1963 Fiat 1600S O.S.C.A. Fissore Coupé
Coachwork by Carrozzeria Fissore
Chassis no. 118SA 023930
Engine no. 118A.000
Body no. 5753
This Fiat 1600S coupe with O.S.C.A. derived 1600 cc twin cam engine is one of Fissores most elegant and important designs. The model was introduced at the Torino Motorshow in 1962 where it got praise for its elegance, high quality of manufacturing and beautiful split rear window design. Fissore constructed this coupe in steel and light alloy on the new Fiat 1600 S chassis. It combined high performance with matching looks, superb braking due to the Girling three pod disc brakes on all four wheels and a Ferrari like interior with Nardi steering wheel, passenger footrest and Jaeger instruments.
Very few of these cars were of the first series, the original Fissore design as was presented at the 44th Salone dellautomobile di Torino in the autumn of 1962.
In 1963 the front section was modified to four headlights with changes to bumpers, traffic lights and eventually the beautiful split rear window construction was abandoned. One or two spyder versions were also included in this small series of special order cars. According to the Italian Car Register of John de Boer altogether less than 25 bodies of all variants were handcrafted by Fissore on the 1600S chassis platform.
This 1600S Fissore model was also the cover car of Paolo Fissores well known book Carrozzeria Fissore edited by Giorgio Nada in 1991. Fissores design had an immediate success at the Torino show and the carrozzeria was persuaded to put the car in limited production. The press gave the car a very favorable reception: it was extensively described in the famous car design publication Style Auto (issue nr.1, spring 1963 ). The author claimed that, the sporting styling is emphasized by the design of the air intake and the extended form of the flanks. Production was eventually halted because of the high costs imposed by hand craft manufacturing techniques. In all leading magazines of the period this extraordinary design was presented and admired. It is recognized that next to the exotic and special OttoVu 2 liter cars of the early fifties the Fissore 1600 S with OSCA derived engine must be considered as one of Fiats most important and sought after post war creations.
The car on offer is one of the very first examples constructed and consequently of the desirable first series. Originally painted bright red when sold in early 1963 it was discovered by its present ownera long standing and well known collector of Italian thoroughbredsin a barn west of Torino in 1999. The car had undergone a cosmetic restoration and was painted in medium blue. The engine was removed as was some of the trim, although all parts where present. The car was bought on the spot. The present owner recalls that only once before he has seen a similar car on the road: when in Milano driving his Cooper S in the mid sixties he was overtaken at high speed. As he tried to find out about the identity of this swift and beautiful metallic grey creation he started a pursuit but only managed to get a bit closer to the tail of this screaming car and discovered this to be a 1600S OSCA Fissore!
After acquisition the Fissore coupe was taken to an Italian bodyshop (Carrozzeria Turrini, Pozzolengo) for removal of all paint and inspection of the panel work. In the meantime some of the engine work was entrusted to Sergio Allais in Giaveno (Torino). Being unsatisfied with the progress the car was transported to The Netherlands. Meticulous care was given to the repair of the dented metal section around the grille, the headlamp buckets and the sills. Doors, rear section, bonnet, and boot lid showed very little aging. The platform chassis was in good condition without signs of accidents. After completion of the panel work the car was taken to a body shop with a long experience in paintwork of Italian cars. It was decided to paint the car in a period correct shade of gunmetal as the original red was not considered to be suitable for this elegant car. In Italy the original upholstery was replaced by deep Burgundy red leather, including the rear seats and door panels. A new windshield was made and all trim, complete, undamaged and Fissore numbered (#5753 ) was chrome plated. The instruments and the Nardi wheel were rebuilt in Italy and new Girling 3 pod calipers (all around), brake lines and brake and clutch cylinders were installed. Headlights, traffic lights, taillights and rubber window and door seals were replaced by new parts of correct specification.
The engine was rebuilt using the best materials: new cast h/c pistons (Allais) were assembled and fully machined connecting rods (Saenz) were made to order. The crankshaft was machined and balanced. Heavy duty bearing caps were machined from solid. New valves and valve buckets were fitted. All auxiliary components were rebuilt including the twin Weber downdraft carburetors (by D.C.M., Torino).
The final result is stunning and shows the beauty and originality of this great Carrozzeria Fissore design. It is claimed that this gorgeous example is most likely the one and only existent in the world today combining total originality, extraordinary condition and impressive performance. A must have and a chance of a lifetime for any car collector when important Italian coach building, rarity and performance counts!
- Please note, this lot is applicable to an import duty calculated at 2.5% of the hammer price. This duty will be invoiced to the purchaser but may be refunded if the lot is exported within certain criteria.