Lot No: 132
c.1959 FIAT-OSCA 1500 Coupé
Coachwork by Carrozzeria Viotti
Chassis no. 118S002073
OSCA’s outstanding success in international sports car racing led to its advanced twin-overhead-camshaft engine being taken up by FIAT, for whom it was ‘productionised’ by ex-Ferrari designer, Aurelio Lampredi. OSCA - Officine Specializzate per la Costruzione Automobili Fratelli Maserati - had been founded immediately after WW2 by the three surviving Maserati brothers, who had sold out to the Orsi Group in 1937. 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 - and OSCA was set up to manufacture limited edition competition cars.
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.
The first FIAT models to receive the OSCA-derived engine were the 1500 coupé and cabriolet, which were first introduced in 1959. Maximum power was reduced from 125bhp to 80bhp, but that still meant a top speed of 105mph and a 0-60mph time of 10.6 seconds. Dunlop disc brakes were standard from 1960. In 1962 FIAT introduced the milder, overhead-valve engined 1500 coupé/cabriolet but the authentic OSCA-powered original is the one to have.
The FIAT-OSCA 1500 offered here wears fixed-head coupé coachwork by Carrozzeria Viotti. Founded in Turin in the early 1920s, Vittorino Viotti’s carrozzeria built bodies for (mainly) Alfa Romeo, Lancia and FIAT, mass-producing many special-bodied models for the latter. Famed designers such as Frua and Revelli worked for Viotti, producing many uniquely beautiful bespoke creations, and it is intriguing to speculate on who may have been responsible for this stylish FIAT-OSCA Coupé.
The Fiat resided in Switzerland until 1969 when it was put into storage and exported to Germany in 1988 to be fully restored by 1990. This actual car featured in Oldtimer Markt magazine’s November 1998 issue. Purchased by the current owner in 2007 and displayed at the Concours d’Elegance in Schloss Dyck in August of that same year, it is described as in wonderful condition throughout and benefits from a new battery.
The car is offered with (copy) Oldtimer Markt article and German registration/roadworthiness papers.
• Unique Italian coachbuilt style
• Desirable OSCA-engined version
• Potential concours contender
Lot No: 175
1968 Maserati Ghibli 4.7-Litre Coupé
Coachwork by Carrozzeria Ghia
Chassis no. AM115*640*
Engine no. AM115 640
Colour: Black with matching leather interior
Cylinders: 8; 4,719cc
Gears: 5 + reverse
Production: 1,149/125 (Coupé/Spyder)
A strong contender for the ‘most handsome car of the 1960s’ title, Maserati’s Ghibli debuted in coupé form at the Turin Motor Show in November 1966. Styled at Carrozzeria Ghia by Giorgetto Giugiaro and named after a Sahara Desert wind, the Ghibli rivalled the Ferrari Daytona for straight-line performance - its top speed was close to 275km/h (170mph) - while beating it for price and, arguably, looks. More than 4.5m long and 1.8m wide, the Ghibli occupied an inordinate amount of space for a mere two-seater, but perhaps the most startling aspect of its appearance was the height, or rather the lack of it. Dry-sump lubrication enabled the engine to be mounted deep in the chassis, permitting a low bonnet line, while limited suspension travel ensured that the tyres did not foul the wheelarches. The roofline fell away from the top of the steeply raked windscreen to the chopped-off tail, Giugiaro thus achieving a cabin lower than that of almost all the Ghibli’s contemporaries, albeit one with restricted headroom for rear passengers.
Like the contemporary Mexico 2+2, the Ghibli used a shortened version of the Quattroporte saloon’s tubular steel chassis in its live rear axle form. In preference to the more complex suspension designs favoured by its rivals, the Ghibli used leaf springs and a single locating arm, a much more easily maintained arrangement. The power unit was Maserati’s powerful, four-cam, 90-degree V8, an engine derived from that of the 450S sports racer and first seen in road-going guise in the 5000GT. This was used in 4.7-litre form up to 1970 when it was superseded by the 4.9-litre ‘SS’ version in order to meet ever more stringent emission laws. The gain in horsepower was minimal, but in either case performance was stunning, with 160km/h (100mph) attainable in under 16 seconds. This neck-snapping acceleration resulted from the V8’s enormous torque, which made the Ghibli one of the most flexible and easy-to-drive GTs of its era. One of the most stunning motor cars ever made, the Ghibli was a worthy rival for the Ferrari ‘Daytona’ and represents exceptional value for money today, just as it did 40 years ago.
This Ghibli Coupé was purchased by the current owner in October 2003 from Royal Automobile in La Baule, France immediately following extensive refurbishment, carried out by the vendor, which included a full engine rebuild. The latter involved fitting new pistons, valves, valve guides and timing chains; reconditioning the crankshaft; fitting new bearings; and overhauling the ignition system and carburettors. At the same time, the front suspension was overhauled and a stainless-steel exhaust system fitted. A desirable manual-transmission model fitted with five-speed ZF gearbox, the car also boasts air conditioning, although the latter is reported as in need of attention.
The car is offered with invoices relating to its purchase/restoration and subsequent maintenance; French Carte Grise; Contrôle Technique and Netherlands registration papers.
• Ghia styling
• Supercar performance
• One of only 1,149 made
• Recent engine rebuild