1950 OSCA MT4-2AD 1100
€850,000 EUR | Asking
- One of approximately 72 MT4-based examples
- Among the most coveted hand-built Italian racing cars of the 1950s
- Period race winner with highlights including 1st overall at 1951 GP de Modena, 1953 Tampa GP and 1955 Road America (Elkhart Lake)
- Participant in collector car events including Goodwood Revival, Grand Prix de Monaco Historique, Mille Miglia with incumbent owner between 2002 to 2014
In the wake of the Maserati brothers handing over full control of the family marque to Adolfo Orsi in 1947, the motorsport-obsessed sibling trio of Bindo, Ernesto and Ettore were seeking an output for their many years of performance engineering expertise that was suddenly redundant. The brothers sought to start another company that could provide racing cars to compete on the big stage, as Maserati had done in its early days, and so Officine Specializzate Costruzione Automobili—Fratelli Maserati S.p.A. – or OSCA, for short ¬– was founded.
Starting out with a construction facility near Bologna, Italy, close to where Maserati had first been based, the brothers had their sights set on developing a car to compete in the 1,100-cc class of racing that was popular at the time. The first model to hail from the OSCA factory was the MT4 – abbreviated from Maserati Tipo 4, with reference to its four-cylinder engine – using a Fiat-derived block and built as a 1,092-cc powertrain. The displacement of the MT4 engine would increase over time, but not before OSCA introduced the MT4-2AD, still with the same cubic capacity but employing a new twin-cam cylinder head that increased power to a maximum of 99 bhp at 6,300 rpm, also purported to be more reliable than its predecessor.
Like many OSCA models of the era, this MT4-2AD 1100 – recorded as the second made, wearing the chassis number 1112 – was built as a rolling chassis and supplied with the 1,092-cc engine, leaving a carrozzeria of choice to build the body by hand. This highly coveted 1950 example moves away from the barchetta shape of many other early OSCA models, instead moulded in the siluro style; like a torpedo, for maximum aerodynamic efficiency on the race track, while employing a minimalistic design for weight saving in key areas.
Chassis number 1112 burst onto the racing scene in Italy upon its completed construction. Among its first recorded competitive events, the OSCA is documented to have finished in second place overall at the Grand Prix de Modena in 1950, piloted by Francesco Nissotti. The following year, Nissotti went back to Modena and won outright. More podium finishes came with Nissotti behind the wheel, finishing third in class at the Circuit de Gardia (F2) and second overall at the Grand Prix (Voiturette) in Monza.
From 1952 to 1955, the MT4-2AD moved away from Italy with many recorded race entries and triumphs at the hands of Rees T. Makins and Frank Bott, in the United States. Bott took first in class at the 1952 Mecox Trophy in Bridgehampton, NY, then alongside Makins took first in class at the SCCA National MacDill (Modified) at the MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, FL. An appearance at the 1953 12 Hours of Sebring resulted in the pair taking the OSCA to sixth in its class, followed by entries to a succession of SCCA races across the USA that propelled Makins and Bolt to many more podium finishes across Grand Prix events at locations including Jonesville, Lockbourne and Tampa.
The car is documented to have been raced by another competitor from the USA in the late-1950s before moving back to Europe, driven to first in its class at the 1961 Trofeo Nicangeli by Francesco Maria Battibocca before a handful more race appearances, then being retired from competitive events.
Between 2002 to 2014, the OSCA was entered by its incumbent owner into collector car driving events across Europe. These include Goodwood Revival, Grand Prix de Monaco Historique and Mille Miglia. The car is eligible for future entries into Mille Miglia and other esteemed collector car events around the world such as Modena Cento Ore, Tour Auto and Le Mans Classic.
The period looks of this highly coveted OSCA combine with its highly respectable race provenance and its rarity, for what is believed to be one of only 72 MT4-based models, to represent one of the most appealing hand-made Italian racing cars of the 1950s for any prospective collector.