Celebration of 100 years of Italian sports car design

This weekend at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este near Lake Como, the famous coachbuilder Zagato will show off its latest creation.

Celebration of 100 years of Italian sports car design

The car is called the “Mostro powered by Maserati,” and it celebrates both the 100-year anniversary of Maserati and a famous racing car called the 450 S Coupe Zagato Monster. Zagato will make only five of them.

The partnership between Ugo Zagato, who founded the company in 1919, and the Maserati brothers originated in the 1930s with the Tipo 26M Sport. They began working together in order to make Maseratis sportier, more lightweight, and more aerodynamic.

To that end, the proportions of the new Mostro echo those of the 450 S Coupé Zagato: They both have a large nose and engine, which are centrally positioned for optimal weight distribution.

The Mostro will go on sale later this year. It is based on the 450 S Coupe Zagato Monster, the race car Maserati made in Milan in 1957 for Stirling Moss and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The car comes with a carbon-fibre body covering a V8 Maserati engine, a six-speed transmission, and rear-wheel drive.

Its coupe body sits on a sports-car chassis but looks much more elegant than your average racer: Fixed glass windows, a superwide windshield, and doors that open high and forward make it instantly unique.

The Mostro is a new design from the coachbuilder that ended a “Neoclassical period” in 2010. That period had followed work stretching from the 1950s and ’60s when the company was collaborating with the major European brands: Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Bristol, Ferrari, Fiat, Jaguar, Lancia, Maserati, and Porsche.

The Maserati A6 1500 was one of the first examples of a new airplane-inspired body conceived at Maserati, setting the precedent for many future designs. The car embodied new and revolutionary forms that were applied to nearly every component on its body, especially the aircraft-like cockpits and the innovative use of Plexiglas to enable maximum visibility.

Now considered one of the best examples of Italian Gran Turismo style, the A6G/54 competed successfully within its category. The A6G/54 raced during the same period of time and within the same category of racing as Elio Zagato, who was a leading promoter and influential figure of Gran Turismo. By 1957, only 60 examples of the A6G/54 had been built. Twenty were built by Zagato.

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