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1972 Abarth-Osella SE 021 Sports Prototype

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Strada e Corsa is proud present to you The ex-Arturo Merzario, Derek Bell, European 2-Litre Championship-winning:

 1972 Abarth-Osella SE 021 Sports Prototype

Chassis no. SE 021/0020

Price: on request

Austrian engineer Karl (Carlo) Abarth originally moved to Italy to work on the Cisitalia Grand Prix car, turning to the manufacture of silencers when Cisitalia folded. An innovative concern with a sporting pedigree second to none, Abarth branched out from producing induction and exhaust systems into selling performance kits for - mainly FIAT - production cars, later building a succession of aerodynamically stylish sports prototypes and limited-series production cars. When Abarth sold out to FIAT in 1971, becoming the latter's competitions department, the racing team was purchased by Enzo Osella.

Son of a garage owner from Volpiano, near Turin, Vincenzo 'Enzo' Osella raced Abarths in the early 1960s and eventually joined the company. In 1965 Osella left and set up independently, his first prototype chassis proving highly successful in races and hill climbs in Italy. Following his takeover of Abarth's racing assets, he worked with designer Antonio Tomaini to produce the Abarth-Osella SE 021 that won the European 2-Litre Sports Car Championship in 1972 driven by Arturo Merzario. This was followed by the PA1 and PA2, the latter boasting bodywork designed by Pininfarina.

Chassis number 'SE 021/0020' was constructed for the 1972 season and campaigned by Scuderia Brescia Corse as a works entry in the European 2-Litre Sports Car Championship, driven by Arturo Merzario. It was also driven by Derek Bell when 'Little Art' was otherwise engaged. British manufacturers had dominated the Championship's first two seasons, Chevron taking the title in 1970 and Lola in 1971, but that would cease with the arrival of the SE 021. Although the opening round of the 1972 campaign at Paul Ricard in April was won by Gérard Larrousse's Lola, Merzario's Abarth-Osella, starting from pole, had built up a 30-second lead before being forced out with a broken suspension mount, caused by him driving over the kerbs. Merzario was not present at the next round, Vallelunga, but it was here that the SE 021 would score its first victory, courtesy of Toine Hezemans' Canon Racing entry. Bell then took over '0020' for the Salzburgring round in May but retired with low oil pressure.

Merzario was back in the car for Dijon in June, dominating the meeting with pole position and wins in both heats to claim overall victory. 'Little Art' was overall winner at the next two rounds, Silverstone and Enna, and by the middle of August was leading the Championship. Driven by Bell, '0020' recorded a 'DNF' at the Nürburgring, victory going to the Lola of Jean-Louis Lafosse. Merzario returned for the following round at Montjuic Park in Barcelona to finish 3rd in a race won by John Burton's Chevron, before Bell took over the drive for the final round at Jarama, which he won. Merzario won the Drivers' Championship while Abarth-Osella took the Manufacturers' by a country mile. The Championship is documented by a substantial quantity of period press cuttings and race result printouts on file.

Dated July 1981, a letter on file from Osella to the second owner, noted collector Luciano Bertolero, confirms that '0020' is Merzario's Championship-winning car from 1972, while another document, signed by Bertolero, shows that he sold the car to Norbert J McNamara in the USA that same month. Mr McNamara kept '0020' for the next 20 years before selling it to Colin Pool of Shrivenham, Wiltshire in 2002. Then to Colin Pool (since deceased) in 2005. He then consigned it to historic motor sports restoration specialists Lanzante Ltd of Bordon, Hampshire for a complete 'ground upwards' rebuild including new FIA-specification fuel cells, which was carried out in 2006/2007.

The car has not been used since the restoration's completion, also after it was acquired by its current owner #0020 has not been used and will need some service and race prep to get back on the race track.

The car is accompanied with an official Certification of Mechanical Components by Abarth Classiche issued in 2016. It has valid FIA papers, expiring 31st December 2029. It comes with a digital file of press copies, in period images and race results.

We at Strada e Corsa, are thrilled to offer you the rare opportunity to acquire a Championship-winning 2-litre sports prototype, eligible for a wide variety of prestigious events including Super Sports Festival, Abarth invitation and FIA historic hill climbs.

The car can be viewed in our workshop in Haarlem the Netherlands.

Please do not hesitate to contact us on or +31(0) 23 5420009


Keyword Search Terms:

Abarth, Osella, Merzario, Derek Bell, 2-litre, 1972, Sports Prototype, Hill Climb, Goodwood


Item Location: Netherlands
Joined November 2016
  L. Schouwenburg
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Company: Strada e Corsa
Country: Netherlands
City: Haarlem
Phone: +31(0)23 5420009
Condition Used
Trade or Private: Trade
Price: €POA
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Added: 11/01/2024
Views: 2913

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