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Osca redirects here; for other uses of Osca, see Osca (disambiguation)
MT4 at Donington Park (2007).
1959 FJ 1100 at Donington Park (2007).

Officine Specializzate Costruzioni Automobili - Fratelli Maserati SpA (established 1947 in Bologna, discontinued 1967) was an Italian brand of sports car automobiles, usually abbreviated to O.S.C.A., OSCA or Osca.

It was founded by Ernesto (engineering manager) and his two brothers Ettore, and Bindo Maserati (operations managers). The brothers left Maserati after their ten-year contract with Adolfo Orsi had terminated. Ten years earlier, in 1937, the remaining Maserati brothers had sold their shares in the company to the Orsi family, who, in 1940, had relocated the company headquarters to their hometown of Modena, where it remains to this day.

The new workshop for O.S.C.A. was established at San Lazzaro di Saveno outside Bologna,[1] where Maserati was originally made 1926 to 1940. Their basic business goal was to develop an automobile to compete in the 1100 cc racing class.

O.S.C.A.'s first automobile was the MT4, for Maserati Tipo 4 cilindri. The 1092 cc engine (72 PS (53 kW; 71 hp) at 6000 rpm) had a FIAT-derived block, alloy top, and the coach was built as a two-seater barchetta. The MT4 first raced in 1948 at the Pescara Circuit and the Grand Prix of Naples, where it was driven to a win by Luigi Villoresi. The engine was modified to 1342 cc form (with 90 PS (66 kW; 89 hp) at 5500 rpm) in 1949.[2]

In 1950, a new DOHC (MT4-2AD) raised power (to a maximum of 100 PS (74 kW; 99 hp) at 6300 rpm), and until 1953 the engine would be enlarged to a maximum of 1453 cc (110 PS (81 kW; 108 hp) at 6200 rpm). A twin spark with 1491 cc (120 PS (88 kW; 118 hp) at 6300 rpm) was later used in the O.S.C.A. TN of 1955.

Mostly these automobiles were barchettas, but a few were built as more luxurious berlinetta coaches by Pietro Frua, Michelotti, and Vignale. A Vignale was run in the 1500 cc class at the 1953 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The 1954 12 Hours of Sebring was won by drivers Stirling Moss and Bill Lloyd in an O.S.C.A. MT4 [1] as part of the Briggs Cunningham Team.[3]

From 1951 to 1962, automobiles or engines made by O.S.C.A. also were entered in some Formula One and Formula Two events although they mainly built small sports cars of which some were designed by Pietro Frua. In the World Sportscar Championship OSCA vehicles ranked 10th (1953), 4th (1954), 6th (1957), 5th (1958) and 4th (1961).

The Formula Junior (FJ) used a Fiat engine of 1089 cc, saw wins by Colin Davis and Berardo Taraschi (1959).

In 1963 the brothers sold the company to Count Domenico Agusta, owner of MV Agusta,[1] They did design work for Agusta until 1966. One of their final designs was a desmodromic four cylinder engine. It ended operations in 1967.

Vehicles

  • MT4 (1947)
  • 750S (1957)
  • 1100 FJ for Formula Junior
  • 1100 (1960)
  • 2000 Desmodromico Morelli (1959/60)
  • 1600 GT2, bodied by Zagato (1962)
  • 1600 SP (1963)

References

  1. ^ a b Celebrating the 60th anniversary of the founding of O.S.C.A. from maserati-alfieri.co.uk
  2. ^ story from maserati-alfieri.co.uk
  3. ^ In the April 6, 1992 issue of AutoWeek, Cunningham stated that, of all the automobiles he built, owned, and raced, O.S.C.A. was his favorite racecar.

External links

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