One of 24 built,c.1961 OSCA 1600GT Coupé  Chassis no. 00103 Engine no. 00103

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Lot 215
One of 24 built, c.1961 OSCA 1600GT Coupé
Chassis no. 00103 Engine no. 00103

Sold for CHF 75,400 (US$ 74,658) inc. premium
One of 24 built
c.1961 OSCA 1600GT Coupé
Coachwork by Carrozzeria Fissore

Chassis no. 00103
Engine no. 00103
In 1937 the three surviving Maserati brothers sold out to the Orsi Group and after WW2 founded Officine Specializzate per la Costruzione Automobili Fratelli Maserati - OSCA for short - to build limited edition competition cars. One of the reasons for the Maserati brothers’ departure was that they did not want to be involved in making road cars - they were racers pure and simple.

OSCAs performed magnificently in international sports car racing throughout the 1950s. In the 1954 Sebring 12-Hours, a round of the World Sports Car Championship, privately entered 1.5-litre OSCAs finished 1st, 4th and 5th against works teams in a category with no limit on engine capacity, an achievement as outstanding as it was unexpected. OSCAs took class wins in the Mille Miglia on ten occasions and also won the Index of Performance at Le Mans.

OSCA was a tiny company, never making more than 30 cars in a single year, all of which were intended for competition. Its first offering, introduced in 1948, was the MT4 (Maserati Tipo 4), a small siluro powered by a 1,092cc overhead-camshaft engine, which was immediately successful in the hands of Luigi Villoresi. Enlarged in stages up to 1,491cc and given a twin-cam cylinder head, the OSCA engine was later taken up by FIAT, for whom it was ‘productionised’ by ex-Ferrari designer, Aurelio Lampredi.

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 1600GT 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 1600GT, 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 1600GT between 1960 and 1963, the greater majority (98) with bodies by Carrozzeria Zagato.

The OSCA 1600GT offered here is the work of Carrozzeria Fissore, which bodied 24 chassis, including three as cabriolets. Founded by the four Fissore brothers in 1920, Carrozzeria Fissore produced car and commercial vehicle bodies for a wide variety of chassis before turning increasingly to FIAT in the 1950s. The firm is best remembered for its stylish FIAT 1500/1600S coupés and spiders and the later versions on the OSCA chassis, of which this car is an example.

The history of chassis number ‘00103’ is unclear until the late 1970s when the car was for sale at Rudy Pas in Holland, at that time finished in Alfa Romeo purple livery. It later resurfaced in Connecticut, USA in the ownership of John Geils of the then famous J Geils Band. John restored the OSCA (he later owned a Ferrari restoration business) and painted it red. The car was later sold to the celebrated Swedish collector Hans Thulin, known for his Ferrari GTO and Bugatti Royale. Subsequently put on display in a Swedish museum, it was purchased in 2002 from the latter by the current owner, who advises us that the bumpers and ‘Fissore’ script have always been missing.

The OSCA had seen little use since its restoration in the 1980s and needed no further work, merely re-commissioning, after which it was used for various events in Sweden and the Milan - San Remo in 2006 among others, while in 2007 the vendor completed a 2,300-kilometre European tour in it without trouble.

We are advised that the engine has just been removed and rebuilt, its crankshaft being re-balanced and the camshafts replaced by new ones (photographs available). Its engine newly run-in, the car is described as in good usable condition. One of only a relative handful of known survivors, it represents an exciting opportunity to acquire a fine example of this rare Italian Gran Turismo eligible for a wide variety of the most important historic events.
One of 24 built,c.1961 OSCA 1600GT Coupé  Chassis no. 00103 Engine no. 00103
One of 24 built,c.1961 OSCA 1600GT Coupé  Chassis no. 00103 Engine no. 00103
One of 24 built,c.1961 OSCA 1600GT Coupé  Chassis no. 00103 Engine no. 00103
One of 24 built,c.1961 OSCA 1600GT Coupé  Chassis no. 00103 Engine no. 00103
One of 24 built,c.1961 OSCA 1600GT Coupé  Chassis no. 00103 Engine no. 00103
One of 24 built,c.1961 OSCA 1600GT Coupé  Chassis no. 00103 Engine no. 00103
One of 24 built,c.1961 OSCA 1600GT Coupé  Chassis no. 00103 Engine no. 00103
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