The Motorious beta is now available to all users.  Learn more about what this means.

Classics For Sale: Unique OSCA 1600 GTS Zagato

By Tyler Heatley Jan 30, 2019
news
Shop Sports
By Tyler Heatley Jan 30, 2019
When the Maserati brothers left the company they founded, they created OSCA to continue building sports cars. This bespoke 1600 GTS has a colourful history

Maserati once built the red cars to beat in motorsport, usurping the likes of Ferrari and Alfa Romeo on the racetrack. However, off-track things were rather less rosy. Maserati brothers Ernesto, Ettore, and Bindo were unhappy building the profit-driven GT cars requested by owner Adolfo Orsi – who had bought the company in the 1930s – so left when their contracts expired. They founded OSCA soon after to continue building the sporty cars they envisioned. This rare OSCA 1600 GTS Zagato is one such car, and a unique specification example at that.

The first product of OSCA, the MT4, was a particular hit with its drivers seeing plenty of success in motorsport. Continuing that momentum was essential and so the next car, the OSCA 1600 GT Zagato, built on that successful formula. The use of independent suspension and a tubular frame made this sports car cutting edge for its day.

Classics for sale: Unique OSCA 1600 GTS Zagato
View in gallery

This 1962 example was specifically built as an experimental prototype for the Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race. Its Zagato coachwork was designed to give it an aerodynamic advantage down the long Mulsanne straight, where cars achieved their top speed. It also received a more durable live rear axle, making one of the very few GTS models to have this configuration.

It was sold to John Gordon – an American rocket engineer with a passion for racing – and John Bentley. The car cost the pair $6,833 and featured further modification for the race including a larger 80-litre fuel tank and DCO Weber carburettors. An item requested but ultimately not fitted was an oil cooler — this proved disastrous as the resulting failure caused a DNF on race day.

Classics for sale: Unique OSCA 1600 GTS Zagato
View in gallery

After being sent back to the factory for repairs before heading to America for further endurance racing, Tom Fleming, Ray Heppenstall and Harold Baumann raced this car for the famous North American Racing Team, often more readily associated with fellow Italian marque Ferrari.

1965 saw the car purchased by famed bomber pilot George Waltman who worked with the Maserati brothers to make the car competitive once again. Waltman went on to win his class at the 13th Annual Bahamas Speedweek in the Nassau Trophy Races.

Classics for sale: Unique OSCA 1600 GTS Zagato
View in gallery

The car continued to race throughout its life with various different owners until it was bought by OSCA collector and Pebble Beach judge Craig Davis in 1995. A fully documented restoration was undertaken before it was sold to a private collector in the UK in 2003. It has remain in said collection for the past 15 years.

OSCA built only 128 1600 GTs, of which just 98 were Zagato bodied. However, one one was built in this specific Le Mans configuration. This OSCA 1600 GTS Zagato in the AutoClassics classifieds for £600,000 is not only a fine example of a very rare car, but its fully documented history is fascinating.

Classics for sale: Unique OSCA 1600 GTS Zagato
View in gallery

Related articles

Why BMW's 2002 Turbo Should Be Considered The M-Division Daddy

An unbelievably rare 1974 BMW 2002 Turbo has surfaced on the market in iconic Chamonix White. In some aspects, BMW's...
By Max Holder Apr 25, 2019

Rare 1957 Porsche 550A Spyder Heads To Auction

Just 40 1957 Porsche 550A Spyders were built as the marque's first purpose-built racer. Porsche has an illustrious r...
By Tyler Heatley Apr 25, 2019

Your Car Could Be The Star Of The London Motor Show

A new competition will display 10 cars voted for on social media at The London Motor Show After spending many months...
By Tyler Heatley Apr 25, 2019

Intimidate Everyone In This 1969 Dodge Coronet

This Dodge Coronet has got the murdered out look down pat. Nothing looks more intimidating than an all-black or mur...
By Steven Symes Apr 25, 2019
Show Me More

URL copied to clipboard