OSCA 1600 GT Berlinetta 1965
Coachwork by Carrozzeria Fissore
Chassis no. 00107
* One of only 21 Fissore-bodied coupés
* Matching numbers
* Beautiful and rare coachbuilt Italian classic
* One owner from 1978 to 2016
* Largely original and well preserved
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. From 1950 onwards there was a new twin-overhead-camshaft OSCA engine, built in various capacities up to 1.6 litres, which was developed by the Maserati brothers for FIAT.
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).
According to the authoritative book on the marque, 'OSCA' by Orsini/Zagari, only 128 examples of the 1600 GT were built by the factory, with different body designs by Fissore, Boneschi, Morelli, and Zagato, which bodied 98 of them. The beautiful OSCA 1600 GT offered here is the work of Carrozzeria Fissore, which bodied 24 chassis, 21 as coupés and 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.
According to the accompanying Italian libretto, '00107' was in the hands of one owner from 1978 until 2016, when it was purchased by the present owner. The car has obviously benefited from a repaint some time ago, but other than that appears to be in largely original, well preserved condition, with a remarkably original interior trimmed in black vinyl, and an equally original engine bay. The body appears solid, and the engine started first time during a recent inspection. The vendor states that the car has only required regular maintenance while in his custody. Accompanying documentation consists of a Foglio Complementare and the aforementioned libretto.
One of only a relative handful of known survivors, '00107' 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 motoring events. An ideal addition to any serious OSCA or Maserati collection.
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