The OSI 20M TS is arguably one of the best looking “affordable” Italian-built coupes of its time. It’s believed that just 2,000 or so were made and that just 200 now remain.
Sometimes referred to as the OSI-Ford 20M TS, this car has the reliable V6 underpinnings of the Ford Taurus 20M. It’s clothed in a body styled by the great Sergio Sartorelli and two versions were built – the earlier 2.0 liter cars and the later 2.3 liter cars.
Fast Facts – The OSI 20M TS
- OSI was founded in 1960 just across the river from Ghia in Turin Italy. The company was set up by former Ghia president Luigi Segre and Arrigo Olivetti to be a small-scale independent automaker controlled by Ghia.
- The company name is an acronym for Officine Stampaggi Industriali, which simply means “Industrial Stamping Workshop” in Italian. Making it perhaps the least romantically named Italian automaker in recorded history.
- Early in the company’s life it build the Innocenti 950 Spider, the Fiat 1300/1500 “Familiare,” and the Fiat 2300 Coupe. Starting in 1967 production of the OSI-Ford 20 M TS began at the behest of Ford.
- Intended as a replacement for the Ford Taunus Coupe, the OSI 20M TS was based on the same running gear as the Taunus 20M. It’s believed that over 2,000 were made and that just 200 or so now remain.
Officine Stampaggi Industriali
Officine Stampaggi Industriali was founded in 1960 by two titans of Italian industry, former Ghia president Luigi Segre and Arrigo Olivetti of Fergat, a major manufacturer of automotive components.
Best known simply as OSI, the company was set up across the river from Ghia in Turin, in Northern Italy. The purpose of creating OSI was for it to act as increased production capacity for Ghia, a major Italian coachbuilder at the time.
In the mid-1960s OSI was approached by Ford, a long time client of Ghia, to design and build the successor to the Ford Taunus Coupe. The new car was to be based on the Taunus 20M built by Ford Germany and it was to keep as many parts in common as possible, under the new body of course.
The styling of the Taunus 20M has been described by some as divisive. It’s certainly a product of its era, and it’s doubtful that anyone has ever accused it of being attractive.
Although now that I’be said that I’ll be inundated with irate emails from life-long fans of the Taunus 20M. All three of them.
The OSI 20M TS
The new car developed by Ghia for Ford would be called the OSI 20M TS, or alternatively the OSI-Ford 20M TS or the Ford OSI 20M TS.
It was a vastly more handsome coupe than the car it was based on, thanks to the design work of Sergio Sartorelli – also the stylist of the Volkswagen Karmann Ghia, the Fiat 2300 S Coupe, the Fiat 126, and a range of other cars.
The car was produced in two key versions, both with essentially identical bodies. The key difference was the 2.0 Ford V6 fitted to earlier cars and the 2.3 liter V6 fitted to later cars.
From an engineering perspective the cars were relatively standard for the era, with a steel unibody inner shell, MacPherson strut front suspension, a live rear axle on leaf springs, front disc brakes, and rear drums.
The elegant design of the 20M TS is still winning it fans today, few people who see them can identify them due to their rarity, and there’s a committed enthusiast base in Europe who find and restore them.
The OSI 20M TS was only produced in 1967 and 1968, some say 2,000 were made, others say 2,200, and some even say 3,500. The one thing that all agree on is that there are 200 or fewer remaining today.
The 1967 OSI 20M TS Shown Here
The car you see here is a 1967 example of the 20M TS fitted with the desirable 2.3 liter Ford Cologne V6. This is one of very few examples to have been imported into the USA, and it’s currently being offered for sale out of Bellport, New York.
In more recent years this OSI has been fitted with Jaguar wire wheels and the modern version of the classic Pirelli P5 tire. It has also been resprayed in sea foam green, with the original blue paint still visible lower down in the engine bay.
This OSI appears to be in good condition over all and would potentially make a good daily-drivable classic, if the new owner so wishes they could return it to its original color and freshen up the tan interior a little, but these don’t appear to be pressing issues.
If you’d like to read more about this car or register to bid you can visit the listing here on The Market by Bonhams.
Images courtesy of The Market by Bonhams
Articles that Ben has written have been covered on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, Autoweek Magazine, Wired Magazine, Autoblog, Gear Patrol, Jalopnik, The Verge, and many more.
Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with well over a million monthly readers from around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.