa, or that it was meant for racing. And finally, the 'M' meant monoposto, or that it was a single-seater.

Medardo Fantuzzi would end up building the frame for the A6GCM. Using aluminum, Fantuzzi would create a space-frame chassis that utilized a tubular structure with cross members to provide both strength and rigidity.

No matter what its new name was, it was obvious to see the Maserati-brother lineage coming through in the design. The overall shape and design of the chassis followed closely the lines of the 4CLT/48.

The nose features the laid-back, split, egg-shaped grille that was also present on the 4CLT/48. Behind the grille rested the engine's radiator and the cooler for the oil. The car's chin protrudes out in front of the front tires a good distance. The profile of the chin and nose sweeps upward and back and contours smoothly into the top line of the engine cowling.

One of the areas to see major evolution would be the front suspension. It would have a double-wishbone arrangement that would be incorporated with a coil spring and adapted for use with Houdaille shock absorbers. To offer greater stability and anti-roll qualities to the chassis during braking and around corners, a U-shaped anti-roll bar was used along with the coil spring and Houdaille shock absorbers.

The brakes on the car were also updated. All the way around the car, hydraulically-actuated drum brakes would be used. To help prevent fade and increased wear at temperature, cooling vents were positioned in the front of the wheel to provide cooler air into the drum itself. In addition to the vents, the top of the brake housing itself featured fins that protruded into the airflow. These fins allowed cooler air to pass through and extract some of the heat out of the drums to further provide cooling.

Besides the suspension, one of the areas to receive the most attention would be the engine. Massimino and Vittorio Bellentani would develop a new engine for the car. They would start with a six-cylinder, 2.0-liter design. They would incorporate dual over-head cams and 12 valves. In addition, they would utilize three double-barrel Weber carburetors to help feed the fuel and air mixture to the engine.

Initially, during the 1951 Formula 2 season, a long-stroke version of the 2.0-liter engine was capable of producing 160 hp. But then, in 1952, a short-stroke version that would also use twin-ignition would come to be developed. This evolution would end up being able to produce 180 hp and would come on-line for its customers late in 1952.

The in-line six-cylinder engine stood tall inside the tubular space-frame chassis. The car's bodywork would be pulled in along the side of the engine and tightly contoured over the top. Due to the tight bodywork, aspects of the engine would extend out of the sides of the car through the bodywork. Similar to the 4CLT/48, dual exhaust pipes ran out and along the left side of the car. Out of the right-hand side of the car the air-induction pipes would extend. To provide protection, and smoother flow to the air, a rounded shroud would be attached to the right side of the car in order to cover the induction pipes.

Cooling is always a major concern. This, and the desire to make the smallest, lightest car possible, would lead designers to position the radiator in the nose of the car in order to keep it narrow and compact. Cooling of the air around the engine, not just the engine itself, is also of major concern. To aid in this, the A6GCM was riddled with louvers in the top cowling and along the lower-sides of the car. These louvers would utilize the passing air to help extract the hot air built up around the engine and the other components hidden underneath the car's bodywork.

The top line of the car's bodywork would sweep up dramatically at the front of the cockpit. In between the small round mirrors was a single-piece windscreen. The sides of the cockpit were deeply cut out on either side, which exposed the driver's arm to the incredibly hot dual-exhaust pipes running down the left side of the car. To help protect the driver, a perforated metal foil was attached to the exhausts but left a gap so to allow cooler air in between, thereby causing the perforated metal foil to be cooler to the touch than the hot exhaust.

The cockpit itself remained similar to the older chassis designed by the Maserati brothers. The driver's office was dominated by its most useful tool—a large wood trimmed steering wheel. The gearshift to the 4-speed multi-plate clutch was positioned on the floor under the steering wheel and just in front of the driver's seat.

The rear bodywork fell off dramatically and was pulled in to make a low rounded bulb-like structure. Located in this tight rear body structure was the car's fuel tank.

As with the front suspension, the rear suspension also utilized Houdaille hydraulic shock absorbers. But it was used in conjunction with a rigid axle attached to the chassis via cantilevered leaf springs.

The early evolution with the long-stroke 2.0-liter six-cylinder engine would end up being able to take the car up over 150 mph in top speed. It would also be able to reach 60 mph, from zero, in 7.4 seconds while covering a quarter of a mile in 15.4.

