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 448

1962 Maserati 5000 GT Coupé
with coachwork by FRUA.

CHASSIS No AM103.060

325bhp 4,941cc single overhead camshaft Lucas mechanically fuel injected vee eight-cylinder engine, five-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")

Karim Aga Khan must have been well pleased with this Maserati 5000 GT. It is not only unique but also abounds in subtle and tasteful details. Built to his order late in the series, its unique styling and interior and fascinating paint have made it one of the best examples of this most exclusive series of Maserati gran turismos.

Based upon the legendary 450S sports-racer, Maserati built only 34 of the magnificent 5000 GTs in a period of barely four years. While kings, sultans and the world's financial and business leaders once bought luxurious and stately formal cars to be driven by chauffeurs and attended by footmen, the postwar world moved at a faster clip. Its leaders made their own way and no longer found it fashionable or efficient to be managed by retinues of retainers. It was for this elite corps that Maserati built the 5000 GT. They drove themselves. They were proud of their driving ability. They chose their own route and they didn't waste time along the way.

The 5000 GT was not a complicated automobile, it was simply frighteningly powerful and superbly well built by the finest and most dedicated artisans and craftsmen Maserati could assemble from northern Italy. It was sought by a small slice of society who appreciated and could afford its unique attributes.

While the first two 5000 GTs were powered by engines directly derived from the 450S, Maserati recognized the short stroke four-Weber carburetor engines were in the longer run less than suitable for a gentleman negotiating the streets of Paris or Beverly Hills. For the second series, Maserati lengthened the stroke from 81 to 89mm and shrank the bore from 98.5 to 94mm to give 4,941cc displacement and a broader and more useful torque curve. Lucas mechanical fuel injection with carefully tailored fuel-air mixture calibrations replaced the first series' Weber carbs. Camshaft drive was changed from the 450S train of noisy spur gears to a quieter chain drive. The result was a more refined and tractable engine, but still with the capability of achieving nearly 170mph.

The chassis also was improved with the addition of disc rear brakes but otherwise the massively strengthened 3500 GT-derived twin main tube chassis remained unchanged. With its independent front suspension and live rear axle the 5000 GT chassis was not sophisticated but it was effective and refined, the ideal instrument for devouring miles of autostrada or national routes in dashes between important meetings and rendezvous at grand hotels.

103.060 was delivered August 8, 1962 to Karim Aga Khan, spiritual leader of the Ismailis, a Shi'ite Muslim sect. Karim, who had succeeded his grandfather Mohammed as Imam in 1957, lived principally in France. Karim Aga Khan had exactly the style, flair and wealth that distinguished the owners of Maserati 5000 GTs.

For him Frua created this extraordinary two-seat coupé, one of only three 5000 GTs bodied by Frua and distinctively different from the other two. Refining the nose of the original Touring-bodied 5000 GTs, Frua replicated the 250F-styled nostril above his subtly separated air intake, recessing the separate opening into the surround and applying a sloping Maserati Trident to retain the familial resemblance but with much more subtlety and grace. The nose also is refined by Frua's use of rectangular headlights echoed by small rectangular parking lights below them. The body design's most distinctive aspect, however is at the rear where the tall side and rear quarter windows give way to an elegantly raised trunk and relatively shallow rear window, creating a haunch look that usefully increases the Aga Khan's 5000 GT's luggage space while giving the car an absolutely distinctive and very handsome posture. The Aga Khan's 5000 GT appears to be crouching, ready to leap - a posture that ideally characterizes the 5000 GT's power and performance.

Inside, the Aga Khan's Maserati 5000 GT is luxuriously and distinctively appointed in cream leather, with liberal use of chrome trim that is characteristic of Pietro Frua's designs. The 300kph speedometer sits prominently in the middle of the dashboard where it isn't a distraction for the driver and also can impress passengers. In the dashboard in front of the passenger is an in-dash 45 rpm record player. As with other 5000 GTs, the Aga Khan's has Maserati's distinctive wood rimmed steering wheel with trident-shaped spokes.

When the 5000 GT was displayed at the Paris show observers commented on its unusual paint, a grey with color tinge that shifts from purple almost to pink depending upon the angle and hue of the ambient lighting. The car was restored some time ago in a different color but when it came into Alfredo Brener's collection it was repainted in the original complex shade, carefully matched to a section of the original paint found under a door sill plate.

Subsequent to the repaint it has earned a second in class at Pebble Beach and is described, in common with the other Maseratis in Mr. Brener's collection, as running and driving very well.

Carefully and consistently maintained within Mr. Alfredo Brener's outstanding collection by Maserati specialists, this unique Frua-bodied Maserati 5000 GT coupé is ready to be driven and enjoyed. It is an exceptional example of the best of Pietro Frua's styling, Maserati's powerful yet tractable 4.9 liter V8 and pleasing details that complement its performance and style, a desirable and prestigious automobile of the highest quality and breathtaking performance.

