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  OSCA S187
 

  Article Image gallery (29) Chassis (3) Specifications  
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Country of origin:Italy
Produced from:1956 - 1958
Numbers built:19
Designed by:Morelli
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:May 13, 2015
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Click here to download printer friendly versionAhead of the 1956 season, the Maserati brothers developed a new OSCA competition car for the under 750cc class, which was particularly popular in Italy. Following Ferrari's naming practice, it was dubbed the S187 in reference to the new engine's unitary displacement.

OSCA's smallest engine yet, the tiny four-cylinder unit had a square design with a bore and stroke of 62 mm, which yielded a swept volume of 747 cc. Like the larger OSCA engines, the new S187 'four' was equipped with twin overhead camshafts and a pair of twin-choke Webers. It produced an impressive 70 bhp.

The Maserati brothers had originally intended the S187 to be built around an elaborate but relatively light and rigid multi-tubular spaceframe. Time and monetary restraints, however, prompted them to revert back to the familiar ladder-type frame with large diamater, oval side-members.

Suspension at the front followed the existing OSCA designs with double wishbones and coil springs. As before, the rear-end was built around a live axle but for the first time on an OSCA sports racer, the leaf springs were replaced in favour of coils. Specialist company Morelli was commissioned to build the slippery and lightweight bodies for the S187.

Beautifully engineered, the S187, also sometimes referred to as the S750, was quick straight out of the box. Among the first successes was a class win in the 1956 Mille Miglia with Ovidio Capelli behind the wheel. This victory was repeated in 1957 and that year, an S187 also won its class in the Sebring 12 Hours.

For 1959, the Maserati brothers substantially revised the car to keep tabs on the ever increasing competition. Much of the work focused on the engine, which had the exhaust and intake ports reversed, and the bore and stroke slightly revised. The S187N (for nuova or new) engine now produced 75 bhp at a startling 7,700 rpm.

In its updated guise, the diminutive racer continued to be successful in Italy and internationally well into the 1960s. This was the result of the quality of the original design, which combined speed and a reliability rarely found in its rivals.

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  Article Image gallery (29) Chassis (3) Specifications