Officine Specializzate Costruzione Automobili (OSCA) to przedsiębiorstwo założone w latach 40. XX w. przez braci Maserati. Konstruktorzy i inżynierowie konkurując w latach 50-tych z czołowymi zespołami w Formule 1 popadli w kłopoty finansowe, a zbawieniem dla nich był Fiat. Włoski gigant był wtedy na etapie poszukiwań żwawego silnika, który pozwoliłby konkurować z Alfą Romeo. Współpraca ta pozwoliła firmie Osca na znaczne obniżenie kosztów projektowania silnika 1600 i spełnienie ambicji o wyprodukowaniu małego samochodu sportowego z podwoziem wywodzącym się z wyścigów, o ograniczonej masie i wyposażonego we własny silnik. Tak właśnie narodziła się Osca 1600. Na rynku pojawiły się trzy wersje „stradale” o mocy 96 KM (wersja GT), 105 KM (GT2) lub 125 KM (Veloce) oraz wersja GTS o mocy 140 KM przeznaczona do wyścigów. Model 1600 GT bazuje na podwoziu rurowym wywodzącym się z MT4, pierwszego samochodu Osca, i jest wyposażony w niezależne zawieszenie z podwójnymi wahaczami osi przedniej oraz hamulce tarczowe na obu osiach. W tych wspaniałych latach klienci mieli do wyboru nadwozia Zagato (według projektu Ercole Spada), Fissore, Michelotti, Touring, Boneschi lub Morelli. Największy sukces odniosły dwie pierwsze, których wyprodukowano odpowiednio 98 i 24 sztuki. Zagato oferowane były w trzech różnych konfiguracjach: z płaskim dachem, podwójnym garbem lub podwójnym garbem z wyciągami powietrza do kabiny. Wersji Zagato przypisywano najlepsze prowadzenie, co w latach 60. czyniło go idealnym samochodem drogowym do wyścigów. Przez dwa i pół roku z fabryki wyjechało 128 egzemplarze wszystkich wersji.
Oferowany na aukcji samochód o nr 0097 to wersja Zagato, po raz pierwszy sprzedana w Rzymie. Osca miała kilku właścicieli, zanim trafiła do słynnej kolekcji Petera Kausa, Rosso Bianco. Prezentowana obok kilku barchett Osca została ostatecznie sprzedana w 1995 roku. Nowy właściciel zdecydował się na odrestaurowanie go u najlepszych rzemieślników z Padwy. Dwuletnia renowacja została ukończona w 1998 roku. Po zmianie właściciela Osca prezentowana była podczas Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este w 2006 roku, gdzie wygrała pierwsze miejsce w klasie. Obecny właściciel nabył ten samochód w 2012 roku. Samochód sprzedany został podczas aukcji w Paryżu 18 marca za 357,6 tysięcy euro.
Photos © Xavier de Nombel
1963 Osca 1600 GT berlinette Zagato „double bubble”
Estimation 370,000 – 500,000 €
Location: Salon Rétromobile, Paris
Date: 18 Mar. 2022 15:00
Sold 357,600 €
Chassis n° 0097
– Ex Rosso Bianco Collection, continuous history
– Rare model, sporty and elegant
– First in class at Villa d’Este
– Extensive documentation following detailed research
– Superb restoration by Quality cars and Officine Antoniana
At Osca, the 1950s were dedicated to the production of very limited series of competition cars. The Maserati brothers made a name for themselves with the MT4 barchetta, but the race costs were high and the business found itself in financial difficulty. Fiat came to the rescue, in search of a quick and sporty engine for a coupe?/cabriolet duo to rival the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint and Spider. Ernesto Maserati worked on a 4-cylinder 1 491 cc twin-cam engine producing 90 bhp, to be built by Fiat for the Fiat-Osca 1500 GT. This operation allowed Osca to significantly reduce the costs in designing its future 1600, and to fulfil its ambition to offer a small and lightweight sports car featuring a competition-based chassis and an in-house engine.
