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1976 OSELLA PA4
Vincenzo Osella was born on the outskirts of Turin in August 1939. When the war ended, Luigi, his father, bought a garage with a workshop and a car wash in Turin. "For me, as a young boy with a passion for mechanics, it was as if I had arrived in a toy paradise, with a workshop always at my disposal and the possibility of wandering among the engines, gearboxes, transmissions...".
Once the anger had passed, Enzo's father realised that he would not be able to curb his son's ardour and decided to become his manager by buying Ada Pace's OSCA-powered Lotus XI.
"I remember Ada inviting me to a circuit race in a small town in Greece. As well as Pace, who drove the Lotus 11, there was another great driver from Turin, Gino Munaron, who was an official Ferrari driver and also drove a sports car. It was from this experience that my passion for prototypes was born.
"Ada Pace's Lotus 11 had an Osca engine with a four-speed gearbox. I kept it in one of my brother-in-law's warehouses and worked on it whenever the weather allowed. One of the first operations was to replace the original differential with that of a FIAT 1100, mated to the gearbox of a five-speed Alfa Romeo 'Giulietta'. With this first customisation, I began to break a few class records in hill climbs and city circuits, often challenging the Abarth drivers, until a fairly serious accident in the Castel d'Arquato-Vernasca hill climb put an end to my career."
In 1963, he applied to Abarth for a dealership and continued working in the family workshop. Despite the benevolent eye of Renzo Avidano, Abarth's sporting director, Carlo Abarth refused but offered Enzo the chance to join the Abarth racing team for 2 years. For Enzo Osella, the gates of paradise had opened, allowing him to visit all the departments, from engines to gearboxes, from the engine test room to the chassis. In September 1964, the dream finally came true: Karl Abarth granted Osella the dealership he had been longing for. With his father's support, the factory in Via Guastalla underwent major renovations to be able to welcome the first cars from driver-clients.
In 1972, on the strength of his experience at Abarth, Enzo Osella decided to set up his own racing team under the name Osella Corse or Osella Engineering. Before entering Formula 1, he built prototypes for the major international endurance races, the new 2-litre European Sports Car Championship, as well as for hill-climbing and Formula 2, which he entrusted to Giorgio Francia.
In 1980 Osella entered the Formula 1 World Championship. This episode came to an end in 1990. In 132 Grands Prix, Osella scored five points and its best race result was fourth place for Jarier at the 1982 Imola Grand Prix.
Aside from its 10 years in Formula 1, it is important to remember that Osella was, and for a very long time would remain, a major player in the championships reserved for sports cars. This involvement was crowned by numerous successes in the 'Group 6' category, including victory at the 1981 Mugello 1000km for a PA8-BMW in the hands of Lella Lombardi. Osella cars are renowned for their ingenious construction, performance and attention to detail. As a result, they are regularly entered throughout Europe with a variety of engines, including Abarth and BMW....
Our PA4 chassis *042* was delivered to the Italian team ATENEO for the 1976 season.Between 1976 and 1978 our Osella, powered by a BMW M12/7 engine, took part in numerous races in Italy: Monza 4H 1976, Imola 500Km 1976, Coppa Florio Pergusa 1978... Among these races our car is reputed to be the car that successfully entered the 1976 Targa Florio! After years of peaceful retirement, the car reappeared on the historic racing scene in the hands of Belgian driver Tom Zurstrassen. A fervent supporter of Classic Endurance Racing, Tom entered his car in the various European rounds and took part in the famous Le Mans Classic race on numerous occasions. He then sold it to the Perrier/Bouvet duo, who continued to enter this Osella in the CER and Le Mans Classic rounds, as well as in endurance races in the VdeV Championship. In 2014, the car changed hands without changing its programme: endurance and Le Mans Classic. Still maintained by Eric Wassermann, a great BMW engine specialist, our car is equipped with a BMW M12/7 engine (10 hours of driving), its Hewland FGA400 gearbox and will be delivered with 2 extra sets of wheels. This is probably the best price/pleasure compromise for a driver who would like to race in Gr.6 with Le Mans Classic 2025 as his objective.