ESTIMATE US $350,000 - $450,000  /  GB £230,000 - £300,000 (approx.)

HIGH BID: US $319,000 (including 10% buyer's premium)  /  GB £201,000 (approx.) - SOLD.

LOT 449

1967 Maserati Mexico Coupé
with coachwork by FRUA.

CHASSIS No AM112.001

270bhp 4,719cc. dual overhead camshaft vee eight-cylinder engine, five-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs, live axle rear suspension with leaf springs, four-wheel hydraulically-actuated disc brakes. Wheelbase 2,640mm (103.9").

To hedge its bet on the Quattroporte, Maserati displayed the prototype of a luxury four-seat two-door version in 1965. When it entered production the following year it was named the Mexico, commemorating John Surtees’ victory in the Maserati V12-powered Cooper T81 in that year’s Mexican Grand Prix. Powered by Maserati’s versatile 4.7-liter V8, the Mexico was based upon the Quattroporte chassis shortened by 110mm (about 4.3”) for better handling, quicker response and to balance the two-door styling.

Production Mexicos were built by Vignale in its large new factory in Grugliasco and some 250 were built in three years. The first Mexico, however, is chassis number AM121.001, the car offered here, and it was appropriately and efficiently built by Frua, which was constructing the first series of Quattroporte. One of three prototypes commissioned by Maserati from Frua, Bertone and Vignale, this example displays significant and typical Frua styling of the period. The headlights are set into chrome-accented recesses in the front fenders and the side windows display Frua’s characteristic taller profile and gently down-swept sill that characterizes the Frua-bodied 5000 GT. Taken as a whole, Pietro Frua’s design is more attractive and streamlined than the more severe notchback styleoffered by (Vignale and eventually chosen by Maserati) which lost in attitude what it may have gained in rear seat headroom.

Suspension is independent at the front with a highly conventional solid rear axle suspended on leaf springs at the rear. The Italians have demonstrated over the years, however, an uncommon knack, apparently found only in the Mediterranean gene pool, for achieving a remarkable compromise between handling and ride with seemingly ordinary solid rear axles. It’s especially surprising because Maserati used an off-the-shelf Salisbury axle from England, which it shared with a number of cart-sprung British cars. How remarkable is Maserati’s accomplishment? None other than Innes Ireland, testing a Mexico for Autocar’s April 25, 1968 issue, nonchalantly remarked, "On a twisting, undulating country road the car was most exciting. The independent suspension all around took care of most of the bumps. Fast cornering produced very little roll."

Following a round of show appearances and evaluation by Maserati, the Frua prototype Mexico was sold through designer and sometime broker Tom Mead to Kenny Wagner in Texas. Wagner enjoyed his unique Maserati until 1978, when he sold it through an intervening dealer to Larry Maese. Two years later it was sold again into long term ownership by Mr. Frank Mandarano, impresario of the Concorso Italiano and keeper of the Maserati flame in the U.S., before becoming part of Mr. Alfredo Brener’s collection of singular Maseratis in 1999. It had been cosmetically restored in the present colors of dark wine over a light tan interior in the late 1980s and was mechanically restored in 1999 prior to its sale to Mr. Brener. Known in Maserati circles at the Mexico Speciale, this unique example is widely held to be one of the most important and significant Maseratis of its generation. Equipped with chrome wire wheels, its luxurious interior perfectly complements the rich and deep exterior color, and it benefits from having power steering which makes driving it all the more pleasant.

In common with the other important Maseratis in Mr. Brener’s exceptional collection, the Maserati Mexico Speciale by Frua has been maintained by specialists in excellent condition and constantly ready to be driven. The Mexico is acknowledged by Maserati experts to be one of the most refined and comfortable automobiles to come from its factories, particularly when the powerful and musical 4.7-liter V8 is combined with ZF’s smoothshifting five-speed transmission.

A rare, important, hand-built one-off styling prototype, this attractive and streamlined Frua-bodied coupé with impeccable provenance will be an important addition to any collection of fine Italian high performance cars or significant styling exercises and welcomed at prestigious events throughout the world.

ESTIMATE US $80,000 - $110,000  /  GB £53,000 - £73,000 (approx.)

HIGH BID: US $77,000 (including 10% buyer's premium)  /  GB £48,500 (approx.) - SOLD.

LOT 450

1962 Maserati 5000 GT Coupé
with coachwork by ALLEMANO.

CHASSIS No AM103.054

325bhp 4,941cc. single overhead camshaft Lucas mechanically fuel injected vee eight-cylinder engine, five-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").

