Living in California I’ve come to expect the un-expected.
Seriously. Things that happen here just don’t happen in other places. Things like spotting
Octomom Angelina Jolie shopping at a Ralphs with her baseball team in tow. Like being able to surf and ski the same day (and not on the same body of water). Like pulling up to an intersection and seeing three Bentleys, two Ferraris, and a dealership’s worth of BMWs, Mercedes and Porsche At. The. Same. Time. It happens and interestingly enough, it doesn’t phase me anymore. I’ve relatives in Iowa and Nebraska that come here, point these things out, and my response is a bland “Oh, I hadn’t noticed”.
Anyway, one of those random little moments happened on Saturday. Steve and I are casually grazing over vehicles in search of the Beast’s replacement. As much as I love that big black ball of steel, I wouldn’t mind a smaller car payment and something a little nicer on gas (comes back to that Walking the Walk I talked about last week). The result is that we’re finding ourselves in some random places looking at just as random vehicles.
So we thought we’d stop in to our local CarMax. You know, the Wal-Mart of vehicle shopping. Lots of cars but also, lots of blue polyester. Similarity? Hmmmm…. I’ll let you draw the conclusion. Let’s just say it’s not a place that is normally going to get my motor racing.
Until Friday. When I spotted this little number just outside the front door. Parked by itself. Alone. Poor thing. I snapped a photo and went on my merry way not knowing that I’d seen something VERY special. Like one in sixty special. Like hand built, no two alike special.
So special that it was a rather rare 1956 Maserati 2000 GT Allemano Coupe.
Let me put it this way. You DON’T see this car outside of the Cours d’Elegance. Certainly I talk about great vehicles here on the D.Coop Bloggie. I’m sure you’ve all see my post about the Audi R8 Spyder. I mean, I talk about it ad naseum so you should have seen it. Seriously. What are you waiting for. I’ll wait. But this little beast, this is in a completely different territory.
Built between 1955 and 1957, the Allemano Coupe was considered the last of Maserati’s coach built vehicles. Maserati had initially turned to builder of choice, Pinin Farina, to clothe the last of their hand built machines. But alas, Farina had already committed to Ferrari (bastard). The result, a trifecta of boutique Italian coach builders were selected as the principal des vestements. Ultimately this little twist of affairs made the coupe that much more rare. Allemano produced only 2+2 bodies, better known as the coupe. Frua, whose influence can still be seen in today’s BMWs, produced Spyder bodies. Zagato (Aston Martin Vanquish Roadster anyone?) turned out spectacular competition race bodies. What this meant was that because only 60 Maserati 2000 GTs were ever produced, the Allemano Coupe is only one of 21. Total.
There are more people that win the lottery each day then there are Allemano Coupes. And of course, you’d probably need to win the lottery to afford one. A “fixer-upper” went to auction in 2006 and sold in the $180,000 USD range making clean, perfect, d’Elegance examples fetch numbers that would make four years at Harvard seem affordable.
But alas. Just as any other dream, this one was short lived. After a short tour around the Wal-Max (or Car-mart) parking lot, the GT had vanished leaving me wondering “Just what WAS it doing here?”.
Will I see it again? Probably not. But it’s sighting I can chalk up to my Big Foot Bucket List.
Minus the footprints. And the hair.
Images via: D.Coop, Maserati-Alfieri