Best in Show winner: the 1956 Maserati 450 S

There are all sorts of reasons why the Maserati won the Best in Show this year. It’s worth mentioning though, that the pure beauty of its lines, realized by Carrozzeria Fantuzzi, would have been enough alone to deserve the trophy. In the Maserati Tipo 54 Sport Competizione, better known as the 450 S, chassis number 4502, everything has a story, including the chassis number itself. Even though the chassis is stamped with “4502”, this car is actually the first 450 S produced. When Maserati was asked by racing driver and construction magnate Tony Parravano to develop a body using the most powerful engine available, it started with a 350 chassis – number 3501. The 4.2-liter, 8-cylinder engine was considered the most powerful of the era, but the car, delivered at the end of 1956, never raced at the highest level. Soon after Parravano took delivery of the car, the IRS impounded it for tax reasons connected with Parravano’s construction business. After a few years the car was sold at public auction to a gentlemen driver in southern California, Jack Brumby. Brumby decided the car was too powerful for his abilities and resold it after a few uneventful races. The 450 S raced a few more times until 1961 when it was retired to a more sedate life. First restored in the mid-1980s, it was overhauled again in the early nineties with a meticulous attention to detail. Today it looks as good as, if not better than, the day it left the factory.

The forgotten car: the Alfa Romeo 6C 3000 Superflow IV

At every concours d’elegance, even in Cernobbio, one car that could perhaps have been a winner, seems to go almost unnoticed by judges and public. It happens all over the world, but sometimes it comes as a real surprise. This time the car was the wonderful 1956/1960 Alfa Romeo 6C 3000 CM Superflow. Its chassis was originally used by Juan Manuel Fangio when he came second in the 1956 Mille Miglia. After the race the car was dismantled and the chassis and mechanical parts were used for a prototype made by Pinin Farina called the “Superflow”. This debuted at the 1956 Turin Motor Show with a coupé body, glass roof and plexiglass front wheel housings. The same year, at the Paris Motorshow, the car was shown in a different guise as the Superflow II. A few years later, in 1959, Superflow III came to the Geneva Motor Show as the “Spider Super Sport” with a soft top body and several features that would be seen shortly after on the Duetto Spider. 1960 brought the final transformation: the Superflow IV was exhibited at the 1960 Geneva Motor with the sliding plexiglass roof that the car still has today. In terms of sheer elegance and beauty, the Alfa Superflow is a genuine work of art.

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