Officine Meccaniche
Officine Meccaniche or OM was an Italian
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 car and truck manufacturing company, founded in 1899 in Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

 as Societa Anonima Officine Meccaniche. It disappeared as such in 1975 subsumed into Iveco
Iveco, an acronym for Industrial Vehicle Corporation, originally an alliance of European commercial vehicle manufacturers such as Fiat , Unic and Magirus. Iveco is now an Italian truck, bus, and diesel engine manufacturer, based in Turin...

, but still exist as a forklift builder.


The inception of the company had resulted from the merger of two companies, Grondona Comi & C and Miani Silvestri & C.

Originally, OM manufactured railway stock. Car production started in 1918, using the plant of the former Brixia-Zust (Brixia-Züst), just after OM took over Zust
Zust was an Italian car manufacturing company operating from 1905 to 1917.The company was founded by engineer Roberto Züst, an Italian industrialist of Swiss origin, who owned a precision tool manufacturing plant at Intra, near Lago Maggiore...

 car company of Brescia
Brescia is a city and comune in the region of Lombardy in northern Italy. It is situated at the foot of the Alps, between the Mella and the Naviglio, with a population of around 197,000. It is the second largest city in Lombardy, after the capital, Milan...

, Northern Italy.
The first OM car, Tipo S305, primarily an old Zust model, appeared in 1918 with a 4712 cc four-cylinder side-valve in-line engine.

The OM cars era

Further models were Tipo 465 (with a 1327 cc four) in 1919, Tipo 467 (1410cc) and Tipo 469 (1496cc) in 1921. 1923 saw an all new model, Tipo 665 'Superba' with a 2-litre six-cylinder engine. This model was extremely successful in racing - won top five positions in the 2-litre class in 1925 and 1926 at Le Mans
24 Hours of Le Mans
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is the world's oldest sports car race in endurance racing, held annually since near the town of Le Mans, France. Commonly known as the Grand Prix of Endurance and Efficiency, race teams have to balance speed against the cars' ability to run for 24 hours without sustaining...

 but the greatest achievement was the victory in the first Mille Miglia
Mille Miglia
The Mille Miglia was an open-road endurance race which took place in Italy twenty-four times from 1927 to 1957 ....

 race in 1927 where Ferdinando Minoia
Ferdinando Minoia
Ferdinando "Nando" Minoia was an Italian racing driver with an exceptionally long, distinguished and varied career. In 1907, he won the Coppa Florio driving an Isotta-Fraschini. In 1923, he drove the world’s first mid-engine Grand Prix car, the Benz Tropfenwagen. In 1927, he won the inaugural...

 and Giuseppe Morandi lead home an O.M. '123' at average speed of 48.27 miles per hour (77.7 km/h) for 21 hours 4 minutes 48seconds. Some cars were equipped with Roots superchargers.

In 1925 OM began to build trucks and buses, using licensed Swiss Saurer
Adolph Saurer AG was a Arbon, Switzerland , based manufacturer of trucks and buses, under the Saurer and Berna brand names, and active between 1903 and 1982....

 engines and other mechanical components. Ties with Saurer persisted all along OM life.

Fiat take-over and post-war years

OM was taken over by the Fiat
FIAT, an acronym for Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino , is an Italian automobile manufacturer, engine manufacturer, financial, and industrial group based in Turin in the Italian region of Piedmont. Fiat was founded in 1899 by a group of investors including Giovanni Agnelli...

 Group in 1938 and in the following year passenger car production ceased, and OM became a commercial vehicle and train part manufacturer.

Main new product in the WWII post-war
Aftermath of World War II
After World War II a new era of tensions emerged based on opposing ideologies, mutual distrust between nations, and a nuclear arms race. This emerged into an environment dominated by a international balance of power that had changed significantly from the status quo before the war...

 era was the Leoncino (1950) a light truck in the 2.0 to 2.5 tons range, which was an immediate success. It became the forefather of several series of heavier but structurally similar models, namely Tigrotto, Tigre, Lupetto, Cerbiatto and Daino, launched between 1957 and 1964. Bus chassis versions of several of these models were also available.

In the 60s and 70s the light and medium-weight OM truck ranges were sold in Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 as Saurer
Adolph Saurer AG was a Arbon, Switzerland , based manufacturer of trucks and buses, under the Saurer and Berna brand names, and active between 1903 and 1982....

or Berna-OM, in Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

 as Steyr
Steyr-Daimler-Puch was a large manufacturing conglomerate based in Steyr, Austria, which was broken up in stages between 1987 and 2001. The component parts and operations continued to exist under separate ownership and new names.-History:...

, in France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 as Unic
Unic was a French car manufacturer firm founded by Georges Richard in 1906 after having left Richard-Brasier. Société anonyme des automobiles UNIC was established in Puteaux with two-cylinder and four-cylinder models. The 1943 cc 12 CV four-cylinder model was extremely successful and...

, and in Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 as Büssing
Büssing was a German bus and truck manufacturer established by Heinrich Büssing at Braunschweig in 1903. Büssing's first truck was a 2 ton payload machine powered by a 2-cylinder gasoline engine and featuring worm drive...


The end of OM

In 1968 OM was definitively merged into the Fiat Group as a brand belonging to the Commercial Vehicles division, which also included Fiat and Unic.

In 1975 it was absorbed (as part of the Fiat Group) into IVECO
Iveco, an acronym for Industrial Vehicle Corporation, originally an alliance of European commercial vehicle manufacturers such as Fiat , Unic and Magirus. Iveco is now an Italian truck, bus, and diesel engine manufacturer, based in Turin...

 and the OM brand disappeared from the truck and bus markets, although it still survives as an independent forklift manufacturer.

See also

  • FS ALn 772
    FS ALn 772
    Lokomotiva pod stejnou řadou ALn 556 jezdila i ve Francii, Španělsku, Chorvatsku, Německu a dokonce na Slovensku. Dokonce v letech 1942-1943 jezdila i v Československu....

  • 1925 24 Hours of Le Mans
    1925 24 Hours of Le Mans
    The 1925 24 Hours of Le Mans was the 3rd Grand Prix of Endurance, and took place on June 20 and 21 1925.For this race, the start was actually held on the Mulsanne Straight, instead of in its traditional location following Maison Blanche....

  • 1926 24 Hours of Le Mans
    1926 24 Hours of Le Mans
    The 1926 24 Hours of Le Mans was the 4th Grand Prix of Endurance, and took place on June 12 and 13 1926.-Official results:-Not Classified:-Did Not Finish:-Statistics:* Fastest Lap - #5 Gérard de Courcelles/Marcel Mongin - 9:03...

  • Tripoli Grand Prix
    Tripoli Grand Prix
    The Tripoli Grand Prix was a motor racing event first held in 1925 on a racing circuit outside Tripoli, the capital of what was then Italian Tripolitania...

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