Officine Alfieri Maserati described the 5000 GT in its brochure with these terms: power and flexibility: speed and safety: beauty and comfort. Its summary was, "dissonance is transformed into harmony in the Maserati 5000 G.T."

Maserati understood both its product and its market for the magnificent 5000 GT.

The 5000 GT's potential clients were well acquainted with dissonance. In business, politics, society and government they were the leaders who faced constant turmoil, publicity and decisions. To them, the 5000 GT offered escape, if only for a few hours on the highway, into the harmony of a powerful, fast, comfortable and distinctive automobile that would transport them from their everyday concerns and insulate them from the pressures of their responsibilities. No telephones rang, no unctuous retainers could interrupt with trivial request. The 5000 GT was an exclusive island of retreat.

Very few automobiles in any era achieve multiple distinctions such as the Maserati 5000 GT. It is most appropriate to think of it in the category that includes the Alfa Romeo 8C 2900. Both took their inspiration from accomplished state-of-the-art racing cars with outstanding success. Both were powered by refined versions of racing engines and were bodied by the most accomplished coachbuilders of their day with luxurious, distinctive and beautiful bodies that embodied the latest thinking and trends. Both have stood the test of time to become the centerpieces of collections fortunate enough to obtain them and to grace the lawns and halls of the most prestigious concours d'elegance with historic classes devoted only to these paragons of style, performance and luxury.

Maurice Khawam, in his exceptional book Maserati 5000 GT - A Significant Automobile, collected a number of owner's observations on their 5000 GTs. Jerry Wood, owner of Allemano coupé 103.034 observed, "The cars are masterfully engineered and are a real treat to drive. They all have tall gearing and seemingly endless acceleration in any gear.... Fourth gear never seems to run out of acceleration. One hundred and sixty plus miles an hour is cruising for this monster and it does it absolutely effortlessly."

Ken McBride, owner of the ex-Joe Walsh Allemano coupé that inspired lyrics, "My Maserati does one-eighty-five. I lost my license now I don't drive. I have a limo, ride in the back. I lock the doors in case I'm attacked," said, "the beast idles smoothly, and roars when you bury the throttle. The acceleration from 50 to 150 mph is smooth, seamless, and inspiring."

Matteo Panini observed about driving his 5000 GT Allemano coupé, "The important thing is not to get carried away. The 5000 GT must be driven with judgment and attention."

And, Mr. Alfredo Brener, whose magnificent collection at one time had five Maserati 5000 GTs representing all the model's significant variants, "the Maserati 5000 is a very rare, fast and special car combined with a fascinating history behind it."

Serafino Allemano, whose small Turin coachworks had been established in 1935, bodied 22 of the 34 Maserati 5000 GTs with a subtlety that lends unusual refinement to the character of this great gran turismo. Allemano's 5000 GTs refine the character of the first 5000 GTs created by Carrozzeria Touring with a long hood and tail capped by a light and airy greenhouse with huge wraparound rear window for exceptional visibility. Allemano was able to accommodate within the small greenhouse, surprisingly, 2+2 seating that takes advantage of his 5000 GT's 476 cm (187") overall length without losing its character as essentially a 2-seat gran turismo.

Mr. Alfredo Brener's 5000 GT Allemano coupé was first delivered on September 17, 1962 to Count Giuseppe Comola of Naples. Finished in black nitrocellulose lacquer with light beige interior, it has an Enrico Nardi wood rimmed steering wheel with Maserati's trident-pattern spokes. An older restoration by FAI, it has been displayed at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance where it received the Most Elegant award. Its condition is described as mechanically very strong and, in common with all the consistently maintained automobiles in Mr. Brener's collection, driving very well.

The interior has one reminder of the "dissonance" with which Maserati 5000 GT owners had to contend. Its instruments are arranged in two large circular dials directly in front of the driver and in clear view through the steering wheel. In the middle of the instrument panel, however, is a clock, a constant check on the fleeting respite afforded by the harmony of the 5000 GT's exhilarating performance and luxury.

One of the greatest automobiles of the postwar period, and a worthy contender for the world's best gran turismo, this Maserati 5000 GT Allemano coupé will reward its next owner with breathtaking performance, refined elegance, exceptional style and rarity with the provenance of having come from the collection of Mr. Alfredo Brener, one of the world's most important collections of Maseratis.

The 5000 GT's ability of transform dissonance into harmony is as valuable, and as rare, today as it was in 1962.

ESTIMATE US $175,000 - $225,000  /  GB £116,000 - £149,000 (approx.)

HIGH BID: US $176,000 (including 10% buyer's premium)  /  GB £110,900 (approx.) - SOLD.

NEXT PAGE: LOTS 451, 469 and 475.
BACK TO: LOTS 445, 446 and 447.

To enter Enrico's Maserati Pages CLICK HERE!

Copyright: RM AUCTION INC. - © 2003. All rights reserved.