1951 Maserati Spyder Maserati A6G/2000 Chassis number 2017 is one of just three short-wheel base Frua Spiders built and as such is exceedingly rare. Plus it comes with a well-documented and quite remarkable history. According to a thorough investigation by renowned Maserati historians Adolfo Orsi Jr., chassis 2017 was delivered to Carrozzeria Pietro Frua on July 24, 1950.
Six months later it emerged with its new bespoke, hand-built Spider coachwork and it was returned to the Maserati factory to receive its final fit and finishes. Dressed in dark blue, the finished A6G/2000 was delivered to Maserati dealer Mimmo Dei of Rome on May 17, 1951 and immediately sold to its first caretaker, Luigi Trevisan, one of the many professionals working in the movie business.
Almost exactly a year later, 2017 was acquired by Franco Di Stefano, also involved in the movie business, and resided in Rome for another two years.Around 1957, the car was exported to the USA and records show that it was purchased by Gene Tice of Santa Monica, California in 1957. Mr. Tice retained the car for several years: at some point it was fitted with a Corvette V-8 engine, a common praxis in those years for rare, refined Italian sportscars.
Then in the early 60’s it appears the car was offered for sale and sold to Robert P. Yorba of Cambria, California, and was registered on California black plate ‘OAZ 434’ in Newport Beach, California.According to Yorba’s daughters, Robert raced the car in SCCA events across the USA, until it was eventually stored in Yorba’s garage and dropped off the radar for some time until serendipity played its hand. Fast forward to October, 1997 – a group of European collectors were lunching in a Californian diner, discussing their most recent automotive escapades.
The waitress, Dee Dee, happened to overhear their conversation and announced that she was the owner of a rare Italian automobile. With predictable scepticism, the group enquired about the car and were told it was a Maserati. Amused and acutely sceptical still, the group asked to see the car and soon found themselves standing in the door of a one-car garage staring at the rear end of a Maserati A6G/2000 Frua Spider.
Dee Dee Yorba explained that her father had purchased the car in the 60s and raced it until finally he retired and the car was stored in his single car garage and eventually inherited by his two daughters. Naturally the car enthusiasts attempted to purchase the Maserati but Dee Dee insisted she had to consult with her sister, who was somewhat unenthused to part with her father’s legacy.