In 1937, the three remaining Maserati brothers sold their shares in the family marque but remained on to help Adolfo Orsi for the next decade. Motorsport fanatics through and through, Bindo, Ettore and Ernesto could not stay away from engineering race cars for very long – in 1947 the brothers founded O.S.C.A., short for Officine Specializzate Costruzioni Automobili and released the first MT4 – a spry lightweight tube-frame chassis with independent front suspension equipped with a Fiat 1,100-cc block.
Soon, the brothers Maserati were working to increase engine displacement, and in 1950 the MT4-2AD arrived. Equipped with a new twin cam head fitted to a proprietary block, the aluminium-block engine was originally offered in 1,100 cc before increasing to 1,340 cc. Sources report a grand total of 72 MT4s, equipped with engines of varying displacement, being produced before the company sold out to Count Domenico Agusta in 1963. Offered here is one of these incredibly rare hand-built sports racers.
As was often the case, chassis no. 1156 was delivered as a rolling chassis fitted with a MT4-2AD 1,100-cc engine to Mr Giuseppe Rossi in May 1955. Instead of hiring an expensive coachbuilder to provide a body, Rossi created his own aluminium coachwork – in this configuration, the MT4 raced throughout Italy and France with much success. In 1957, the OSCA was registered in Rome with the number ROMA 301866 – the plate it retains to this day.
By 1958, Mr. Rossi was sharing the OSCA with his friend Enzo Buzzetti. It was Buzzetti who was driving the MT4 during the 1959 Targo Florio when an accident wrote off the car’s unique body – the replacement coachwork was provided by Morelli, who had provided similar bodies for several OSCAs throughout the decade. Also, at this time, a new 1,300-cc OSCA block was fitted, allowing Rossi and Buzzetti to partake in more competitive racing.
In 1966, chassis no. 1156 competed in its final race; now equipped with a 1,500-cc Fiat engine, the OSCA handily won its class. After passing to another owner who raced the MT4 locally, the car was restored in the mid-1990s and then sold to OSCA collector Mr Nonato, along with both the 1,500-cc and 1,350-cc engines, and the original front bonnet. A full restoration was undertaken by the next owner, Tommaso Gelmini; the mechanics were overhauled by specialist Gianni Torelli, with a complete chassis and body restoration by Mario Galbiati.
Today the OSCA is fitted with the 1,350-cc engine and a period ZF gearbox, which is more reliable than the original Fiat model. In recent ownership chassis 1156 has competed at many historic races, including multiple Mille Miglias. Still a true competitor, this OSCA MT4 offers future ownership the chance to run some of the world’s greatest driving events in style.