Fiat Osca 1500S - SOLD
1961 Fiat Osca 1500S Spider / Cabriolet
- Subject to nut / bolt concours restoration.
- Matching numbers.
- Pininfarina styled.
- Maserati derived twin-cam engine.
- 1 owner for 42yrs.
In the 1950s, the Fabbrica Italiana di Automobili Torino (FIAT for short) was Europes largest car-maker, globally trailing only the ‘Big Three’ US car-makers in Detroit. Fiat’s success was primarily due to its production of affordable family cars, whilst also maintaining a sporty line and even an active racing program.
By the late 50's FIAT where now looking for a replacement of the 1200 series and approached Pininfarina for its new model. The resulting 118 series Coupe and Cabriolet was a styling success with the Spider / Cabriolet model especially looking like a smaller but equally handsome version of the Ferrari 250 PF Cabriolet. In addition to their own 1221cc and 1493cc single-cam engines, Fiat also contracted Maserati to create a higher performance model, using a road-going version of their MT4 racing engine with the resulting 'OSCA' twin-cam 1500cc version giving the new car 100 mph performance to match its looks.
Pininfarina assembled the Fiat 'OSCA' 1500S (type 118S) and 1600S (type 118SA) versions, identifiable by their non-function bonnet scoop, fitted rev-counter and 15" steel wheels throughout the model’s run, but the cars were always badged as Fiats and it is estimated that of the 34,000 Fiat Spiders and Coupes produced less than 1000 examples were built using the twin-cam OSCA engine. With its charming looks the 118 series remained in production until 1966 when the model was finally replaced by the equally stylish Fiat 124 Spider.
Absolute Classic Cars are delighted to offer this truly spectacular car, quite possibly the finest type 118S Fiat-OSCA 1500S Spider available. Original sold in Paris in 1961 this 1500S remained in France for the first 11 years and was then exported to California, where it resided with the same owner until 2015! Having seen very little use in the prevailing 43 years but now needing some TLC the car was sold, we believe due to the owner passing away, and the new owner set about commissioning a concours quality restoration.
In admiring this Fiat-OSCA 1500S Spider an on-looker could easily be transported back to the day this car was built, the level of detail is staggering and we could wax-lyrical that ever nut-bolt-wash, panel, moving part, seat, fixture or fitting has removed fully inspected and either replaced or restored. This car is new in virtually every detail and would happily see itself positioned amongst exotica at any respected concours event.
Finished in Grigio Chiario (Light Grey) with complimentary Nero / Grigio (Black / Grey) interior and a black mohair hood, the fit and finish on this 1500S are just beautiful with your eyes being drawn to all the delicate details such as the flawless chromework, the Nardi steering wheel, those floor hinged pedals, the detailed engine, the soft hue of the instrumentation, even down to how the wiring loom has been routed through the boot or engine bay...it's the little things that impress!
Mechanically the car has been beautifully sorted too. Twist the key and the burbly MT4 inspired engine settles into its idle. The long-throw gearstick selects gear easily thanks to a nicely weighted clutch and with a few revs we're off. The small capacity twin-cam, offering ~80bhp, will not set the world alight, but this really isn't the point, the driving pleasure, especially with the top-down, is, in the purest sense, an wonderful experience.
An exceptional example that has been subject to a top class restoration, stunning looks and undeniable rarity this Fiat-OSCA 1500S Spider is quite simply, 'la dolce vita'!
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"I write these words with a large childish smile still beaming across my face after driving through the Kent countryside, roof down, summers warmth on my face as ‘il Polita’ my beautiful '82 Fiat Spider 2000. This is now June but the story starts in 2018 February at the London Classic Car Show
Glass of fizz in hand with Paul; very good friend of mine. Gazing at auto-erotica, he spots the 82’ Fiat spider 2000 on the stand of ‘Absolute Classic Cars’, with the team greeting us too look closer. A truly stunning example and honestly priced. The conversation flitters between us, the cars of the show, and the possible purhcase of the Spider!
Days later, I call to make a further enquiry to purchase the Fiat Spider. Excitement in my voice is then inadvertently quelled as I find out that the early bird has truly got the worm. Paul has got in before me and struck the deal! All's fair in love afterall. . .
After carrying out a detailed service and additional works the call comes to collect the Spider and on a damp cold March morning we travel up to Lincoln, where we're kindly picked up at the station. Moments later, after a warming coffee, everybody’s happy! The sale's completed and Paul’s in the 'new owners' hot seat of the Spider raring to go. Myself? Navigators seat, perhaps with the slightest of sighs. 150 miles later, we’re home but the drive South has encouraged me to make the call for Absolute Classic Cars to commence the search for another model. This time, most definitely with my name on it!
Over the next month myself and the ACC team discuss cars in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands, with the Mark and Carl casting their ever professional ‘laser pin point’ eye over several models. Each time highlighting why that may not be the example for me. Rest assured these guys know their onions and you’re in very safe hands; candid and sincere.
Just when I was beginning to feel the summer would pass without a ‘Spider’ for my own Italian passions, I get a phone call from my friend Paul. Whether it was a hint of guilt or just that he had run out of space for his car collection? .....“Would you like to buy the Spider from me”....I think they were his words, as I interrupted with a ‘yes definitely’ before the sentence was cast from his lips!
I inform ACC to call off the search, the Spider has fund its true home! – ‘Perhaps it was just meant to be‘ he wryly says.
From that champagne fuelled car show, meeting Carl and Mark, the roundabout route of having my perfect car in the garage & now chasing summer horizons. I can honestly say it’s been a pleasure both meeting and finally getting ‘the car’ through the Absolute Classic Cars.
As they say in Italy – ‘Le Dolce Vita’ "
Steve Calver, Kent