Few concept cars from the '60s survive to this day, so it's no surprise that for many, it will be the first time they hear of the Alfa Romeo Scarabeo.
Early in 1966, after the famous Type 33 project created by engineer Orazio Satta Puliga had been passed on to Autodelta, Giuseppe Busso proposed a design for another Alfa Romeo sports car with a rear engine, but this time using the 1.6L GTA four-cylinder engine with two overhead camshafts. The result was the Scarabeo concept.
The engine was mounted transversely in the rear, in a block with the clutch and gearbox, while the tubular frame adopted the ambitious solution - also used on the 33 - of the large tubular spars on either side of the interior, containing the fuel tanks.
The engine developed 115 HP (86kW), enough to propel the lightweight Scarabeo (700kg) to a top speed of 200kph.
The slippery bodywork was entrusted to the OSI body shop in Borgaro Torinese. A first example, with a right-hand drive, was presented at the Paris Motor Show in October 1966. A second simplified design prototype was subsequently built - the car you see here - and a Barchetta was worked on, but not completed.
OSI - short for Officine Stampaggi Industriali - was founded in Turin in 1960 by Luigi Segre, the former president of Ghia, and Arrigo Olivetti. Despite lasting only 8 years, OSI left a deep influence on Italian car design. In addition to Segre and the fruitful collaboration with Ghia, OSI also collaborated with famous designers such as Tom Tjaarda, Sergio Sartorelli and Giovanni Michelotti.