O.S.C.A. 1600 GT coupé 1961

If you are looking for a Maserati that is not a Maserati – and yet is designed and built by the Maserati brothers then you’d best look for an O.S.C.A.

The O.S.C.A. badge. (Picture courtesy of Wikipedia).

The O.S.C.A. badge. (Picture courtesy of Wikipedia).

O.S.C.A. (Officine Specializzate Costruzione Automobili—Fratelli Maserati S.p.A) was created by Ernesto, Ettore and Bindo Maserati in 1947. The Maserati brothers had progressively left the company that now bears their family name in order to pursue their first love, building racing cars, and in particular to build racing cars in the 1100cc class. Their workshop was located in San Lazzaro di Savena not far from Modena and production was kept on a personalised small scale.

The Maserati brothers at O.S.C.A. in  San Lazzaro di Savena, Bologna. (PIcture courtesy of Flickr.com)

The Maserati brothers at O.S.C.A. in San Lazzaro di Savena, Bologna. (PIcture courtesy of Flickr.com)

So O.S.C.A. cars are something of a rarity. They are cars that were built with a passion for performance and as a result are cars that combine uniqueness with Italian sports car breeding in a small and lively package. In some respects similar in concept to Abarth with their small engines mounted in the rear as a scorpion like “sting in the tail” except with the O.S.C.A. the engine is in the front, creating a wonderfully balanced car that, in the case of this 1600 GT, is like an Italian version of an MG on steriods.

The O.S.C.A. Fiat engine was enlarged from 1491cc to 1568cc in 1962, hence this model is referred to as a "1600".

The O.S.C.A. twin overhead cam engine was enlarged from 1491cc to 1568cc in 1962, hence this model is referred to as a “1600”. This engine was later adopted by Fiat and moved into mass production.

The engine fitted to this 1961 O.S.C.A. 1600 GT coupé began life in 1950 as a twin overhead cam racing engine that went through progressive capacity increases, and also appeared as a “twin spark” version in various O.S.C.A. competition cars, including the FS 372 of which there were five made, one being still owned by Sir Stirling Moss. This being said the O.S.C.A. GT coupé represented a move into producing road cars, which was originally not what the Maserati brothers had intended when they left the company that still bears their name and started O.S.C.A. But I think we can be grateful that they did as there were 128 O.S.C.A. 1600 GT’s made for a lucky few to enjoy. What makes this particular O.S.C.A. 1600 GT even more of a rarity however is that it is one of only two O.S.C.A. 1600 GT’s with bodywork by Touring. The bodywork is of the Superleggera type as used on Aston Martins such as the DB4 and DB5 amongst others of the period.

The Touring body features the unusual concave rear window. Body lines are clean and uncluttered.

The Touring body features the unusual concave rear window. Body lines are clean and uncluttered.

In keeping with the car’s competition breeding the interior is minimalist and functional.

The interior is clean and funcitonal, yet comfortable and inviting.

The interior is clean and funcitonal, yet comfortable and inviting.

The mounting of the spare wheel is also unusual as it is on a folding mechanism that can be folded forward to gain access.

The spare wheel is mounted on a movable frame that can be brought forward for convenient access when the front seats are folded forward.

The spare wheel is mounted on a movable frame that can be brought forward for convenient access when the front seats are folded forward.

This O.S.C.A. 1600 GT is a delightful rarity, and, for someone who desires to own a car of which only two exist in the world, it is an affordable collectible.

The car is coming up for auction at Bonhams “The Chantilly Sale” on 5th September 2015.

You will find the auction page and more specific detail about the sale car if you click here.

 

The 1961 O.S.C.A. 1600 GT coupé with its creators.

The 1961 O.S.C.A. 1600 GT coupé with its creators.

 

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