The first model of road cars had appeared in 1947. The A6GCS/53 (Corsa Sportivo) introduced in 1953 is targeting the endurance races with technical solutions inspired by the A6GCM. The spider designed by Fantuzzi is essentially a two-seater version of the A6GCM.
Italians love pretty cars. In 1954 the official dealer of Maserati in Rome had assembled on chassis A6GCS/53 four berlinettas by Pinin Farina and one spider by Carrozzeria Frua. He is delighted with the elegance and balance of the Frua spider and orders two more that are assembled in 1955.
Frua is not lucky in that operation : his client is in financial difficulty and loses the Maserati franchise. Frua keeps the cars and looks for other customers. One of these cars sold in 1957 crossed the Atlantic in 1959 to charm a Californian. Appreciated for its glamorous appearance, it is very early exhibited in concours d'elegance. This spider is older, rarer and cuter than Ferrari's California.
Unfortunately its playboy owner was not a good mechanic : around 1964 he irreparably destroys the engine by a lack of maintenance in water. It is replaced by a similar engine from an A6G/54.
The Maserati Frua is estimated $ 5.5M for sale by Gooding at Pebble Beach on August 25, lot 135. Here is the link to the press release.
SOLD for $ 5.2M including premium