An Important Maserati Sale
A forthcoming auction of important and exciting Maseratis.

August 15-16, 2003 Monterey Sports Car Auction

DoubleTree Hotel at Fisherman's Wharf, Monterey, California, USA.


Houston Businessman Alfredo Brener To Sell His Assemblage of Rare Grand Touring Maseratis, August 15-16, 2003

BLENHEIM, Ontario, Canada (July 17, 2003) - As part of its 2003 Monterey Sports and Classic Car Auction, August 15-16, 2003, RM AUCTIONS will offer discriminating buyers a selection of impeccably restored, coachbuilt Maseratis from the personal collection of businessman and avid Maserati enthusiast Alfredo Brener. Ten cars from the extensive Brener collection, all coachbuilt examples from Frua, Michelotti, Allemano, Moretti and Carrozzeria Touring will cross the block at the Doubletree Hotel at Fisherman's Wharf, during the two-day sale.

I would like to thank Terrance D. Lobzun of RM Auctions for his kind permission to reproduce the images and text from their fine catalogue.

LOT 445

1961 Maserati 5000GT
with coachwork by MICHELOTTI.

CHASSIS No AM103.016

325bhp 4,941cc. single overhead camshaft Lucas mechanically fuel injected vee eight-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs, live axle rear suspension with leaf springs, four-wheel hydraulically-actuated disc brakes. Wheelbase 2,600mm (102.4").

The Maserati 5000 GTs are justly known as the automobiles of kings and princes. The 5000 GT’s combination of great performance, custom-crafted elegance, sumptuous luxury and exclusivity not only appealed to the wealthy and powerful, but its great cost made the ranks of the world’s ultra-wealthy the only market who could afford it. Built in almost negligible numbers by the finest craftsmen and artisans in Italy, clothed in individually designed and specified coachwork by Italy’s leading coachbuilders, the 5000 GT was the defining statement of automotive taste, style and exclusivity.

The 5000 GT’s clients included Shah Reza Pahlavi, South African industrialist Basil Read, Fiat’s Giovanni Agnelli, industrialist Ferdinando Innocenti, Mexican President Lopez Mateos, film star Stewart Granger, the Aga Khan and princes of Saudi Arabia. One singular example, the only 5000 GT executed by innovative stylist Giovanni Michelotti, was built for American sportsman Briggs S. Cunningham.

Briggs Cunningham died July 2, 2003, at the age of 96 after a long siege with Alzheimer’s disease. The powerful, distinctive and unique Maserati 5000 GT which he commissioned 40 years ago expresses, in many ways, the inimitable character of Briggs Cunningham. A founder, with his longtime pals the Collier brothers, of the Automobile Racing Club of America, forerunner to the Sports Car Club of America, Briggs was fascinated by the 24 Hours of Le Mans and mounted many assaults of La Sarthe over a period of nearly 20 years. His first may have been the most memorable, taking two 1950 Series 61 Cadillacs to Le Mans in 1950 and bringing them home a remarkable 10th and 11th overall.

Realizing the road racing shortcomings of American cars in the Fifties, he then started B.S. Cunningham Co. in West Palm Beach, Florida, for the specific purpose of building automobiles capable of seriously competing in Le Mans-calibre road racing.

The Cunninghams were consistently successful at Le Mans, finishing third in both 1953 and 1954, but never realized Cunningham’s dream of capturing the overall win. These and subsequent Cunningham team Le Mans entries with Jaguars, Corvettes and Maseratis were conducted with the preparation, style and good humour which distinguished Briggs Cunningham and created a legacy from which subsequent generations of American entrants at La Sarthe have benefited.

Concurrent with his year-round auto racing campaigns, in 1958 Briggs Cunningham formed the New York Yacht Club syndicate which built the 12-metre 'Columbia' to defend the America’s Cup for the first time in 28 years. Once again his style, preparation and competitiveness carried the day, successfully defeating the British challenger, 'Sceptre', and beginning the modern era of America’s Cup racing.

In the postwar history of American racing, no one brought more credit to the sport than Briggs Cunningham. His cars were built by professionals of uncommon skill and attention to detail. They were presented to high standards of fit and finish. He nurtured his drivers, whether old friends or talented journeymen, and never failed to be courteous and caring.

Briggs Cunningham was the classic sportsman, the likes of which sports car racing is unlikely to see again, who pursued his idealistic goals with class and style, the same class and style that is evident in his Maserati 5000 GT Michelotti coupé.

After competing at Le Mans with a factory-backed team of Corvettes in 1960 – and achieving the best Le Mans finish for a Corvette, eighth, until the advent of the factory C5R some 40 years later – Cunningham began to race Maseratis and achieved, again, some of Maserati’s best race results including bringing the 12-cylinder Tipo 63 driven by Augie Pabst and Dick Thompson into fourth place in 1961 followed by Cunningham and Bill Kimberly in a Tipo 61 in eighth. In 1962 in addition to the raucous Tipo 151s driven by Kimberly/Thompson and Walt Hansgen/Bruce McLaren both of which failed to finish, Briggs and Roy Salvadori harried the Ferrari 250 GTOs in Cunningham’s lightweight E-type, eventually finishing fourth.

