1973 - 1976
O.R.S.A. Spa was an Italian automotive manufacturer based in Turin. In the years from 1973 to 1976, the company built a small car using the technology of the Fiat 850 model. This model was developed by Siata using the British coachbuilder MG-TF for the classic car body. Siata ceased production in 1970.
The 850 Siata spider Spring was a two-seater produced from 1967 to 1970 by Siata. The Spring is perhaps one of the first vehicle born after undertaking a thorough market analysis. The Siata interviewed a number of young people to ascertain their expectations in the automobile world. Completed the survey began preparing the prototype for a mini-spider to the English taste (in 1965) that after two years into production. Production was limited to 13 cars a day and this dampened the enthusiasm.
Although in 1970 the company construction activity ceased, the assembly line was acquired by the Rivolta engineer, which formed a company called ORSA, which will continue building the Spring (with mechanical from the Spanish Seat 850) to 1975. The chassis was the Fiat 850, reinforced with a box on a cross, while the spider body (inspired by the spider in the English and the cars of the thirties) was built entirely in the factory Siata in Strada di Lanzo. The engine was from the Fiat 850 with 843 cc which allowed this little spider to exceed 125 km/h. As an option that was provided at the 50,000 lire price, were spoke wheels to complete the fashionably retro look on this model. 3500 copies were built, was sold in Italy, France, Germany and the U.S..
After buying the car to project, Ansaldi Ambrosini and Massimo Focanti, built a modern warehouse in the then fledgling industrial zone of Cagliari where we had bought 30,000 sqm. of well urbanized land at a reasonable price. This, in addition to the benefits promised by the Fund for the South and the Sardinian Region, was the lever that pushed them to choose Sardinia which was productive for ORSA.
In all of this begings of an industrial project, Orsa was very serious with the objective of taking an interesting niche market. Ambrosini, who was the owner of the Siata, had failed for reasons of women and good living, but on the ORSA Spring there was a good margins. Ansaldi Ambrosini knew that this was a good deal and asked Massimo Focanti to put it together.
The project, extended to the money from the South and the industrial region of Sardinia, who approved funding for 70% of the initial loans. Ansaldi did the business plan for Turin, would by building the warehouse, assembly line purchase them from Ambrosini, along with the molds, the project line assembly and a stock of pieces already printed. Gemignani, who had a great dealer in Monaco, and thus knew the dealer deals in sales, would find the parties to find the machines. Something had changed the convenience, the chassis was from a Seat instead of Fiat, that was for a car body frame, so they had to reinforce the frame with an 'X' brace, the engine was a 903 instead of 850, also different were the dashboard and steering wheel that had to be mounted differently. The ORSA produced around a few hundred cars, which mainly sold abroad, 60 were sent to Saudi Arabia (as a result of the oil crisis were not paid, there was an international push, and the cars were recovered), 8 went to Venezuela.
Gemignani sold a number of machines, but after the oil crisis, the dealerships didn't pay. They sold well in Italy at first, then the same year of the crisis, they had to reduce production volume and then stop altogether. Astaldi left the leadership and went in Revolta. Iso Marlboro was after the car had bought 75% of the lean and the incorporated it into ISO. The production was reduced, and he resumed production but not sales, whereupon sold his shares and left. The end of the dream which was marked by the oil crisis, was elected Gianluigi Focant as an administrator to stop the production of Spring, dramatically reducing staff (30 workers at first then 100 of the initial 150) to convert the production to fire trucks that the region they purchased under a law which obliged the regions to give priority to local industries. In this way the ORSA was stabilized and was purchased by Baribbi, which maintained the production of fire trucks for many years thereafter. Source
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