The Maserati brothers sold their workshop in Bologna in 1937, and Ernesto, Bindo and Ettore Maserati founded the OSCA brand (Officine Specializzate Costruzioni Automobili) in Bologna in 1947. There they built the OSCA sports and racing cars. OSCAs performed magnificently in international sports car racing throughout the 1950s.
With sales of the once very successful OSCA sports racers dwindling, the Maserati brothers were forced to look for other sources of income towards the end of the 1950s. The first fundamental change was an engine partnership with Fiat, who were looking to expand their range with a new high performance model. In this arrangement, Fiat would manufacture a sophisticated twin-cam, four cylinder engine following an OSCA design. In return, the Maserati brothers would also receive complete engines at but a fraction of the cost compared to one built in-house. This arrangement opened new doors for the small company. The foremost was the possibility to produce a brand new production car that could be offered for a relatively competitive price. The 1600 GT, the only model that was homologated for road use, made its debut at the 1960 Turin Motor Show.
In the 1600 GT, OSCA installed a 4 cylinders, 1568 cc Fiat engine, and was available with two different chassis configuration and no fewer than four engine specifications: GT, GT2, GTV, and GTS, the most potent trim. In basic trim, fitted with a single Weber carburettor, it produced around 95 bhp. Three twin-carburettor versions were also available with power ranging from 105 bhp to 140 bhp for the twin-spark variant. All versions used the same and relatively light steel tubular chassis.
OSCA indicated it intended a production run of 128, but it didn't accomplish that. Most of the OSCA 1600 GT produced received a bodywork from Zagato but other famous Italian Coachbuilders prepared OSCA 1600 GT models like Fissore, Boneschi and Touring. Touring Superleggera was only provided the body for two OSCA automobiles: chassis numbers 0014 and 0019. (autoconcept-reviews.com, ultimatecarpage.com and bonhams.com)
Chassis number 0014
Believed to have been shown at the 1961 Turin Motor Show, this is the first of a pair of OSCA 1600 GTs clothed by Touring with an elegant coupe body. As with its sister car, the spare tyre is stored on the parcel shelf. Until recently, it was completely original but has since benefited from a subtle respray. The beautiful leather interior is still untouched. (ultimatecarpage.com)
Chassis number 0019
This is the second of only two OSCA 1600 GT chassis clothed by Touring with this elegant Superleggera design. One of the car's more unusual features is the location of the of the spare wheel and tyre; the parcel shelf. To blend into the interior, it is stored in a matching leather cover. (ultimatecarpage.com)
(Photos from ultimatecaroage.com, bonhams.com, gtdreams.com, forum-auto.com)