Maserati A6-1500 GT3C sn-086 1949

Maserati A6-1500  GT3C sn-086 1949

Maserati A6-1500 GT3C sn-086 1949 , Ferrari Challenge
Infineon Raceway 2008, May, 2008

1949 Maserati A6-1500 GT (3C); Type- Competition Berlinetta, Coachwork by Pinin Farina PF Body No. 9988 Chassis No. 086 Engine No. 086 Gearbox Type: A6/9000 Gearbox No.: CL 384 Distributor: Magneti Marelli Tipo St. 95DAS Carburetors: 3 x Weber Tipo 36 DO.2; Carburetor Nos. Front-866, Middle-864, Rear- 805; Registration No California "CORRSSA"

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Maserati A6-1500 GT3C sn-086 1949 , Ferrari Challenge
Image Credit: Photo Courtesy of Symbolic International

Maserati A6-1500  GT3C sn-086 1949

Maserati A6-1500 GT3C sn-086 1949
Story of this car, courtesy of Symbolic International, La Jolla, CA, 2008

INTRODUCTION Construction of the first Post-War Maserati Sports Cars began in late 1946 at which time despite many difficulties they were able to complete two examples. These were given the chassis numbers 049 and 051 . These first Post-War Sports Cars were based on tried and true methods utilizing large section oval-tube frames and a Fratelli Maserati designed 1500cc, in-line six-cylinder, single-overhead-camshaft engine. The majority of these cars received a single Weber carburetor, low-compression cylinder-head and produced a quoted 65 bhp at 4700 rpm. The chassis ranges for these 61 cars are from 049 through 110 the last of which was completed on December 16th, 1950.

Carrozzeria Pinin Farina designed most of the coachwork with some rather crude open and closed bodywork on the first few cars, followed shortly thereafter by far more attractive "Fast-backed" Berlinettas in lightweight aluminum. Tipping the scales at a mere 1675 to 19251bs, the cars were light and nimble. They had to be as the small 1500cc engines could not have coped with much more. Both Carrozzeria Zagato and Pinin Farina bodied at least one production car each with beautiful open "cabriolet" style coachwork.

In May of 1949 Maserati decided that an improved competition version of the A6-1500GT should be made available to those interested in campaigning the car. A vastly improved engine became the heart of what otherwise appeared to be a standard A6-1500GT.

The heavily revised engine still utilized a single over-head cam-shaft but now sported triple-Weber carburetors with a higher compression cylinder-head, higher profile camshaft and correspondingly re-curved ignition timing. The engine block for this sub-series of "race-tuned" engines was still completed from two-separate castings as with the standard 1500cc unit. The improved engine however sported six raised, cast-in reinforcement bands that passed from the outside of the two-piece block all the way through the inner main bearing housings. The lower engine block was now cast in light "magnesium" alloy with the upper engine block being fashioned in light-alloy. Attached to the upper block was the revised high compression alloy-cylinder head designed from the outset to have the three-separate Weber Carburetors on a separately cast intake manifold.

Maserati's records indicate that just five of these A6-1500GT 3C models were delivered new. The chassis numbers recorded by Maserati are 086 , 087 , 088 , 089 and 090 . Over the years, many of the cars produced before and after the "3C" variant were eventually given similar updates to their engines. This usually consisted solely of the improved head, carburetors and intake manifold.

The horsepower on the purposely-built "GT 3C" engines was now claimed by Maserati to be 100, but was more than likely something in the order of 90. No matter what figure is believed this was in any case a least a 30% increase in engine output!

The engines that were retrofitted with just the revised head, carburetors and intake manifold saw only a small improvement in engine output. The benefit was probably minimal, raising the quoted horsepower from 65 to not more than 70-75.

