It started with a French pigeon. While hammering down a rural French D road during the Tour Auto, the errant bird made a surprisingly large dent in the front of this A6G Zagato. A few miles later, when the distributor exploded, the owner figured it was time to call it a day.

Having only just bought the car this was their first event together, but he planned to do a Mille Miglia with it. He therefore decided to send it to McGrath Maserati to be prepared.

This car was presented new on the Maserati stand at the 1955 Paris Salon and its original colour was light blue. A previous American restorer had changed the colour to burgundy and it had also lost its unique polished aluminium bumpers. Our brief was not to completely restore the car, for it was intended to be used in anger, but instead to go right through it mechanically and repair the damage, oh and if we could just make some new bumpers…

What followed involved delving into most parts of the car. The cylinder head was removed and overhauled including vacuum resin impregnating to overcome some porosity. The huge finned drum brakes were completely renewed including obtaining rare new wheel cylinders and re-lining the shoes. The suspension was re-bushed and new springs made front and rear to re-establish some ground clearance. Gearbox, clutch and rear axle were also fettled and the wiring repaired. Final fettling included setting up the ignition and carburetion and many miles of testing were fitted into a very short time as the deadline approached.

Completed in time for the 2012 Mille Miglia, the car acquitted itself well and came back for some detailing prior to being exhibited next at the Uniques Concours in Florence later that year. It has now left for distant shores but may return for some unfinished business in France. Watch out for pigeons!

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