1926 OM Type 665S Tourer Coachwork by Cadogan Registration no. YO 1021 Chassis no. 25572 Engine no. 25572
From 1933, when they became part of FIAT, OM produced commercial vehicles, but in the 1920s and early 1930s OM sports cars competed with outstanding success against the more illustrious Bugatti and Alfa Romeo marques in the major continental long distance events. The OM (Officine Meccaniche - Mechanical Workshops) company came into being in 1899 as a result of the merger of Miani, Silvestri & Co with Grondona, Comi & Co, both firms being active in the production of railway locomotives and rolling stock. OM's involvement with car manufacturing began in 1917 when it bought the Roberto Züst factory in Brescia and the first OM car, closely resembling a Züst, appeared in 1918. Designed by the Austrian-born engineer Lucien Barratouch and introduced in 1920, the first model of wholly OM design - the Type 465 - was powered by a four-cylinder 1,325cc sidevalve engine. This was followed by two more four-cylinder models, the Types 467 and 469 (OM type nomenclature being the number of cylinders followed by the bore dimension in millimetres). The firm's most noteworthy competition successes came in the 1927 Mille Miglia, when Ferdinando Minoia and Giuseppi Morandi headed an OM '1,2,3', and the 1928 race when an OM finished in 2nd place overall. That car also won the 2-litre class, in which category OMs filled the next seven places! These were six-cylinder Type 665 cars but the earlier four-cylinder models won their share of honours too, with many 1,500cc class wins in the early 1920s. OM also took the team prize in the 1928 Coppa delle Alpi. The make was imported into Britain by the concessionaires, L C Rawlence & Co of Sackville Street, London W1, whose development engineer and driver, R E Oats, raced OMs to numerous victories at Brooklands. In the mid-1920s OM obtained a licence to build the Swiss firm Saurer's diesel engines, a move that facilitated its diversification into commercial vehicle manufacture. The car side of the business had already been sold off when FIAT acquired OM, which continued as a truck and bus manufacturer until the mid-1970s when FIAT's commercial vehicles division was reconstituted as IVECO. This OM 665S carries four-seat open tourer coachwork by the London-based coachbuilder Cadogan, which during the mid-to-late 1920s specialised in producing sporting bodies for quality makes including Bentley, Invicta, Packard and, of course, OM. 'YO 1921' was purchased by the current owner's father in 1963. Major works carried out since acquisition include replacing the upper cylinder block (in 1966) a re-spray (in 1970), replacing the seats (in the 1970s) and rebuilding the wheels (date not stated). Routine maintenance has been carried out as required and the car is described by the private vendor as in generally good condition. This rare Italian sports car is offered with old-style logbook, current MoT/tax and Swansea V5 registration document.