Image Credit: Photo Courtesy of Symbolic International


Chassis / Engine Number 086 was completed in the late Summer of 1949 and as noted it was the first of the five cars completed with the improved, higher output competition engines. Maserati's records indicate that it was initially painted gray. This car was given it's first official road test by Factory Test Driver, Sig. Guerrino Bertocchi on August 8, 1949. A copy of the original road test provides a wealth of detailed information on the exact nature of this unique Competition A6-1500GT 3C.

After completion of testing and tuning by the Maserati Factory Race Department, the car was sold new on the 14th of September 1949 and formally invoiced to Signorina Isabella Quarantotti Ippolito of Positano, Italy the next day on September 15th, 1949. Signorina Ippolito was just 27 years old when she purchased her new Maserati Sports Car. Delivery however did not take place either immediately or in Positano or even Italy for that matter.

A copy of the original sales document from Maserati provides the following detailed information. This car was purchased for 3,080,000 Italian Lire. The car was identified as a Tipo A6 with chassis / engine number 086 and it was described as a "two seat Berlinetta."

The same document indicates that while Sig. Isabella Quarantotti Ippolito resided at; Via Roma 35, Positano (Salermo) Italy, delivery did not take place until December 19, 1949 and did so in Paris, France. Specifically, Maserati and Signorina Ippolito agreed that delivery would take place at; Presso Garage Boissiere - 39 Rue Boissiere, Paris 16.

Signorina Quarantotti led a very interesting life. She was born in 1921 in Chieti, Italy and passed away at the age of 84 on February 18, 2005. Signorina Quarantotti was a direct descendent of the House of Savoy whose Royal Germanic and Gallic Families dated directly back to King Rudolf of Burgundy in 1038AD. She considered Positano, Napoli, Capri and the Amalfi Coast her home, however she spent much of her time residing in Paris at the Hotel Baltimore on Rue Kleber in the 16th district.

Today the hotel is called, Hotel Sofitel Baltimore and it is still located at 88 Bis Avenue Kleber, 75116 Paris, France

The Hotel Baltimore is located in Paris's most elegant, le district, near the Champs-Elysees, the Arc de Triomphe and Trocadero. This impressive residential building was transformed into a luxury hotel during the 1920s and took on the name of its famous first guest, Lord Baltimore. The distinctive Parisian charm of the establishment was an invitation to relax, sheltered from the hustle and bustle of the capital and catered to the most sophisticated and respected who's who for more than 80 years.

Isabella married her first husband, Felice "Happy" Ippolito, who was one of the fathers of the Italian Nuclear Energy Industry. To him she bore one daughter, Signorina Angelica Ippolito who would later gain fame in her own right as one of Italy's most famous actresses. Isabella later divorced, then remarried for a short while, before marrying a third time. The final marriage was to Sig. Eduardo de Fillipo to whom she was married to for over 50 years.

Classically or formally educated in law, philosophy and medicine, most knew her as one of Italy's most famous dramatists, play-writes, author and long time friend of Sir Laurence Olivier. Her most well known early work was done in collaboration with one of Italy's most famous directors and actors, Sig. Vittorio (Victor) de Sica. She worked with him closely on the production of the world acclaimed film; "Yesterday. Today and Tomorrow" (1963.)

Her later public as well as private life were often a topic of discussion, few however knew that one of her earlier passions included a certain English Expatriate Poet named Alexander Ronald Smith for who she would eventually leave her first husband, Felice 1ppolito. She was then married shortly thereafter to A.R. Smith. Besides Smiths interests in poetry and the lovely Signorina Qurrantotti he was an avid fan of fine sports cars.

Just four years after World War II, A.R. Smith convinced his new wife, Isabella to order this new Maserati Sports Car. While the car may have been for Smith, it was invoiced and registered under Isabella's name. A.R. Smith was not an Italian resident and not keen on paying the purchase price, registration expenses or taxes on such a machine.

Until recently the details of how and why Isabella purchased this particular Maserati have not been known. Three separate incidents have provided and given great insight into the unique story of this car, how it came to be and the intentions of the original family that ordered and purchased the car.