The Osca 1600 appeared with an engine increased to 1 568cc designed for a sporting use. It had an aluminium cylinder head, lightweight moving parts, and special cams giving more power at mid and high revs. It was offered in several different formats, with one or two carburettors : three ” stradale ” versions of 96 bhp (GT), 105 bhp (GT2) and 125 bhp (Veloce), and a 140bhp GTS version reserved for racing. Later, 40DCOE carburettors were often fitted in place of the 38DCOE and 42DCOE, as they gave a better performance on this oversquared engine. The 1600 GT sat on a tubular chassis derived from the MT4 but with a more modern front end (independent double wishbone suspension) and disc brakes all round. The engine, built and installed at the factory in San Lazzaro, was positioned a long way back in the car to improve handling. For the aluminium body, the client had the choice of Zagato (designed by Ercole Spada), Fissore, Michelotti, Touring, Boneschi or Morelli. The first two were most popular (98 examples for Zagato, 24 for Fissore, and the rest bodied one, two or three each). The Zagato was offered in three different configurations: with a flat roof, double bubble or double bubble with air extractors to the cabin. Osca claimed that Zagato versions were aimed at more sporting drivers while Fissore models appealed to older customers. The Zagato berlinetta was credited with having the best handling, which in the 1960s made it the small sports car closest to a race car. It was lively, with dynamic qualities regularly exploited by Italian gentleman drivers in rallies and hillclimbs, competing against Alfa Romeo, Fiat 8Vs and Abarths. The Osca 1600 GT was marketed for two and a half years, but, disadvantaged by its extremely high price (the same as a Lancia Flaminia Zagato), production ceased after 128 examples of all versions had been built. In 1962 Osca was bought by MV Agusta, disappearing completely in 1967.
The car on offer, chassis 0097, is a Zagato version, registered in its first libretto under the marque „Oscar”… rather than Osca, the constructor clearly being unfamiliar to the authorities. Sold in Rome, it had several owners between Rome and l’Aquila (two registrations Roma and AQ), before entering the famous Peter Kaus’s superb Rosso Bianco collection
Exhibited alongside several Osca barchettas, our car was finally sold in 1995 through Rudy Pas (1950s and 60s Italian race car specialist) to Dr R. The new owner, who resided between Germany and Italy, decided to have the car restored by the best craftsmen, based in Padua : Officine Antoniana (Federico Dalan, engine builder and Maserati specialist) for the mechanical elements, and the well-known coachbuilder Quality Cars (set up by former mechanics from Dino Cognolato) for the chassis and body. The two-year restoration was completed in 1998 and after that the Osca remained in the owner’s holiday home in Castelveccana. At that time it had the Italian registration ZA 703 KW.
Dr R. sold the Osca in 2005 to Jan de Reu the renowned collector of rare Italian cars, who registered it in Belgium with ” OSC 097 ” ! Having identified its potential and outstanding restoration, Jan de Reu presented the car at the Villa d’Este concours in 2006 where it won first in class G (Fast & Tiny). Complete with this award, the car was sold to an Austrian enthusiast through a Belgian specialist, in part exchange for a Siata 208 CS berlinetta. The Austrian took part in the Ennstal Classic in 2008 in his Osca.
The current owner acquired this car in 2012 and set about researching its history in depth, in order to meticulously piece together the details of the car’s past, expanding the history file that comes with it.
Today, this car is presented in a rare condition attesting to the high standard of its restoration. This comfortable GT has a rare double bubble roof, pierced at the rear for driving with a helmet. It sits on rare Amadori alloy wheels originally intended for racing. Inside, the Jaeger dashboard and large Nardi steering wheel add to its charm. On the road, the strong 4-cylinder engine can be exploited by the car’s handling, helped by direct steering and a light front end.
This car has shown itself to be very reliable, both in the hands of its previous owners as well as those of our Parisian enthusiast who has covered nearly 3 000 km at the wheel. It has been maintained regularly by RPM and Ferry Développement, with over 6 000 euros spent on recommissioning and routine maintenance. This is one of the most well-known Zagato versions, both for its provenance and for the recognition of its authenticity and condition earned by the Villa d’Este award. The car was featured in Automobiles Classiques in 2015 and has appeared in the book Berlinetta ’60s by Xavier de Nombel and Christian Descombes. An incredibly well documented example, this magnificent Italian small-series berlinetta combines charm, exclusivity and fun behind the wheel.
During his research, the current owner has collected a large number of documents supporting the history of the car :
– copy of the 1962 homologation papers
– history of the Osca 0097 put together over 10 years of ownership
– chain of 6 Italian owners before Peter Kaus
– help from an associate of Rudy Pas and Dr R.
– Rudy Pas advert and period photos (1977 and 1995)
– emails and photos of the restoration at Quality cars
– cover photos of the car on view at Villa d’Este in 2006
– letter from Dr R confirming its restoration and specifying details of the car’s history
– specific documents relating to this example :
– Belgian registration plate OSC 097 and papers
– old Italian libretto
– copy of Austrian papers
– owner’s instructions