Is this a Ferrari? Maserati? Cobra? Help us identify this Classic Car rescue!

Welcome to Ep. 193!

Today I am taking y' all to San Francisco to buy … this. Truthfully, I'm unsure what this is but I am hoping among you can tell me!


#denniscollinscarworld #.


@patterns. media.

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Is this a Ferrari? Maserati? Cobra? Help us identify this Classic Car rescue!

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About the Author: RareCars


    1. @Buffurd Justice or a decade but he has got guts buying some. Literally breaking in half sometimes.

    2. @Kharn The Betrayer he sells most of these types without restoring,,,,,his folks work on customers jeeps ….more profit when you get 85000 to restore a cj….dennis rolodex would be worth a mint with the folks he knows

  1. Outstanding! Grandmas house was on 22nd Avenue in SF. Same house/garage configuration on the same slope. Thanks for digging up the memory, Dennis!

    1. Christian Clausen is this anywhere near where the film Bullit was filmed ? With Steve McQueen.😎 And great story hopefully car will be given a new life .

    2. @adrian hagerty it’s about four miles away,I was 13 at the time and watched the 68 mustang race thru my neighborhood.right now in San Francisco there’s four 67-68 fastback mustangs,I know because I work in a restoration shop

    3. Henry Doelger – – his company built about half the homes in SF (at least it feels like half) from the 30s to the 50s, using standardised plans with options. Basically he sold homes like cars – standard design, with some accent options. That is why there’s about 3 or 4 basic home designs you see repeated over and over again in SF. I lived in one in the sunset district and its always really weird going round other houses in SF which are based on the same plans – its like you’ve walked into your own home, but someone sneaked in and redecorated it, and mirrored it around the other way.

    1. Right. Great point. No self-respecting Italian car is gonna look like that thing. It’s butt-end is butt ugly. So wrong. And so TALL. Almost like it was meant to house an engine back there like some dopey VW-based kit car. Right down to that louvered panel for air intake. Though the louvered back panel is kinda shaped for a spare tire. The thing is confusing. Look how giant the rear wheel openings are. Did it have an Olds Toranado mill back there or somethin’!

  2. Very interesting looking car, I’m going to hurry to find out what you find out 😉 great video as always 👍☮️

  3. Looking at the tubing on the chassis I’d like to think it started life as a AC Ace . Unlikely to be a cobra BUT ………….

  4. Chassis number 1185 would match with an OSCA frame. AC used a Alpha numeric chassis number. The tubular structure over the rear axle looks like part of the leaf spring mount of an early ACE. I’ll probably repeating this video a hundred times. I love a good automotive mystery like this.

    1. @qzedy The OSCA registry has Chassis # 1185 in Targa Florio (1959), Sassari (1958), Mille Miglia (1957 dnf). No history after that. But I also saw an image of it at Lemans Classic in 2008. Also, found a company in Europe that builds reproductions of these cars. I certainly would like to see a picture of the number. I’m just a person with interest in vintage racing cars. I’m sure Dennis Collins has a lot more information and connections to figure this out. I’d love to see this preserved at is. Maybe get rid of the automatic, and fabricate a dash, (just an aluminum plate in the originals).

    2. OSCA Chassis # 1185 is a MT4 TN 1500s and it is still alive and racing Now I have seen a similar OSCA MT4 Chassis # 1137 with scalloped fenders like the one shown it was white and the headlights where flush mounted whereas this one has recessed headlights and the grill opening is way different as well. I am wondering if this was some homegrown attempt at making a clone of some sorts.

  5. The suspension shocks and springs looks like a early Jaguar done so well getting it out well put together

  6. Dennis, will be great to find a chassis number on it. Hopefully something with history. Cool find for sure.

  7. your a class act man ,,i love the way this guy does his thing ,,,seems like a super cool dude

  8. When the original leaf spring front end was mentioned, I started getting “Bristol” vibes. Good luck with the identification.

    1. I just saw a Bristol AC on Chasing Classic Cars. The rear end sure looks similar too. The front wings look like an act of desperation more than professional work. Ohh if steering wheels could talk.

  9. Resembles an Allard K3, but I think the drop doors, tube chassis, and scalloped fender are really gonna be keys to deciphering this car’s story. Somebody out there knows THIS car – can’t wait to hear the Paul Harvey “rest of the story”.

    1. mr Loew …. the reference to Paul Harvey brought back many fond memories thank you sir…… one of my favorite youtube channels has for years been “The History Guy” …. if you have never theres a really good chance youll like his content

  10. I think its a 1957-58 OSCA Maserati sport tipo 372/F2. I found some schematics of the car online and from the video you provided, it matches up. The fenders have been modified though. I think front of the car has been literally “chopped” off. Also, it looks as though the rear end has been chopped off, either that or this is some kind of prototype of the car. As someone stated in the comments, chassis #1185 was raced in the mille miglia in 1957, and was a dnf. Maybe someone wrecked it and the factory modified it and sold it?


  11. @7:50 the seller said the original front suspension was leaf with a straight axle and the previous owner had put a Volvo front suspension on it. Those numbers you found may have nothing to do with this car and even worse, removed the little identity it had to begin with. (If that really happened) it is a pretty cool car whatever it’s history.

  12. Dennis you really need a new trailer! 😂. Congrats on the new car. Keep the videos coming. I love the stories that come with the cars.

  13. FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH: Honestly Dennis, You certainly have a valuable piece of racing history.
    Its’ “monetary value” is anyones’ guess at this time.
    I believe the frame is “most likely” an OSCA; an AC chassis.
    Keep in mind…as it passed through owners…personal mods were made.
    Also, the engine block, heads, intake & carb may be rare pieces & valuable as well.
    As you can see, the body is too professionally done in aluminum to be a “backyard special”.
    Although rough now, it was cutting edge for its’ glory days; likely mid ’50s to mid ’60s.
    I’m sending you links to YouTube Videos. I hope they will give you a few sources to help your
    investigation & eventually positively ID this rare gem.
    This car most likely campaigned at circuits in California & road courses in nearby states.
    If you can locate a few “old-timers” who raced at or otherwise were connected with those tracks
    they’ll be a wealth of information.
    Jay Leno knows more “old-timers” than anyone & he’s fairly accessible.
    His car muesum//Big Dog Garage is in Burbank; near the airport…give him a call.
    Ernie Nagamatsu would also be an excellent source. (see links 1 & 3 below)
    The people who posted YouTube links 4 & 5 may be a good source of information as well.
    Best regards & Good Luck,
    YouTube Links:

  14. I think you need to get Wayne Carini to help work this out. He had an Osca that had similar styling cues to this..

  15. I wonder how the guy licensed and titled it, if he didn’t even know what it was. I think you’re on the right track. I was thinking like a late 50’s AC Ace – Bristol that has been re-bodied and heavily modified. The 1185 chassis number is in the same range as the ones they were using in the late 50’s…starting with either an AEX, or a BEX. Very interesting find.

    1. It has a California special construction tag on it. If you don’t have a VIN or Tag, you can get a special inspection on it to make it road legal.

    2. When they slipped it sideways and you could finally see the front taper and it’s grill, i thought to myself, that thing looks British..I don’t know why exactly..the grill looks like a caricature of Jaguar XK grill?…….the front wheel wells look familiar, too. Another great find by Mr. Collins.

    3. @Macht Schnell Bristol in England might not be a bad shout, they do have a successor company and a great owners club, so they might be able to confirm or deny at least.

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