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Saturday, April 17, 2021

The last OSCA race car

The automotive world in the 1950s to the 1960s can be said to be the golden age of the Italian fast cars, many of them dominating various major racing events. Those were commonplace, because most of the racing activists at that time were the Italian automotive manufacturers ranging from large to small scaled companies. The intense competition atmosphere not only occured on the circuit but also spread out of the circuit. It is not surprising that many of the automotive business players had to resign because they could no longer face the tough competition at that time.
1963 OSCA 1600 SP while sat on dispay at the 2012 2012 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este. (Picture from: Coachbuild)
This was also felt by OSCA (Officine Specializzate Construzione Automobili), a small Italian automotive company owned by the three Maserati brothers in maintaining the existence of their company's banner in the automotive industry, in which they had to face many of the same problems in the second half of the 1960s as they have been done on two decades earlier. Once again, the problem of limited demand for race cars threatens the existence of their company.
1961 OSCA 1600 GT Coupe bodied by Fissore and powered by a twin-cam 1.6 liter engine that can deliver 95 hp of power to drive its rear wheels. (Picture from: Hemmings)
As qouted of Ultimatecarpage, in an attempt to turn their fortunes around before the Maserati brothers were forced to close shop or sell their business once again, then they launched the all-new OSCA 1600 GT as the company's first production road legal car. The coupe-style standard car uses a Carrozzeria Fissore made bodywork and is powered by a twin-cam 1.6 liter engine that can deliver 95 hp of power to drive its rear wheels.
1962 OSCA 1600 GT racing version bodied by Zagato and powered by an engine tuned to 140 bhp, and applied the rear's independent suspensions. (Picture from: Coachbuild)
Given the Maserati brothers' great interest in the world of racing, it's no wonder the racing variants also offered then in the 1962. The 1600 GT racing version is built using a Zagato-made lightweight body, powered by an engine tuned to 140 hp, and applied the rear's independent suspensions. It turns out that the OSCA 1600 GT in various guises managed to reap the great success, then allowed the three Maserati brothers able to develop a new purpose-built racing car.
1963 OSCA 1600 SP racing car prototype is powered by an engine tuned to 140 hp coupled with the four-speed gearbox and mounted on an all-new multi-tubular space frame chassis. (Picture from: Supercars)
The new purpose-built racing car dubbed as the OSCA 1600 SP (and SP stands for 'Sperimentale' or Experimental) is powered by the same 140 hp engine used by the racing version of the OSCA 1600 GT coupled with the four-speed gearbox and mounted on an all-new multi-tubular space frame chassis. Then the independent suspension via double wishbones is installed at all four corners, furthermore there's sizeable disc brake system that's allowed the 1600 SP to provide capable braking power.
Initially 1963 OSCA 1600 SP racing car built to race at the 24-Hours of Le Mans, but never been raced at all. (Picture from: Supercars)
The sophisticated and light rolling chassis is then wrapped in a sleek coupe-style body. If usually OSCA always assigns the coachbuilding company like Morelli to made the bodywork, but this time the 1600 SP' bodywork is made in-house was of course particularly interesting and profitable from an economic perspective. The design is determined mostly by the shape of the chassis as the aluminium panels were tightly wrapped over the mechanical components, and the results are visually pleasing.
1963 OSCA 1600 SP racing car prototype has sleek low-drag body shape. (Picture from: UltimateCarPage)
Initially the OSCA's race car was built to race at the 24-Hours of Le Mans, it can be seen by its sleek low-drag body shape, Kamm-tail at rear. But what could be said when the economic reality speaks differently to the Maserati brothers. When the first 1600 SP race car was completely finished in the 1963, they were forced to sell their business to Count Augusta (the owner of MV Augusta motorcycle manufacturer), who turned out to be more interested with the Maserati brothers' engineering capabilities than to the OSCA' cars.
1963 OSCA 1600 SP racing car prototype's steering wheel and dashboard view. (Picture from: GTPlanet)
Well, it's like a tragedy that suddenly comes, as a result of the transfer of the company ownership, the 1600 SP race car project was terminated and the finished race car never raced.😭 Under the Count Augusta' ownership, the company operated as usual until 1966 when the Maserati brothers left and soon after production ceased. Furthermore, OSCA has become the final motoring venture for the Maserati brothers, then the OSCA 1600 SP is recorded the last race car built by them.
1963 OSCA 1600 SP racing car prototype also featured the Kamm-tail at rear. (Picture from: GTPlanet)
The sole OSCA 1600 SP race car was kept by Ernesto Maserati until the late 1960s, when he gave it as a gift to his son Alfieri Maserati. He has loved the car ever since and despite its regular use, remained in highly original condition. The car rarely appears at public events, the last time the Maserati family' scion race car had seen at the 2012 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este
. Wanna see the Fiat-OSCA 1500 Spider.
 
And if the article above is still considered inadequate or inaccurate, or if you have additional information related to this marque, please don't hesitate to let us know via the comments column below this article. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | COACHBUILD | ULTIMATECARPAGE | SUPERCARS | HEMMINGS | GTPLANET ]
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