Ahead of the 1956 season, the Maserati brothers developed a new competition O.S.C.A. for the class within 750 cc, really widespread in Italy. The sports car was called S-187, in reference to the unit displacement of the new engine, as per Ferrari naming practice. It was equipped with the O.S.C.A. smallest engine ever made, a four-cylinder square layout with a bore and stroke of 62 mm, for a displacement of 747 cc. The small unit had nothing to envy to the larger O.S.C.A. engines: the new S-187 was equipped with two overhead camshafts and powered by 2 generous twin barrel Weber carburettors. The whole produced the remarkable result of 70 hp. The Maserati originally envisioned the S-187 to be built around an elaborate, but relatively light and stiff, multi-tubular space frame. However, they were forced by time and money constraints to go back to the traditional ladder frame albeit with large diameter oval spars. The front suspension complied with the typical O.S.C.A. design, with double wishbones and coil springs up front, while, at the rear there was a traditional live axle. For the first time on an O.S.C.A. racing car, anyway, leaf springs were replaced by coils. The light and aerodynamic body was the work of coachbuilder Morelli. The attention paid to the design and construction of the S-187 immediately gave excellent race results, and the car proved to be fast and competitive. Among the first successes: a class victory at the 1956 Mille Miglia, with Ovidio Capelli at the wheel. The victory was repeated in 1957, when another S-187 won its class at the 12 Hours of Sebring. In 1959, the Maserati brothers updated the car to keep it competitive. Much of the attention was paid to the engine, with reversed exhaust and intake ports and revised bore and stroke. The S-187N (for “new”) engine had another 5 hp high revving at 7700 rpm. In this way, the small racer continued to be successful in Italy and internationally up until the 1960s. In all, nineteen S-187s are believed to have been built.


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