2-of-9: 1967 OSI 20M TS

There are times here at Barn Finds where a car comes along, and it requires some serious detective work to nail down the vehicle’s details. Our feature cars are just such vehicles because they hail from a truly obscure Italian manufacturer. The company in question is OSI (Officine Stampaggi Industriali), which was an independent branch of the famed Ghia brand. It concentrated on some niche coach-building and custom models for Alfa Romeo, Fiat, and Ford. The 20M TS was their Ford derivative, and estimates place build numbers at around 2,100 cars. Of these, it appears that less than 200 (possibly as few as 170) have survived, and various sources seem to agree on the fact that between five and nine cars now exist in the USA. The odds that two of these cars should come up for sale from the same owner would seem to be astronomical, but that is the case here. You will find this pair located in Ventura, California, and listed for sale here on eBay. The owner has set a BIN price of $17,500 for the pair, although there is the opportunity to make an offer.

The OSI 20M TS was based on the German Ford Taunus 20M chassis and drive-train, with this custom body and interior. Tracing the history of the two cars has been difficult, as I haven’t been able to confirm much about the Red car. However, I was able to stumble onto some VIN information for the other car. I do believe that it may have spent the early part of its life in the Netherlands, before finding its way to the US. I can’t confirm that the Red car started life finished in that color, but it appears that the second car was originally finished in a shade of Cream. The bodies of both cars appear to be largely complete and in good condition, but there are a few items missing that may or may not be with the cars. However, the owner also has a significant cache of parts that will go with the cars, and he estimates that these parts alone would be worth more than $30,000. The one thing that should have any potential buyer breathing a sigh of release is the fact that all of the glass appears to be present and in good condition.

The interior of the OSI certainly didn’t bear a lot of resemblance to the Taunus from which the car was derived. As befits an expensive, custom-built car, all interior trim and upholstery were first-rate, with extensive use of leather. The seats that you can see here are currently in the Red car, but there is every possibility that they were originally in the Cream one. The VIN information that I have been able to locate states that the Cream car had a red leather interior, while there is plenty of evidence to suggest that the Red car had black upholstery. The timber dashboards of both cars will require complete restoration, although it does appear that the Cream car does at least still have all of its original gauges.

Power for the OSI 20M TS was derived from a Ford power-plant. There were two to choose from, and both were V6s. The buyer could choose between either the 1,998cc version or the 2,293cc. In standard form, these engines produced 90hp and 108hp respectively, but performance upgrades pushed these figures to 111hp and 125hp. It appears that there is an engine fitted to the Red car, but none in the Cream car. Both cars would have left the factory fitted with 4-speed manual transmissions, but it appears that there is only one fitted to the Red car at this stage. The beauty of these is that the vast majority of components are standard Ford items, so sourcing mechanical items shouldn’t be difficult.

At the start of this article, I made reference to the odds of a single seller having two of these little cars for sale, but the odds grow even longer. The owner also has a third OSI that he intends to sell, and that one is a fully restored example. He has included a couple of “teaser” photos of that car in this eBay listing. It will be interesting to see what that one finally sells for once it is listed. Placing a value on this pair is extremely difficult, but after a long search, I was able to locate a reasonable one that sold in 2016, and it went for a cool $36,000. I’m not sure what this one will sell for, but whoever buys it and restores it is guaranteed of one thing. If they park it in their driveway, there isn’t much chance that their neighbor is going to have one the same.

Like This? Get Our Daily Email

Comments

  1. redwagon

    what price exclusivity?

    these look like fun but you had better be a body and interior expert – or at least know one. also it wouldn’t hurt to have a pipeline for parts. perhaps an OSI fan page?

    2
  2. Gaspumpchas

    Looks like they shoehorned a 302 into the cream colored one. wonder if it hooked up/ adapted to original drivetrain? Like the styling. Quite a projects. Good luck to the owner.
    Cheers
    GPC

    3
    • Doyler

      How about a V6 busso? Seems like it was meant to be?

  3. local_sheriff

    Never ever heard of any OSI, but looking at the museum quality silver car seller has added they sure are sexy Italians indeed! The Ford V6 drivetrain is a tried and true combination, at least there are some easily available bits here. These projects are way out of what I’d dare to take upon simply due to scarcity of parts.

    Best of luck to next owner(s), once finished these cars will be unique, sexy and fascinating headturners where ever they’re driven

    1
  4. Tony B.

    I purchased a 1967 OSI motor on ebay about 10 years ago, from a fellow in Wisconsin, to put in my Jowett Jupiter. Life got in the way, and I never did pick it up. Wish I had… :(

    1
  5. Cruiser

    The first thing I thought of when I saw the vents on the fastback was “Torino.”

  6. scottymac

    If you don’t want to jam in a 302 and want to retain a bit of the heritage, switch to a 4 liter Explorer/Ranger Cologne V-6. I think of these as an Italian Capri. Have a die cast of model of an O.S.I., but that’s as close as I’ll ever come.

    1
  7. carbuzzard Member

    Oh, to be in the position to do these cars. You wouldn’t be able to find anything easier to source parts for. My gut reaction is that even the windshield and backlight wouldn’t be impossible to source from some other car.

    But I have no doubt that things like taillights would be an easy find because Italian “exotics” often used bits from major manufacturer parts bins. I was (sorta) surprised to see that the Maserati Ghibli (the original, not the current) used the same taillights as a Fiat 850 Spider (which no doubt saw them used in other models too).

    Door handles, etc, are likely to be drawn from pedestrian sources. And with the suspension and drivetrain coming from Ford, all you have to do is body and trim such as the wood dash. OSI didn’t do anything that a competent restoration shop couldn’t.

    Like I said, I’d love these. Restoration will cost as much as any Italian exotic, but oh what fun.

    4
  8. Palandi

    My candidate for an engine swap would be a Jaguar V6 2.5-liter engine. After all, it’s a Ford engine, it has a similar displacement, the same layout and some coolness. And I bet it can be found for a decent price in a junkyard.

    1
  9. DVSCapri

    The primered one you did a feature on back on 4/27/15 where he even included the teaser of his Black car… And a yellow one was featured a year earlier with the Ventura Ca. location as well, so maybe he hasn’t had all of them at one time – but he’s apparently had more than 3??

    2
  10. chrlsful

    Opel, Ferrari, Datsun – all of that style – ’60s blends inta ’80s.
    I like it.

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks. Don't post your car for sale in the comments. Click here to get it featured on the homepage instead.

*

Notify me of new comments via email. Or subscribe without commenting.