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Best of show? 1954 Maserati acclaimed best of the best


The 1954 Maserati A6GCS/53 Berlinetta by Pinin Farina has been selected for the second Peninsula Classics Best of the Best award.

The car, part of the Destriero Collection from Monaco, took the honors as the best concours d’elegance-winning car from the 2016 collector car auto show season.

The competition is sponsored by Hong Kong-based Peninsula Hotels and is selected by a panel of judges including such car designers as Chris Bangle, Peter Brock, Ian Callum and Gordon Murray; as well as Henry Ford III, Ralph Lauren, Jay Leno, Nick Mason, the Earl of March (host of the Goodwood festivals), Prince Michael of Kent, president of the Royal Auto Club, and others.

The other contenders for the award were:

  • The 1952 Pegaso Z-102 Berlinetta Cupula that won at Amelia Island.
  • The 1960 Ferrari 400 Superamerica Coupe Superfast II that won the Cavallino Classic.
  • The 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Berlinetta that won at Chantilly.
  • The 1938 Dubonnet Xenia Coupe by Saoutchik that won the Royal Concours.
  • The 1971 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV coupe that won at Goodwood.
  • The 1936 Lancia Astura cabriolet that won at Pebble Beach.
  • The 1953 Ferrari 375 MM Spider that won at The Quail.

The grand champion Maserati was one of only four such Berlinetta-bodied sports cars from Pinin Farina and is the only one surviving with its original chassis and bodywork. It was unveiled at the 1954 Paris Motor Show, competed in events such as the 1955 Mille Miglia, and won best of show at Villa d’Este in 2016.

“The 1954 Maserati A6GCS/53 Berlinetta is a superb example of the beauty of Pinin Farina’s designs, which are synonymous with the coachwork that epitomizes classic Italian sports cars,” Michael Kadoorie, chairman of Hongkong and Shanghia Hotels, parent of Peninsula Hotels, said in a news release.

“The sensitive retention of its originality allows this stunning motorcar to emerge as the most elegant preservation among its 1954 counterparts.”

Speaking for the judges, Jay Leno added, “We were all in agreement that the Maserati deserved the award not only for its astounding display of modern innovation, but also because it has been restored in a way that preserves the design as it was intended to be appreciated, with a precise level of care for its historic and timeless automotive implications.”

The winning car will be on display Thursday at The Quail event on the Monterey Peninsula.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


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