In the late Forties, Ernesto Maserati decided to create a new car for the brand, to be built around an essential key feature: the 1.5 litre six cylinder engine. In 1945 Luigi Villoresi and Guerino Bertocchi were already testing the first bare chassis built for this car, with just four wheels, brakes, steering and engine (no bodywork) on the San Veneziano road near Modena, starting the development of what was to become a Maserat icon of the Fifties.
Maserati started from the A6 TR engine, a six cylinder unit with built-on head evolved from the pre-war engine block of the Maserati 6CM, which originally delivered 65 horsepower. The straight-six underwent large-scale modification to upgrade it to 90 horsepower and an entire car was built around it, starting from the chassis and technical components and then leaving it to Pininfarina to create the forms of the bodywork. Ernesto Maserati carried out a large number of experiments with the aid of famous Italian automotive engineer Alberto Massimino, leading to the development of the Maserati Tipo 6CS/46, the first prototype of what was to become the Maserati A6 1500.
For its road tests, the Maserati Tipo 6CS/46 was initially fitted with temporary body plates, leaving Pininfarina the task of designing the car’s definitive version. In Turin they created innovative lines, with very unusual forms, a long bonnet and a tapered, almost pointed tail, with a cockpit just large enough to take the driver and one passenger. Elongated front mudguards, which curved forwards, framed the front, which comprised of a plain bumper, two headlights and the unmistakable Maserati radiator grille.
The prototype of the Maserati A6 1500 was built on a ladder chassis with cross-braces, combined with independent front suspensions and a rigid rear axle. The car weighed about 750 kilograms and, thanks to the first naturally aspired engine in Maserati’s history, the Maserati Tipo 6CS/46 provided excellent performance figures for the time, starting a fresh chapter in the history of Maserati and motor-racing, which was restarting after the enforced stoppage during the Second World War.