OSCA MT4: A Sebring Winner

O.S.C.A. (Officine Specializzate Costruzione Automobili—Fratelli Maserati S.p.A.) was founded in 1947 by Ernesto Maserati (who was the engineering manager) and his brothers Ettore, and Bindo (who functioned as operations managers) who had all left Maserati after their ten-year contract with Adolfo Orsi terminated.  In 1937 three of the four remaining Maserati brothers had sold their shares in the company to the Orsi family.  Part of the deal was that the Maserati brothers had to stay out of the automobile business for 10 years.  The Maserati brothers re-entered automobile business in 1947 at the end of the 10 year contract period and became a manufacturer of racing and sports cars.  The company name and cars are generally referred to as OSCA.

Several years ago I saw several OSCA cars at the Lime Rock Park race track in Connecticut.  The OSCA MT 4 shown in this post was part of Briggs Cunningham’s race team that dominated the 12 Hours Of Sebring in 1954.

OSCA MT 4 1954 (1)

A 1954 OSCA MT 4

At Sebring in 1954, Stirling Moss, drove this OSCA with a 1453-cc engine won over a field of Aston Martins, Austin-Healeys, Cunninghams, Excaliburs, Maseratis, and Lancias. Some of the driver teams were Alberto Ascari and Gigi Villoresi, Juan Manuel Fangio and Eugenio Castellotti, and Piero Taruffi and Robert Manzon.  Many of these cars and drivers did not finish this grueling race over a race track that is not particularly smooth.

OSCA MT 4 1954 (2)

This OSCA Is Fitted With A Metal Tonneau Cover

The results of the 1954 12 Hours Of Sebring are shown below.  It is impressive that four of the first eight finishers were OSCA cars!

Results 12 Hours Of Sebring 1954

1st Lloyd / Moss Osca MT4 1450
2nd Rubirosa / Valenzano Lancia D24
3rd Macklin / Huntoon Austin-Healey 100
4th Simpson / Colby Osca MT4 1450
5th Linton / Beck Osca MT4 1350
6th Carpenter / van Driel Kieft Sport Bristol
7th Cicurel / Pauley Siata 208S
8th Makins / Bott Osca MT4 1100

Notice that the OSCA cars were fitted with various sized engines.

OSCA MT 4 1954 (5)

The OSCA MT 4 Had A Simple, Smooth Design

This car was fitted with a 1453 cc engine that produced 108 horsepower at 6,200 rpm.  Originally the car had a 4-speed ZF transmission.  I am impressed that Moss/Lloyd were able to win the 12 Hours Of Sebring with a car that produced just over 100 horsepower!

OSCA MT 4 1954 (4)

This OSCA Was Part Of Briggs Cunningham’s Race Team

The OSCA company did not have a long lifespan. The Maserati brother who owned OSCA, Bindo, Ettore, and Ernesto were, respectively, 80, 69, and 65 years old when they sold OSCA to Count Domenico Agusta in 1963.  The brothers remained around to assist the company when needed; however four years later OSCA closed its doors.

Over its 20-year lifespan OSCA was involved in Formula 1, sports car racing, and Formula Junior, but its most iconic car was the OSCA MT 4.

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