However, in spite of its increased performance, the new Maserati chassis would struggle during its first few races in 1952. The A6GCM still couldn't quite match the pace of Ferrari's 500 F2 chassis. In spite of this, the car would be quite popular with teams. Besides Maserati's official factory effort, Officine Alfieri Maserati, other teams like Escuderia Bandeirantes would also purchase a number of the new chassis.

As the '52 season progressed, and Massimino introduced the new short-stroke 2.0-liter engine with 180 hp, the A6GCM became the only car well and truly capable of challenging the Ferrari. The numbers would help to tell the story. The car was now able to reach 60 mph in seven seconds flat. It could also cover a kilometer in 27.2 seconds with a speed of 119 mph. The increased performance would be proven in front of the home Italian crowd in September of '52.

Armed with the short-stroke six-cylinder engine, Gonzalez would be able to power his way to a 2nd place finish at the Italian Grand Prix in 1952. He would not merely end up being handed the 2nd place result. He would earn it. Showing the pace of the Maserati, Gonzalez would go on to match Ascari's fastest lap time during the race. But he wouldn't just do it once. He would match it twice. It was obvious the Maserati A6GCM could hold its own against the Ferrari.

Using what worked from the old, Maserati would create something new and successful. It would serve as the basis for the 'Interim' evolution to come that would firmly bring Maserati back to the head of the grand prix field; where it had been when it left.

By Jeremy McMullen
The Maserati A6G/2000 was produced from during the 1950s with around 60 examples being created, many receiving custom bodywork from prestigious coachbuilders such as Zagato, Pinin Farina, Vignale, and others.
Even though the company was not in financial difficulty, the Maserati brothers sold their shares of the company to the Orsi family from Modena in 1937. The headquarters were moved from Bologna to Modena. When they sold the company, the brothers had agreed to stay with Maserati for another ten years performing duties as chief engineers. In 1948, after their ten year agreement was satisfied, they left the company and formed OSCA.

With the chief engineers gone, the company was positioned for failure, but the company did have a strong history and more importantly, they had a newly developed straight six engine, courtesy of the Maserati brothers. The engine produced by Maserati brothers was nothing spectacular; the 1.5-liter power-plant produced 65 horsepower. It was, however, a good starting point and would prove to be very tunable in the years to come. The primary intention for the engine was competition, but Orsi understood that money needed to be made, so that it could be spent. So Orsi commissioned a sports road car that could be produced for exclusive clientele.

In 1947 Maserti introduced the A6 with custom coachwork by Pinin Farina. Under the hood was the 1.5-liter single overhead camshaft engine matted to a four-speed gearbox. The steel tubular frame was suspended by a live rear axle and a front wishbone suspension. Even though Pinin Farina is noted for their elegant styling, their design of the A6 was not well received. Coupled with the poor performance, the vehicle was not well received.

Modifications were performed on the engine resulting in an increase to 2 liters and 100 horsepower. Three updated versions of the A6 were displayed at the 1951 Paris Motorshow. The Berlina body styles were created by Pinin Farina and were the standard style; the Spider variants were created by Frua; and the Coupe was courtesy of Vignale. With all the mechanical improvements and bodystyle options available, the two-liter A6 was poised for success. With only 16 examples created, the A6 proved it needed more work.

The famous Gioacchino Colombo, known for his work with Ferrari, joined Maserati in 1953. His first task was to modify the A6GCM to include a DOHC valve train, dual-spark ignition, and more. Horsepower rose to nearly 200. The success of Maserati in racing was heightened with the new engine and new drivers such as Fangio, Gonzalez, Marimon, Bonetto and de Graffenried. Fangio had won the 1953 Italian Grand prix driving a Ferrari.

The third iteration of the A6 occurred in 1954, dubbed the A6G/54. This was the same year for the introduction of the Maserati 250F, which, in the hands of the capable Fangio won the Argentine Grand Prix on its debut. The A6G/54 was outfitted with a competitive engine and wonderful styling from Frua and Zagato. Production lasted until 1954 with multiple types of body styles being created. One of the most memorable bodystyles were the 19 lightweight Zagato bodies which could often be seen at race tracks. All of the Zagato hand-formed body styles were unique, even the interior.