On March 14, 2006, a letter was received from Signor Corrado Bellabarba in Italy. Sig. Bellabarba was researching an Alfa Romeo 6c2500 competition car also owned by the Quarantotti / Ippolito family. Sig. Bellabarba had come across documents relating to Smith's ownership of the car under the Ippolito name and was aware that the family had also acquired this Specific Maserati. In a chance meeting nearly 60 years later between the car and the relative of a former family friend provided some very useful insight into the circumstances surrounding the car's construction and purchase.

Image Credit: Photo Courtesy of Symbolic International

Sometime in early 1949 A.R. Smith became aware that Maserati intended to make available an "up-rated" version of the production A6-1500. Smith had interests in acquiring the car, as he wished to race it in a variety of different Italian National and continental events that were quickly becoming popular sport. He was especially keen on the possibility of obtaining a suitable car for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Shortly after taking delivery of the Maserati, Isabella and Smith parted company forever. The car stayed with Isabella for just over a year, but was used rarely. She soon caught the attention of another interesting Italian gentleman, whom she would marry and remain with for over 50 years!

As confirmed by the Maserati Factory Records and Correspondences, this Maserati was delivered directly to a garage in Paris. The car arrived with Smith and Ippolito's personal mechanic, Sig. Roberto Rogliatti at Presso Garage Boissere that was located at 39 rue Boissere, Paris 16. On behalf of Smith's wife, Rogliatti officially entered the car less than one month later in the 1950 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The car was officially accepted and a letter from M. G. Berthier, director general of the Automobile Club of the West (ACLO) was sent on January 20, 1950 to Rogliatti and Ippolito. The ACLO (Le Mans organizers) stated that the entry would be conditional upon acceptance of named professional drivers and the receipt of the entry fee of 2,000 French Francs. A copy of the official acceptance letter for the car in the 24 Hours of Le Mans survives, but the separation of Ippolito and Smith quickly put an end to any actual campaigning of the car itself.

Ippolito's second divorce and third marriage saw the Maserati being used very little. One additional factor that limited the car's use on a regular basis was due to the high compression competition engine, which faired poorly on the early Post-War French and Italian 80 octane gasoline available at the time. The availability and price of racing fuel regulated the car to infrequent use and eventually lsabella's writing took precedence in her day-to -day activities.

The Maserati was then sold to the second of three Italian owners. Just over a year after being purchased, 1ppolito agreed to the sale of the car to, Signor Donatello Mennini of Tessilprato (Prato), Italy. The third owner of this Maserati was Signor Andrea Mieli of Firenze (Florence), Italy. He purchased the car in May of 1953. Sig. Mieli retained the car until the summer of 1957 when it was purchased and shipped to the American enthusiast, Ernest (Ernie) Nanson of Chula Vista, California.

While purposely built for both touring and racing, there is no record that any of the four original owners of this car ever campaigned it in a race or rally. An interesting fact is that this is the sole known surviving example of the five similar cars completed. Perhaps the fact that it was never raced contributed to it having survived in remarkably original condition despite the years and many pervious and subsequent changes in ownership.

Nanson corresponded with the Maserati Factory after his purchase of the car explaining both his ownership and interest in the car. It remained with him until shortly before his death in 1979. Robert Baker, a prominent La Jolla, California collector, purchased and enthusiastically cared for and enjoyed the car until August of 1981, when he agreed to the car's sale to William McKinley of Sacramento, California.

At the time of McKinley's purchase, the original 1500cc GT 3C engine and gearbox had been removed and set aside pending a needed rebuild. In place of the original engine the car had been fitted with a Ford 260ci V8 and C4 automatic transmission. The car and various spare parts were all trucked up Brian Moore's Performance Painting located at 2347 Gold River Road Unit "L" in Rancho Cordova, California 95670. An exhaustive and complete restoration was then performed with mechanical work being carried out by Tex Countryman, further assistance was provided by noted Maserati "Guru" Paul Merrigan.

