Heart of the Trident: Italy’s OSCA Served as Successful Second Act for Maserati Siblings

After the three Maserati brothers sold their company, they created this lovely, low-slung racer.

Forest Casey

Partly down to passion and partly due to pride, the legacy of the three Maserati brothers did not end after they sold their company in 1937. At least as far as their day-to-day experience went, it survived the following decade as well, wherein the three brothers were contractually obligated to work for the company they founded. Ernesto, the engineer of the trio, and his brothers Bindo and Ettore, who handled the day-to-day operations for the company’s new owner Adolfo Orsi, did not lose their spark of creativity over the ten years that they worked for Maserati, nor did they lose hope. The brothers represented, at least metaphorically speaking, the three points of the spear on Maserati’s famous trident logo. And their next effort proved they had not dulled over the past decade.

1950 OSCA MT4-2AD 1100 offered by RM Sotheby's Private Sales Division 2021

1950 OSCA MT4-2AD 1100

 

€850,000 EUR | Asking

 

Established in 1947, the formal name of OSCA stood for Officine Specializzate Costruzione Automobili—Fratelli Maserati S.p.A., not the first nor the only signifier that the Maserati family legacy was still alive and well. The full designation of their first racing-focused model also spelled out the technology and experience that the siblings brought to their new Bologna-based firm: MT4, denoting that their inaugural effort was still technically a “Maserati Tipo” and “4” signifying the number of cylinders contained within its powerplant.

 1950 OSCA MT4-2AD 1100 offered by RM Sotheby's Private Sales Division 2021

The aim of this effort was to produce a car worthy of participation in the under 1100cc race classes that were popular in the early post-war period, which explains the “1100” suffix and suggests that this torpedo-shaped racer contained the brand’s 1092 cc motor. But equally important was the “2AD” distinction, which meant that this example possessed the highly desirable twin-cam cylinder head. In this example, it produced 99 horsepower; similar engines would go on to be found in many of Italy’s finest motorcars, both for the road and the racetrack.

1950 OSCA MT4-2AD 1100 offered by RM Sotheby's Private Sales Division 2021

This chassis, no. 1112, was put into service as a race car not long after it left the OSCA workshop. An extensive rundown of this example’s race entries is kindly listed behind the cockpit. Driven by noted Italian racer Francesco Nissotti, no. 1112 finished second place overall at the Grand Prix de Modena in 1950, a feat Nissotti supplanted the following year with a first-place finish. The impressive competition history began in August of 1950 and all the way to the 21st century, with vintage rallies like the Mille Miglia and the Goodwood Revival spanning from 2002 to 2014. Perhaps the favorite racetrack for this example is in the modern revival of the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique, where it participated six times over twelve years.

1950 OSCA MT4-2AD 1100 offered by RM Sotheby's Private Sales Division 2021

For some collectors, proven race results in the modern era make an example more coveted. The fact that this chassis has completed such demanding rallies only improves its standing among other period race cars. To find another MT4-2AD 1100 would be difficult, however, as chassis no. 1112 is believed to be one of a mere 72 ever made.

1950 OSCA MT4-2AD 1100 offered by RM Sotheby's Private Sales Division 2021

From its gorgeous, jewel-like slatted radiator cover to its stout twin-cam engine, this chassis is part of a living history, with a genuine connection to the genius of the Maserati siblings. Eligible for entry into an array of top-tier vintage motor racing events, including the Mille Miglia and Le Mans Classic, RM Sotheby’s is proud to offer this significant OSCA example for immediate acquisition through our Private Sale division.

1950 OSCA MT4-2AD 1100 offered by RM Sotheby's Private Sales Division 2021


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