The A6G/54 was replaced by the 3500 GT. The A6 endured many growing pains but by the final iteration, the A6 variants were respectable and stylish machines. With the mechanical prowess of Colombo and the driving talent of Fangio and others, Maserati could continue to provide competition on the race track. While back at home, the A6 provided the bread-and-butter to continue racing and further development.


By Daniel Vaughan | Jul 2007
Even though the company was not in financial difficulty, the Maserati brothers sold their shares of the company to the Orsi family from Modena in 1937. The headquarters were moved from Bologna to Modena. When they sold the company, the brothers had agreed to stay with Maserati for another ten years performing duties as chief engineers. In 1948, after their ten year agreement was satisfied, they left the company and formed OSCA.

With the chief engineers gone, the company was positioned for failure, but the company did have a strong history and more importantly, they had a newly developed straight six engine, courtesy of the Maserati brothers. The engine produced by Maserati brothers was nothing spectacular; the 1.5-liter power-plant produced 65 horsepower. It was, however, a good starting point and would prove to be very tunable in the years to come. The primary intention for the engine was competition, but Orsi understood that money needed to be made, so that it could be spent. So Orsi commissioned a sports road car that could be produced for exclusive clientele.

In 1947 Maserti introduced the Maserati A6 with custom coachwork by Pinin Farina. Under the hood was the 1.5-liter single overhead camshaft engine matted to a four-speed gearbox. The steel tubular frame was suspended by a live rear axle and a front wishbone suspension. Even though Pinin Farina is noted for their elegant styling, their design of the A6 was not well received. Coupled with the poor performance, the vehicle was not well received.

Modifications were performed on the engine resulting in an increase to 2 liters and 100 horsepower. Three updated versions of the A6 were displayed at the 1951 Paris Motorshow. The Berlina body styles were created by Pinin Farina and were the standard style; the Spider variants were created by Frua; and the Coupe was courtesy of Vignale. With all the mechanical improvements and bodystyle options available, the two-liter A6 was poised for success. With only 16 examples created, the A6 proved it needed more work.

The famous Gioacchino Colombo, known for his work with Ferrari, joined Maserati in 1953. His first task was to modify the A6GCM to include a DOHC valve train, dual-spark ignition, and more. Horsepower rose to nearly 200. The success of Maserati in racing was heightened with the new engine and new drivers such as Fangio, Gonzalez, Marimon, Bonetto and de Graffenried. Fangio had won the 1953 Italian Grand prix driving a Ferrari.

The third iteration of the A6 occurred in 1954, dubbed the A6G/54. This was the same year for the introduction of the Maserati 250F, which, in the hands of the capable Fangio won the Argentine Grand Prix on its debut. The A6G/54 was outfitted with a competitive engine and wonderful styling from Frua and Zagato. Production lasted until 1954 with multiple types of body styles being created. One of the most memorable bodystyles were the 19 lightweight Zagato bodies which could often be seen at race tracks. All of the Zagato hand-formed body styles were unique, even the interior.

The Maseati A6GCS was produced from 1953 through 1955 with a total of 52 examples being constructed. Four where Berlinetta bodies by Pininfarina while 48 were in Spyder configuration and bodied by Fantuzi. The A6GCS were very important to Maserati and scored many victories for the marque. In 1953 the A6GCs won its class at the Mille Miglia in its inaugural debut.

The Maserati A6G/2000 was produced from 1954 through 1957 with around 60 examples being created, many receiving custom bodywork from prestigious coachbuilders such as Zagato, Pinin Farina, Vignale, and others. Serafino Allemano constructed twenty-one examples of the A6G/2000. All of these cars were equipped with the DOHC engines. The A6G/2000 is some times referred to as the A6G/54. These second series cars used many mechanical components from its predecessor, such as its twin parallel tube design. The engine, however, had been modified which resulted in an increase in horsepower.

The A6G/54 was replaced by the 3500 GT. The A6 endured many growing pains but by the final iteration, the A6 variants were respectable and stylish machines. With the mechanical prowess of Colombo and the driving talent of Fangio and others, Maserati could continue to provide competition on the race track. While back at home, the A6 provided the bread-and-butter to continue racing and further development.


By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2007
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1952 Maserati Models

Concepts by Maserati

Maserati Monthly Sales Volume

April 2017
1,265
March 2017
1,312
February 2017
1,087
January 2017
889
Additional Sales Volume Data


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