A new history for this car began August of 1983 when the car entered its first of many documented races and began to win many awards. The first of these saw McKinley wearing race number 112 in the Monterey Historic Races. The car then appeared in a variety of publications as well as various Maserati meets and Concourse events throughout the West Coast. In 1984 it was shown at the Maserati International Meet, North Star, Lake Tahoe where it was awarded best in show and event poster "cover car." In 1984 it was also the recipient of a third place award at the Sacramento Concours d'Elegance. That August it was invited to and was judged in the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance where it received a 3rd. in class award. In the fall of the same year at the Newport Beach Concours d'Elegance it received a 1st in class. In September 1984 the car was featured on the cover and back cover of Viale Ciro Menotti the Magazine for Maserati Enthusiasts. Inside the front cover the photo credit that reads: Front and Rear Cover: 1949 A6 1500 (No. 086) owned by William and Lori McKinley, Sacramento, California. Front cover background is the state capitol building. Photos compliments of William McKinley.

Maserati A6-1500 GT3C sn-086 1949 , Ferrari Challenge
Infineon Raceway 2008, May, 2008


In August of 1985 the car was offered for sale by

McKinley in Hemmings Motor News p4816 for $36,500 and was described as being restored and painted maroon. Later that month the car was auctioned off at the Rick Cole / Monterey Sports Car Auction where it was purchased by an unknown English enthusiast, On May 24th, 1987, the car was offered in the Sotheby's Auction Ltd at their "Belles Automobiles de Collection Monaco Sale. The car was Lot No. 85A and it was sold for $83,000 plus 11% commission for a total sale price of $92,130.

The following year it was featured in the 1988, "The Great Book of Sports Cars", Dean Batchelor, Chris Poole and Graham Robinson. Pages 262 and 263. (Ownership of the car in this book is given to "Domino's Rearview Mirror", Museum?, in Ann Arbor, Michigan which was owned by Domino's Pizza founder, Tom Mognahan.)

In 1992 the car was sold at Hershey, PA to Fernando Santos Martins, Lisbon, Portugal. (The car was being offered at the time by Blackhawk of Danville, CA.) The car remained with Sr. Martins for twelve years as part of his vast collection and was used on only a few occasions.

This car was then purchased by Many Dragone in Connecticut, imported to the United States and quickly sold to Bill Noon, San Diego, CA, USA on August 25, 2005.

The following is a chronological list of the car's history from that point on:

2005/October/5, delivered to Symbolic Motor Car Company's Service Center in Sorrento Valley, California. 2005/October 7 - 9Invited to participate, entered and raced by Bill Noon on race number 146 in the Coronado Festival of Speed. 2005/November 18-20. Invited to, entered and raced by Bill Noon on race number 146 in the Palm Springs Revival Road Race. 2006/January 17-22. Invited to, entered and raced by Bill Noon on race number 146 in the Ferrari / Maserati Historic Challenge Series / Cavallino Classics Race in Palm Beach, Florida.2006/January 22"d Invited to, entered and displayed at the Cavallino Classic at the Palm Beach International Concours in Palm Beach, Florida This car was then invited to participate in remaining 2006 Ferrari / Maserati Historic Challenge Series Races. Not for nearly 40 years had the car been in Italy, but in May of 2006 it would be running in the Mille Miglia, Targa Florio and Grand Prix de Monaco Historique, Upon arrival in Italy and at the start of the Mille Migia in Brescia, the car was enthusiastically greeted by a variety of enthusiasts and officials alike. The car's official start number and race position was number 139, The first nights run to Ferrara went off without a hitch and the car performed faultlessly. As the car was completing another flawless day with only 20 kilometers from the day's finish in Roma, an errant motorcyclist struck the car head-on. While no one was injured, the damage to this car forced it to be withdrawn from the race.

The car was shipped back to the United States, to Symbolic's Service and Restoration department where repairs continue to see the car preserved back to its original "as delivered" condition.

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