c.1955 OSSA 125cc Palillos
Frame no. 8 7000
Engine no. 1023
The motorcycle arm of Orpheo Sincronic Sociedad Anónima (OSSA) was set up in the late 1940s by Barcelona-based industrialist, Manuel Giró, who had been Spanish sidecar champion in the 1930s. Giró's company manufactured film projectors and other related products, and part of the factory was turned over to the production of motorcycles, which commenced in 1949 with the introduction of a 125cc single-cylinder two-stroke. Some early models used four-stroke engines but by the 1960s all OSSAs were two-strokes. OSSA first achieved worldwide recognition when works rider Santiago Herrero came close to winning the 250cc World Championship in 1969. However, by this time Spain's domestic motorcycle market was in decline as the increasingly wealthy Spaniards turned to small cars such as the FIAT 500. Like rivals Bultaco and Montesa, OSSA was forced to turn to overseas markets, by far the largest of which was the USA where the growing 'off-road' sector offered considerable scope for a small specialist manufacturer. The company concentrated almost exclusively on 'dirt' bikes from the late 1960s onwards, enjoying considerable success on the international stage. Increasing competition from Japanese manufacturers prompted a merger with Bultaco in 1979 but this was not enough to save OSSA, which closed in 1982. This rare early OSSA was purchased in restored condition two years ago having previously formed part of the Basella museum collection.
- The engine number for this lot should read M11058.