Officine Specializzate Costruzioni Automobili – Fratelli Maserati SpA, established 1947 in Bologna, was an Italian brand of sports car automobiles, usually abbreviated to O.S.C.A. or OSCA.
It was founded by Ernesto and his two brothers Ettore, and Bindo Maserati. The brothers left Maserati after their ten-year contract with Adolfo Orsi had terminated. Ten years earlier, in 1937, the remaining Maserati brothers had sold their shares in the company to the Orsi family, who, in 1940, had relocated the company headquarters to their hometown of Modena, where it remains to this day. The new workshop for O.S.C.A. was established at San Lazzaro di Saveno outside Bologna, where Maserati was originally made 1926 to 1940. Their basic business goal was to develop an automobile to compete in the 1100 cc racing class.
O.S.C.A.’s first automobile was the MT4, for Maserati Tipo 4 cilindri. The 1092 cc engine (72 bhp at 6000 rpm) had a FIAT-derived block, alloy top, and the coach was built as a two-seater barchetta. The MT4 first raced in 1948 at the Pescara Circuit and the Grand Prix of Naples, where it was driven to a win by Luigi Villoresi. The engine was modified to 1342 cc form (with 90 bhp at 5500 rpm) in 1949.
In 1950, a new DOHC (MT4-2AD) raised power (to a maximum of 100 bhp at 6300 rpm), and until 1953 the engine would be enlarged to a maximum of 1453 cc (110 bhp at 6200 rpm). A twin spark with 1491 cc (120 bhp at 6300 rpm) was later used in the O.S.C.A. TN of 1955.
Mostly these automobiles were barchettas, but a few were built as more luxurious berlinetta coaches by Pietro Frua, Michelotti, and Vignale. A Vignale was run in the 1500 cc class at the 1953 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The 1954 12 Hours of Sebring was won by drivers, Stirling Moss and Bill Lloyd, in an O.S.C.A. MT4 as part of the Briggs Cunningham Team.
In 1963 the Maserati brothers sold the company to Count Domenico Augusta, owner of MV Agusta. They did design work for Augusta until 1966. One of their final designs was a desmodromic four cylinder engine. It ended operations in 1967.
1955 OSCA MT 4 For Sale
Details: Seller Hall & Bradfield Ltd. does not list an asking price. Car is located in London.
Seller Comments: “The records show that chassis 1154 was an original MT 4, painted light blue with a ZF gearbox and red upholstery. It was unusually fitted with a horizontal grill to its first mouth. It was fitted with a 1500 cc engine, no 1513.
The first recorded event for the car was a hill climb, Course de Cote de Vuillafans on 2nd September 1956. Louis Chiron won in a similar car and 1154 finished second driven by Frenchman Andre Testut.”
“During the winter of 1956 the car had the nose modified to its current 300 S type design and then in 1957 Louis Chiron sold the car in his capacity as a dealer on behalf of Collange to Testut and together they formed Monte Carlo Autosport. Testut was to keep the car until 1959 and he and Chiron campaigned their cars energetically. There is an astonishing amount of information, original photographs, documents and letters in the history file about races and events that they both entered including an original congratulatory telegram to Testut from Fratelli Maserati for a victory at Vuillafans in 1957!”
“In 1959 the car was sold to another Frenchman, Pierre Niogret and then again to Georges Benoit in 1961. In 1963 Robert Chagny bought the car and installed a 1300 cc engine for class racing reasons but sold the car a year later to Mr. Baboulin. The car was in Grenoble in 1974 and bought by Antoine Raffaelli and ended up with Michel Norbert in 1982 who restored the car with its original grill and a 1500 cc engine. In 1985 Michel Covindassamy bought the car and further restoration was carried out and the current owner bought the car in 2001.”
“In his ownership a more significant and comprehensive job was done on the car that included the amazing research and documentation that is so often missing with cars of this nature and the car is offered today with the 300 S-type nose re-instated and in wonderful restored condition throughout.”
Sports Car Digest Comments: The 2008 Sports Car Market price guide suggests a $700,000 – $835,000 price range for a OSCA MT 4, while the May – August 2008 Cars That Matter price guide advocates a $300,000 – $500,000 range.
[Source: Wikipedia and Hall & Bradfield]
This posting does not give credit to the most winning displacement OSCAs, the 750cc models that dominated H Modified SCCA in the late 1950-early 1960s. This is the type car used by Briggs Cunningham and against whom I raced my ex-Le Mans D-B… hopelessly. Almost nothing could beat the 750 OSCAs, although a few very fast homemade specials got lucky infrequently. The larger OSCAs (1000 & 1500 classes)had much tougher competition.
Did these cars leave the factory with the thick grey paint on the tubular space frame ? Just curious.
Funny. We’re pretty sure they did and it was that lustrous too…or not.