As owner of the famous Scuderia Centro-Sud racing team and Maserati concessionaire for Rome, Gugliemo 'Mimo' Dei clearly enjoyed a close relationship with the Maserati factory. As a result of this friendship, Dei was able, on occasion, to commission cars for himself based on chassis supplied by Maserati.
Chassis #2031 is unique, being the only car bodied in this style by Vignale. Upon its completion, this car was exhibited on the Maserati stand at the 1951 Salon de l'automobile in Paris, its styling being praised in the influential American magazine 'Road and Track'.
Following the Paris salon, and bearing the Turin Registration number '126793 TO', the car passed into the ownership of Marcel Schwob d'Hericourt of Paris, who entered the car on the 1952 Tour de France co-driven by Albertini. The car was used in other European rally events prior to being subjected to a factory service/overhaul at the Viale Ciro Menotti factory in Modena.
In subsequent years the car made its way to the United States having been purchased by US racer Bob Estes where, over time, the car was developed to keep it competitive.
In early 1972 an enthusiast recognised the car in a Los Angeles parking lot and, realising its importance, bought it despite its unrestored state. The new owner then embarked on a major restoration that took over nine years.
These years of dedicated restoration were rewarded when it won its class in the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d'elegance in 1998. The car's then owner believes the biggest compliment was not the win at Pebble Beach but when he was approached by Maserati Engineer Sgr. Alfieri at the Concorso Italiano. When Sgr. Alfieri looked over the car he said; 'It looks exactly as it did when it left the factory for the Paris Auto Show, colour, interior, everything except one detail'. When asked what that detail was he said, 'We never built them this well'.
I am not a natural flatterer, I like to think that I "tell it like it is", politely I hope. So when I tell you that I am very impressed by the contents of your website, it is just not English politeness. I of course love the subject matter but you deal with it in an energetic and respectful manner. I am overwhelmed by the research that has gone into compiling the list of coachbuilders/bodybuilders for Europe and North America. I have never heard of the vast majority of them.
Congratulations on an excellent website.
- N. Maltby of Car Scene International
We use Coachbuild.com almost daily as our main reference source!
- Schloss Dyck Classic Days
We use Coachbuild.com all the time for references!
- Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance
We are very impressed by your website!
- Bicester Heritage UK
We have 8143 visitors online