Rare Rides: The 1967 OSI 20 M TS - a Stylish Ghia and Ford
Today’s Rare Ride is part Belgian, part Italian, and almost unheard of. It’s an OSI-Ford 20M TS sports coupe from 1967.
First, a short history on the short-lived auto maker that was OSI. The name was an acronym for Officine Stampaggi Industriali, which translates in English to the romantic sounding “Industrial Stamping Workshops.” The company was founded by two people with extensive experience in the auto biz: Arrigo Olivetto, who worked for automotive supplier Fergat, and Luigi Segre, who’d previously been the president of Ghia.
The brand was never intended to be a volume manufacturer, instead focusing on building special designs from Ghia. For its model basis, OSI relied on mass manufactured cars from Ford, Fiat, and Alfa Romeo. The company’s first manufacturing project was to build bodies for the Ghia-designed Innocenti 950 Spider.
OSI made four of its own models, the best-known being the 20 M TS seen here. OSI’s link to Ghia, Mr. Segre, passed away in 1963. That left OSI to find a replacement executive, so they drew once more from the pool at Fergat. Without a direct source for design work via a link to Ghia, the company’s reason to exist disappeared quite quickly. By 1966, OSI terminated 2,000 of its employees. Production ceased in 1968. That year, the few remaining people at OSI design became Fiat employees, as the entity was folded into the Italian giant.
For the 20 M, OSI turned to Ghia designer Sergio Sartorelli in 1965. He was the designer behind the Type 34 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia. The source vehicle was Ford Europe’s 20M, better known as the Taunus. The final entry into the Taunus line before the name was scrapped, the 17M and 20M were produced with doors of two, three, four, and five, in various practical shapes. As the Ghia-bodied OSI 20 M entered production in 1967, it had an overall length around three inches greater than the Taunus, at 183.9 inches.
The 20M was the more powerful of the Taunus cars, featuring a 2.0-liter V6 engine. Said engine was used for 870 examples of OSI’s 20 M. OSI also used the larger 2.3-liter Cologne V6 from the Taunus’ successor, which was simply called 20M. The “2300” version was notably more rare. Only 409 cars were made with the larger engine.
Today, OSI is but a vague memory. Of the 1,279 20 Ms produced, it’s estimated around 200 exist today. This 2.0-liter example is for sale in Belgium in excellent condition for around $55,000.
Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Started writing articles for TTAC in late 2016, when my first posts were QOTDs. From there I started a few new series like Rare Rides, Buy/Drive/Burn, Abandoned History, and most recently Rare Rides Icons. Operating from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio, a relative auto journalist dead zone. Many of my articles are prompted by something I'll see on social media that sparks my interest and causes me to research. Finding articles and information from the early days of the internet and beyond that covers the little details lost to time: trim packages, color and wheel choices, interior fabrics. Beyond those, I'm fascinated by automotive industry experiments, both failures and successes. Lately I've taken an interest in AI, and generating "what if" type images for car models long dead. Reincarnating a modern Toyota Paseo, Lincoln Mark IX, or Isuzu Trooper through a text prompt is fun. Fun to post them on Twitter too, and watch people overreact. To that end, the social media I use most is Twitter, @CoreyLewis86. I also contribute pieces for Forbes Wheels and Forbes Home.
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