Historically significant 1930 OM 665 SS MM Superba racing car. Image courtesy of Bonhams
LONDON — Bonhams Goodwood Revival auction will on September 13, 2014 present for auction the historically significant 1930 OM 665 SS MM Superba. Boasting an impeccable competitive career, the pre-war sports racing car began life with class winning success in the gruelling Mille Miglia 1000 mile race around Italy in 1930. As a racing car, it beat many others to win accolades. It continued with entries in a number of the most noted endurance races of its day including the Targa Florio and Tourist Trophy.
Compared with Italian thoroughbreds, OM was perhaps a lesser known racing car. However, it was no push over in races. Historically, OMs have a long compelling narrative. According to Bonhams, “OM, which stood for Officine Meccaniche and translates as ‘Mechanical Workshops’ brought its engineering expertise from the manufacture of locomotives and rolling stock into motor car production in 1917 with the acquisition of Brescia based car builder Zust. The four and six cylinder cars that they built through the 1920s and 1930s were proven to be particularly competitive, achieving numerous wins in National and Regional events, firmly establishing their reputation with first, second and third place finishes in the 1927 Mille Miglia.”
In its days, the OM was the racing car to bet. Soon after its career in international racing, the OM disappeared from public view but the history of the racing car was not lost on those who loved it. It was stored away in the Midlands of the United Kingdom for decades. In the 1960s, the OM reappeared when it was discovered. Fascinated by the OM racing car, its owners during this period conducted exhaustive research and systematically pursued any leads to its history in an age when those associated with the racing car in the 1930s were still alive. The result of that devotion has brought OM into the lime light again.
Bonhams Goodwood Revival sale is an annual event where car lovers and collectors can experience classic motoring. James Knight, Bonhams Global Head of Motoring, said: “the Bonhams Goodwood Revival sale is an annual spectacular of classic motoring – with this year is set to be no different. Bonhams motoring department is again set to display some spectacular cars, today announcing the first of this intriguing list: the OM.
“Of most interest for the SS MM – or SS Mille Miglia model – is its automatic acceptance for the legendary Mille Miglia race, by way of having originally competed in this event in period. This hallowed status enables its next custodian to relive successes of the likes of Bassi and Gazzabini on the arduous 1000 mile course as well as numerous other events.
“Initial thoughts are that the OM should realize a high six-figure sum. It has been sympathetically restored and comes with one of the most comprehensive history files we have seen, having passed through a handful of noted collectors all the while being actively campaigned as it had in period.”