Sold for $1,946,645 (£1,255,900) at 2014 Bonhams
.The firm of OM, which stands for Officine Meccaniche, was founded in 1899, in Milan. It came into being as a result of the merger of Miani, Silvestri & Co with Grondona, Comi & Co. Both firms were active in the production of railway locomotives and rolling stock. OM's involvement with car manufacturing began in 1917 when it purchased the Roberto Zust factory in Brescia. Their first car appeared in 1918 and it had a close resemblance to the Zust. The punitive taxation system on Italian manufactured was based on engine capacity which dictated the need to get the most power out of 'nominal' engine sizes.
In 1920, the company introduced the Type 465 which had been designed by the Austrian-born engineer Lucien Barratouch. It came with a 1325cc four-cylinder side-valve engine which was followed by two additional four-cylinder models, the Type 467 and 469. The nomenclature for the OM vehicles was based on the number of cylinders followed by the bore dimension in millimeters.
In 1923, the company introduced their first six-cylinder model, the Tipo 6-65 (christened the 'Superba'), at the Milan Auto Salon. It would remain in production from 1923 through 1932. During that time, it was continued improved with each revision receiving a suffix to its name. The gearboxes were reworked, engine sizes grew, short and lowered chassis variants were offered, etc.
The MM cars were given an increased compression ratio, shorter wheelbases and reduced weight. By 1929, the engine capacity had risen to 2.2-liters and a Roots-Type Supercharger was available, adding an 'S' to its title.
This famous OM factory team car is the supercharged 665 SS MM model with the larger 2.3-liter engine, finned cylinder heads, dual water manifold pipes, and Memini carburetor. It was driven in its racing debut to first in class and fifth overall in the 1930 Mille Miglia by Aldo Bassi and Carlo Gazzabini. There were 24 (possibly 25) OM 665 SS cars in the race, the third largest group of entrants behind Alfa Romeo and Fiat. That same year it was driven to sixth place in the Targa Florio by Nando Minoia, and in 1930 Giulio Ramponi drove it to ninth place in the Irish GP.
The Mille Miglia was a thousand mile race that was first held in December of 1926. The even began and finished in Brescia and ran a 'figure of eight' course down to Rome and back. It was won with a 1-2-3 finish by Brescia based car manufacturer, OM.
The racing events with which these cars competed in required four seater sports touring bodies. It is believed that this car, and others, would have been sent to Milan where local coachbuilders Carrozzeria Sport modified its existing coachwork or else replaced it with the four seater lightweight touring bodywork that it needed in order to be eligible for the Irish Grand Prix in July. At the Tourist Trophy on August 23rd, Ramponi crashed the car in practice, rolling it into a ditch. Period photos do not show much external damage to the car, but it did require it to retire from the race. This would be the final major outing for '1095'.
It was not until the early 1950s when the car re-surfaced again. Anthony Hopton owned the car for over three decades, purchasing it in 1966. During that time, he has exhaustively researched the car's history. It was also sympathetically and comprehensively restored during this time. In 1999, it passed to another caretaker named Heiko Seekamp. In his ownership the car received a thorough cosmetic and technical restoration at the hands of Bernhard Huke. Since then, it has taken part in concours on both sides of the Atlantic and has done the Mille Miglia retrospective for the last 10 years. On numerous occasions it wore the coveted number '1' and was the first out of Brescia.
Seekamp kept the car for more than a decade before selling it to the current owner. It has continued to be shown and campaigned on the Mille Miglia. It was shown at the St. James Palace Concours d'Elegance, the 2013 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance, and the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, where it was awarded the Mille Miglia Trophy.
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◾Tickets available from: www.concoursofelegance.co.uk/tickets/
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