Alfa Romeo Scarabeo by OSI

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Even though nearly everyone (apparently) loved yesterday's awful-looking Ford Maverick, I had planned on cleansing your palate with this often forgotten and very sweet Alfa Romeo concept that was put together by OSI.

I talk more about OSI in my story on the twin keel Silver Fox, but the spun-off-from-Ghia Officine Stampaggi Industriali has a short but notable history of creating some pretty impressive concepts and limited production cars. Intended to be a niche coachbuilder, the company did stay quite niche until its end in 1968—just eight years before its founding.

Since both of the Scarabeos made have been in the Alfa Romeo Museum, you can guess that the result of OSI's engineering impressed the cloverleaf bosses enough—and continues to impress—to this day. 

The reason may be simple: lurking under this car's skin is a Alfa Romeo Giulia re-engineered with its 4-cylinder GTA engine mounted amidships. Chassis? An H-shaped steel tube structure that also housed the car's fuel tank. Suspension was independent at all four corners, with inboard rear disc brakes, and to make things interesting, a gearbox and engine block made as one piece.

So why does the driver sit so far back in this mid-engined car? According to classicdriver.com, it's because Alfa Romeo works driver Consalvo Sanesi offered that it might be easier for a driver to control the car if he was more centrally located. Seems to work well for the Gillet Vertigo

Alfa Romeo retains the second of the two Scarabeos made, the cream-coloured one, along with an unfinished Spyder prototype. And rather interestingly, I think it's one of the few times I've seen the Quadrifoglio badge break with its three-sided history.

This apparently almost made production, if you can believe it…

Sources