1953 OSCA MT4AD Barchetta  Chassis no. 1126
Lot 277
1953 OSCA MT4AD Barchetta Chassis no. 1126
£350,000 - 400,000
US$ 590,000 - 670,000
Lot Details
1953 OSCA MT4AD Barchetta
Chassis no. 1126


  • In 1937 the three surviving Maserati brothers sold out to the Orsi Group and after WW2 founded Officine Specializzate per la Costruzione Automobili Fratelli Maserati - OSCA for short - to build limited edition competition cars. One of the reasons for the Maserati brothers' departure was that they did not want to be involved in making road cars - they were racers pure and simple.
    OSCAs performed magnificently in international sports car racing throughout the 1950s. In the 1954 Sebring 12-Hours, a round of the World Sports Car Championship, privately entered 1.5-litre OSCAs finished 1st, 4th and 5th against works teams in a category with no limit on engine capacity, an achievement as outstanding as it was unexpected. OSCAs took class wins in the Mille Miglia on ten occasions and also won the Index of Performance at Le Mans.
    OSCA was a tiny company, never making more than 30 cars in a single year, all of which were intended for competition. Its first offering, introduced in 1948, was the MT4 (Maserati Tipo 4), a small siluro powered by a 1,092cc overhead-camshaft engine, which was immediately successful in the hands of Luigi Villoresi. Enlarged in stages up to 1,491cc and given a twin-cam cylinder head, the OSCA engine was later taken up by FIAT, for whom it was 'productionised' by ex-Ferrari designer, Aurelio Lampredi.
    Barchetta-type bodywork replaced the earlier cycle-winged siluro type in the 1950s while a number of MT4 chassis received coupé coachwork by various carrozzeria including Frua, Michelotti, Vignale, Viotti and Zagato. The MT4 gradually evolved into the TN, the latter featuring a revised chassis (on the same 2,200mm wheelbase) and a new and more powerful (125bhp) 1,491cc engine. The MT4/TN series was manufactured up to 1957
    At the same time as its twin-cam engine was powering FIAT's range-topping sports cars, OSCA began producing its own GT cars, reversing the policy that had prompted the brothers to leave Maserati. In 1963 the Maserati brothers sold out to motorcycle maker MV-Agusta, which continued OSCA production until 1967. The OSCA name was revived in 1998 for a limited edition sports coupé.
    Chassis number '1126' was completed on 23rd March 1953 and registered to its first owner, Gaetano Sani, who entered the OSCA in that year's Mille Miglia (number '337') finishing 2nd in class and 17th overall. Other races contested in '53 include the Trofeo Sardo, Coppa della Toscana, Nürburgring 1,000km, Bologna-Toscana and Circuito di Gassari, the OSCA never finishing lower than 3rd in class. In April 1954 Sani entered the OSCA in the Giro di Sicilia, from which it retired, and then sold the car to Bruno Ricciardi. Ricciardi entered the car in various races in Italy throughout the 1954 and '55 seasons, his best result being 1st overall in the '55 Targa Vesuvio. In March 1958 Ricciardi sold '1126' to Pietro Fiordelisi who raced it throughout that season, the highlights of which were 1st in class finishes at the Agnano-Cargiani Napoli, Targa Vesuvio and Sorrento-Sant'Agata events. Circa 1961 the car was re-bodied in later style with the current coachwork (believed to be the work of Morelli) and fitted with a 1.5-litre Alfa Romeo engine, in which form it was raced by Fiordelisi on two occasions in '61.
    Over the past eight years the OSCA been raced by the current owner at the Nürburgring, Spa-Francorchamps, Portimao 2-Hours (twice), Goodwood (Sir Stirling Moss's birthday event) and at numerous other venues throughout the UK. Reported as easily maintained and reliable, this historic OSCA sports-racer is offered with 1950s/1960s results summary, VSCC registration papers and FIA Historic Technical Passport. The car's original Alfa Romeo engine, in need of rebuilding, is included in the sale.
  1. Tim Schofield
    Specialist - Motor Cars
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