Sports . Racer . Net

OSCA Chassis

H Modified


"In 1959, Jim Eichenlaub won the H-Mod title with an OSCA 750. He lost his job as a research chemist so he just went racing. Operating on a shoestring, Eichenlaub often slept in his tow car because there was no money for a motel, but he won his first race at Pensacola and the next six National events.

He raced next at El Paso Texas, Buckley Field in Denver Colorado, and Riverside, Elkhart Lake, Watkins Glen (twice), Thompson, Bridgehampton, Cumberland, Marlboro and Daytona. As a testimony to the durability of the OSCA, only one throwout bearing was changed in 11 races. The weakest point was the clutch release bearing which needed grease after each event.

Eichenlaub remembers the generosity of the Briggs Cunningham crew. 'At Daytona we had a full windscreen and wanted to take it off for top end because of a faster Bandini twin-cam. We went to Briggs’ crew for some plexiglass, and they came out with a 4 x 6 sheet. We cut out a little piece and went from 7800 to our 8200 rpm redline on the big oval -- faster than the Bandini.'

OSCA came out with an engine, supposedly to counter the Abarth, which gave six more horsepower. 'Ed Hugus had on of these at the ‘Glen,' Eichenlaub remembers. 'He spun at the chicane, and I saw him way behind as I went onto the backstretch. He passed me at the midpoint of the straight and then he was out of sight. At the end of the season they were making about two horsepower per cubic inch.'

After the 1960 season -- won by Ollie Schmidt in an OSCA -- the Italian cars began to lose their competitive edge in H-Mod. The class trended toward American copies of British chassis with British engines and Hewland transaxles. These were faster cars, but they did not have the aesthetic qualities, the refinement or the standards of craftsmanship that so many came to like in the Etceterini machines from Italy."1


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History of OSCA

Read how OSCA started and about other OSCA models at

Current owners

Oliver Collins has an S-187 in Canada and J.D. Igleheart lives in South Carolina (possibly Seabrook), and still races one of his OSCS cars.

Click to go to the
H Mod Yahoo group

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"Jim Eichenlaub, 1959 at El Paso."1

"The irrepressible J.D. Igleheart logged thousands of H-Mod miles and many were class wins. He is pictured [above] enjoying a victory lap in 1961 at Thompson Raceway, CT, in his OSCA 750. photo courtesy J.D. Igleheart"1

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"JD Igleheart's #95 OSCA (Serial 764) survives in beautiful condition and has returned to Europe. It's now owned by Dan Hedborg in Sweden."2

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"John Igleheart's beautiful 750cc OSCA on the straight [at Thompson Raceway]. This is one of the later cars, with alloy wheels instead of wires."2

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"OSCA #3, with John Gordon driving, was the last 750 built and won the Index of Performance at Sebring in 1960."2

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Another OSCA, #99, at Thompson Raceway2


1Carl Goodwin, Vintage Motorsport (May/June 1991), The H-Modified Etceterinis p67-69. This article was transcribed for the Sports Racer Network by Curt Anderson.

2Photos from

Revised: March 04, 2005.

Sports Racer Network