What better way to arrive at Le Mans in 1961 than in this magnificent Michelotti coupé?

Giovanni Michelotti began his career in 1938 with Stablimenti Farina. He set up his own design office in Turin in 1947 and worked as a contract designer with many coachbuilders, among them Allemano, Balbo, Vignale, Ghia and Bertone. His first contact with Briggs Cunningham came in 1952, when he designed the Vignale-built bodies for the Cunningham C-3 coupes. In 1960, Michelotti established his own workshop in Orbassano for production of one-off coachwork and styling models. Briggs Cunningham’s 5000 GT must have been one of the first complete cars built by Michelotti in the new facility, and it is a magnificent creation, completely different in both layout and style from the other 5000 GTs.

A true 2+2, despite its fastback rear window, the nose is distinctive and reflects much thought and attention to the 5000 GT’s aerodynamics. The headlights are covered, but not in the conventional sense, instead having drop-down body-colored covers which are operated by a crank on the dashboard. The front fenders slope sleekly back but the large oval grille, with fog lights in its corners, projects aggressively forward. The trunk reflects typical Michelotti thinking, with an accent crease extending back from the top of the rear wheel arch and blending into a small overhang. Finished in brilliant silver with dark blue interior, the gauges, calibrated for the U.S. market, are in two round multifunctional displays directly in front of the wood-rimmed steering wheel with Maserati’s typical trident-shaped spokes. Notably, there is no radio, this being a high speed automobile that warrants its driver’s concentrated attention.

The unique 5000 GT offered here was found by Alfredo Brener in Poland and is in good older-restored condition. The Lucas mechanical fuel injected engine has been checked by Rod at FAI and is very strong. The 5000 GT drives extremely well, and is described as “the fastest of the 5000 GTs we have,” which is a strong endorsement in the context of Alfredo Brener’s outstanding and well-maintained collection.

One of only 34 Maserati 5000 GTs built, and the only one bodied by Michelotti, this is a very special opportunity to acquire the most exclusive gran turismo of its period, built for and first owned by America’s greatest sportsman of the second half of the 20th Century, Briggs Swift Cunningham.

ESTIMATE US $300,000 - $400,000  /  GB £193,500 - £260,000 (approx.)

HIGH BID: US $302,500 (including 10% buyer's premium)  /  GB £190,600 (approx.) - SOLD.

LOT 446

The ex-Franco Rol 1968 Maserati Mexico Coupe
with coachwork by FRUA.


260bhp 4,136cc dual overhead camshaft vee eight-cylinder engine, five-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs, live axle rear suspension with semi-elliptical leaf springs, four-wheel hydraulically-actuated, power assisted disc brakes. Wheelbase 2,600mm (104").

Franco Rol was an accomplished gentleman driver who numbered among his accomplishments a second in the 1949 Targa Florio and seventh in 1950, both in an Alfa 2500 Sperimentale. In 1950, he raced a 4CLT/48 Maserati in grands prix at Monte Carlo, Rheims and Monza with disappointing DNFs in all three events but did better in the non-championship race at Pau where he recorded a fouth place finish. In 1951, he drove an Osca 4500G to ninth place at Monza. A measure of Rol’s talent is reflected in his qualifying performance where at various times he gridded well ahead of Maserati-mounted competitors Louis Chiron, Reg Parnell, Prince Bira and Felice Bonetto.

In 1950, Rol commissioned construction of the two Maserati 8CLT/50s. These 2,984cc eight-cylinder supercharged single-seaters reportedly developed 430 horsepower and were intended to compete at Indianapolis. They were built and tested at Monza by Giuseppe Farina at over 180mph, but they never appeared at the Brickyard.

Born in 1908, at age sixty Franco Rol commissioned this Maserati Mexico with one-off body by Frua, known in some circles as the 'V8 Mistral' for reasons that are apparent enough from its appearance. Powered by Maserati’s 4.2-litre V8 with five-speed transmission, it is a remarkable example once again of Maserati’s ability and willingness to satisfy the very specific needs of a valued client. Undoubtedly, Franco Rol was a client with money to spend, but the 'V8 Mistral’ also was a departure from the then concentrated necessity at Maserati and Frua to build series production high performance gran turismos in an efficient and cost-effective process.

Franco Rol’s Frua-bodied Mexico is built on a shortened wheelbase that measures 2,560mm (101”), very close to the Ghibli’s 2550mm, and is equipped with the latest alloy knock-off wheels with large, heavy duty, hubs. It is distinguished visually not only by its slightly longer spacing between the door and rear-wheel well, but also by Frua’s deletion of the Mistral coupés’ reversed air vent trim on the front fenders. Luxuriously trimmed, it has air conditioning, making it perhaps the most exclusive and comfortable Maserati GT of its era. The Mistral is widely admired as one of the finest designs to come from the hand of Pietro Frua, striking a fine balance between style and sporting lines. Even with its standard six-cylinder engine its lightweight construction made the Mistral the fastest Maserati road car to its time. Powered by the 4.2-litre V8, Franco Rol’s Mexico is even faster.

