The car industry in Italy had been founded on the basis of personal ambitions and a deep-rooted passion of a few pioneering individuals, quite unlike say the United States, where the industry grew because it meant for an attractive commercial proposition. Most of the Italian greats like Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Maserati, Ferrari and so on can trace their inception back to the passion and fortitude of a few people looking to make a difference.The OSCA 1600 GT Berlinetta here is a textbook example of this observation.
By the end of the Second World War, the Maserati brothers had cut all ties with their namesake company and founded OSCA (Officine Specializzate per la Costruzione Automobili Fratelli Maserati), to focus on building competition cars after Maserati’s shift in interest to road-going models. OSCA was a small outfit, building roughly 30 cars a year, exclusively for competition use. Throughout the 50s, OSCA saw good competition success. The most notable of them all was at the 1954 12 Hours of Sebring, where privateer OSCAs finished 1st, 4th and 5th, beating out works competition. Other wins included class wins at the Mille Miglia and also an index of performance win at Le Mans. These competition cars were usually powered by a 1.6-litre twin-overhead-camshaft engine which the Maserati brothers had originally developed for FIAT.