OSCA 1600 GT2 Coupe by Fissore

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1600 GT2 Coupe by Fissore





O.S.C.A. was founded in 1947 by Ernesto Maserati (engineering manager) and his two brothers Ettore, and Bindo (operations managers) who had all left Maserati after their ten-year contract with Adolfo Orsi terminated. Ten years earlier, in 1937, the remaining Maserati brothers had sold their shares in the company to the Orsi family, who, in 1940, had relocated the company headquarters to their hometown of Modena, where it remains to this day.

The O.S.C.A. factory was at San Lazzaro di Savena outside Bologna, where Maserati were originally made 1926 to 1940. Their basic business goal was to develop an automobile to compete in the 1100 cc racing class.

O.S.C.A.'s first automobile was the MT4, for Maserati Tipo 4 cylinder. The 1092 cc engine (72 PS (53 kW; 71hp) at 6000 rpm) had a FIAT-derived block, alloy head, and the bodywork was built as a two-seater barchetta. The MT4 first raced in 1948 at the Pescara Circuit and the Grand Prix of Naples, where it was driven to a win by Luigi Villoresi. The engine was modified to 1342 cc form (with 90 PS (66 kW; 89hp) at 5500 rpm) in 1949.

There is, however, still some confusion over the different models and engines. To clarify: apart from the 4.5-litres (3 engines built), the Formula Juniors (with 1100cc pushrod Fiat engine) and the 2-litre six-cylinders, there are three different O.S.C.A variants - the MT4, the Type S and the 1600 GT.

The MT4 : The initials standing for Maserati Tipo, the MT4 was the first series to appear in 1948. The tubular chassis had independent front suspension with wishbones and the rear axle was rigid with semi cantilever. It had a 4-cylinder engine with a five bearing crankshaft, which was soon fitted with a twin overhead cam cylinder head. The engine was available as 1100cc or twin-ignition 1500cc. The MT4 is the best known O.S.C.A., having clocked up multiple class wins in the Mille Miglia and won at Sebring outright in 1954, raced by Stirling Moss. In September 1955, a 1500cc version achieved 12 world speed records including 261.38 km/h over 10k (this car is on display in the Mulhouse museum today).

In 1950, a new DOHC (MT4-2AD) raised power (to a maximum of 100 PS (74 kW; 99hp) at 6300 rpm), and in 1953 the engine was enlarged to 1453 cc (110 PS (81 kW; 108hp) at 6,200 rpm). The all new type 372 DS twin spark engine with 1491 cc (120 PS (88 kW; 118hp) at 6300 rpm) was later used in the O.S.C.A. MT4 TN (for Tipo Nuovo", "new model") of 1955. With this new engine, the car received the new name FS 372, of which five were built. One of these belongs to Sir Stirling Moss, who still races it in historic races across the globe. Versions of this engine went on to be used in coupé and convertible models of regular Fiats from 1959 to 1966.

Type S benefitted from an evolution of the MT4 chassis. The engine was built in different sizes : 750 cc, 1100 cc (the S 273 in the sale), 1500 cc and 2000 cc. In the car on offer, chassis n°1187, the engine has a cast iron block and aluminium cylinder head with two twin-bodied Weber DC03 carburettors, and magnesium oil sump. The number 273 corresponds to the unit cylinder size of the four-cylinder 1100cc engine. Producing 95 bhp, this aluminium barchetta of 480 kg was capable of 200 km/h

These automobiles were mainly barchettas, but a few were built with more luxurious berlinetta bodies by Pietro Frua, Michelotti, and Vignale. A Vignale was run in the 1500 cc class at the 1953 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The 1954 12 Hours of Sebring was won by drivers Stirling Moss and Bill Lloyd in an O.S.C.A. MT4 as part of the Briggs Cunningham Team.

From 1951 to 1962, automobiles or engines made by O.S.C.A. also were entered in some Formula One and Formula Two events although they mainly built small sports cars of which some were designed by Pietro Frua. In the World Sportscar Championship OSCA vehicles ranked 10th (1953), 4th (1954), 6th (1957), 5th (1958) and 4th (1961).

The 750 cc 70hp (52 kW) type S 187 was introduced in 1956. Weighing 430 kg (948 lb), this car had a top speed of 110 mph (180 km/h). The name "187" refers to the displacement in cubic centimeters of each cylinder of the engine. In 1959 Jim Eichenlaub won the American H-Mod Title with this OSCA S 187. Operating on a shoestring budget, Eichenlaub often slept in his tow car because there was no money for a motel. However he won his first race at Pensacola in April 1959.

The Formula Junior (FJ) used a Fiat engine of 1089 cc, and saw wins by Colin Davis and Berardo Taraschi in 1959.

In 1963 the brothers sold the company to Count Domenico Agusta, owner of MV Agusta, They did design work for Agusta until 1966. One of their final designs was a desmodromic four-cylinder engine. O.S.C.A. ended operations in 1967.

The 1500S Coupé and Convertible were available with OSCA's twin cam 1491 cc engine as the 1200 were produced with a Fiat engine. These 90 PS (66 kW) - 1500S models went on sale in November 1959, with Pininfarina bodywork. The engine was uprated to 1568 cc and 100 PS (74 kW) in the summer of 1962 (1600 S) thanks to a 2 mm bore increase, and the shell underwent a facelift as the Fiat 1300/1500 replaced the original 1200 in 1963. This continued in production until replaced by the Fiat 124 coupé/spider, with Fiat's own twin cam engine, in late 1966. OSCA also offered their own cars powered by this engine, such as the Fissore-bodied 1600 GT2. The Osca 1600 GT has the tubular chassis designed by the Maserati brothers and the most powerful engine used for the 24 examples bodied by Fissore: a four-cylinder twin-cam with double Weber 38 DCOE carburetors, producing 105hp and mated to a four-speed gearbox.

At the same time as its twin-cam engine was powering FIAT's range-topping sports cars, OSCA began producing its own GT cars, reversing the policy that had prompted the brothers to leave Maserati. OSCA's 1600 GT was built around a tubular-steel spaceframe chassis equipped with the same engine in a higher state of tune. (It would appear that concurrently with its own 1600 GT, the firm also built special versions of the FIAT 1500/1600, many of which were made as closed coupés, a style not offered by FIAT). OSCA completed 128 examples of its 1600 GT between 1960 and 1963, the greater majority (98) with bodies by Carrozzeria Zagato and Fissore.

Sold for: 138000 EUR
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