This unique Maserati Mexico coupé by Frua was acquired by Mr Alfredo Brener in California about six years ago. It had been restored there by FAI with particular attention being paid to ensuring that any of the bodywork that even hinted of corrosion was carefully excised and replaced with new panels. It is reported to be very strong mechanically and is presented in the attractive colors of grey and red. The original exterior colour was gold. The restoration was done to good and very presentable street car standards and it has been carefully maintained by Mr. Brener’s Maserati specialists so it is reported to be in very good condition today and ready to be used and enjoyed at any time.

An exceptional and unique automobile combining the Mexico’s highly-regarded chassis and 4.2-liter V8 engine and the refined and tasteful styling of the Mistral, this one-off Maserati will be a quality addition to any collection. One-off Maseratis from this period are very rare, making this Frua-bodied Mexico a significant example of Maserati’s ability to satisfy the individual needs of an important long term client, Mr. Franco Rol.

ESTIMATE US $60,000 - $90,000  /  GB £38,700 - £58,000 (approx.)

HIGH BID: US $80,300 (including 10% buyer's premium)  /  GB £50,600 (approx.) - SOLD.

LOT 447

The ex-Karim Aga Khan 1972 Maserati Quattroporte
with coachwork by FRUA.

CHASSIS No AM121.004

320bhp 4,930cc. vee eight-cylinder engine, five-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs, deDion rear suspension with coil springs, four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase 2,750mm (110").

After his experience with his 5000 GT (104.060) Karim Aga Khan apparently wanted to share the electrifying experience of high speed motoring with others and approached Maserati about building the ultimate four-door sedan. As with the Shah’s request to create a 450S-engined gran turismo, which resulted in the 5000 GT, the Aga Khan’s inquiry was irresistible to Maserati, which created this extraordinary automobile to meet the Aga Khan’s expectations.

Based on the first generation of Frua-bodied Quattroportes which had been powered by 4.1 and 4.7-litre versions of the multi-purpose Maserati twin-cam V8, the Aga Khan got the latest high performance 4.9-litre V8 and five-speed ZF gearbox. Citroën had recently acquired Maserati and the elaborate, but highly effective Citroën hydraulics, which were being developed for the Merak and Bora, were applied also to this singular automobile. Frua refined the coachwork with larger rear quarter windows and updated details and it was, of course, elaborately and sumptuously trimmed as well as having the latest style alloy wheels.

While visually descended from the first generation of Frua-bodied Quattroportes, AM121.004 is unique. The wheelbase is similar to the 3rd Series Quattroporte at 111-inches and the chassis is constructed of welded steel sheet stampings with a front subframe. The Aga Khan got the latest high performance 4.9-litre V8 with a matched five-speed ZF gearbox. Citroën had recently acquired Maserati and the elaborate, but highly effective Citroën hydraulics, which were being developed for the Merak and Bora, were applied also to this singular automobile. Frua refined the coachwork with larger rear quarter windows and updated details and it was, of course, elaborately and sumptuously trimmed as well as having the latest style alloy wheels.

In addition to thoroughbred automobiles the Aga Khan also has a connoisseur’s highly developed taste in thoroughbred horses. Following in the footsteps of his father, Prince Aly Khan, Karim Aga Khan took over the family’s stud farm and has managed it into one of Europe’s greatest racing dynasties. Following an important victory, the Aga Khan gave his winning jockey this one-off Maserati Quattroporte – which no doubt was the hit of the jockey’s club for several years. It subsequently passed to a widow who owned it for several years before it was acquired by a museum in Switzerland.

This singular Maserati Quattroporte joined the exceptional collection of Mr. Alfredo Brener from that museum and is in completely original condition except for a repaint in the original color. The original interior is in exceptional condition except for a small tear in the passenger’s seat cushion. It is described as "driving like a sports car, with nice handling." The Citroën hydraulics and particularly the hydraulically boosted brakes work well. It recently has had some ignition work and a new upgraded clutch, which has been driven less than 100 miles since it was installed.

Capable of 160mph this is the ultimate Maserati Quattroporte, and perhaps the ultimate four-door sedan in the world, with a unique and important history, known provenance and in highly original and very presentable condition.

Finished in metallic blue with a light beige interior, the Aga Khan’s Maserati has been maintained by specialists in the renowned collection of Mr. Alfredo Brener. This one-of-a-kind Maserati is ready to be used and enjoyed, an outstanding example of Maserati’s ability, and willingness, to respond to its clients’ special requests.

ESTIMATE US $60,000 - $90,000  /  GB £39,700 - £60,000 (approx.)

HIGH BID: US $53,901 (including 10% buyer's premium)  /  GB £34,000 (approx.) - SOLD.

BACK TO: LOTS 442, 443 and 444.

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