Lot 280 - 1953 O.S.C.A MT4
|Estimate||£150,000 - £175,000|
|Result||Sold - £160,000|
OSCA, developed by the Maserati brothers, famously won the 1954 12 Hours of Sebring among 4½ litre Ferraris, the Cunningham C4R, Aston Martin DB3S and the Lancia D24s. Despite losing their factory, the Maserati brothers remained resilient and exercised their talent under the name OSCA, an abbreviation for Officine Specializzate per la Construzioni di Automobili or 'specialised workshop for car construction'. OSCA was just that, producing several one-off racing cars and multiple engines to accommodate a variety of motor sport and customer needs with their most prolific car the MT4, made for the 1½ litre class. OSCA products were small, lightweight, reliable and expensive. In fact, they rarely built a car over two litres. The MT4 was developed for both Formula Libre (F2) and sports car racing. To suit its dual purpose nature, it had exposed wheels and removable cycle fenders. After only minor success in Formula, the Maserati brothers focused more on sports car racing and had third party companies design all enveloping Barchetta-style bodies for the MT4. On the track, the MT4 dominated the classes in which it ran, including the Mille Miglia, Targa Florio and Le Mans. Driving for Cunningham, an MT4 driven by Lloyd Cunningham and Stirling Moss took a surprising overall victory at the 12 Hours of Sebring and did so amongst much larger competition. The secret to the MT4's success was its exceptional power-to-weight ratio coupled with robust and reliable engineering.
Manufactured in 1953, this MT4 has a fabulous racing history and, as such, defines this as a very desirable example. Achieving, as it did, 2nd in class at the 1953 Mille Miglia (17th overall) before going on to race another 29 races in Italy prior to 1961. In 1959, it was re-bodied and thought to have been carried out by Frua in Italy although there is no confirmation of this. At the same time an Alfa Romeo 1600cc DOHC engine was fitted and remains in the vehicle today. According to the race logbook, this MT4 was raced on another 28 occasions in Italy between 1999 and 2001.The current vendor purchased this outstanding OSCA in Belgium some eight years ago and has enjoyed racing extensively throughout UK and in Europe; with notable appearances at the Goodwood Revival (twice), Spa, Nürburgring, Dijon and Portimao (twice) to name but a few. Engine work, when necessary, has been carried out by Sigma Engineering-respected experts in this field. This OSCA is fitted with a five-speed gearbox, again an Alfa unit with brakes from the same stable. The lead seals from 1953 are still attached to the steering column and clearly display the dates and races from its hayday which help prove the fantastic provenance of this historic motor car and enable any potential owner to indeed check these details. Weighing just 687kg and with original F.I.A papers and current Technical Passport, this OSCA is, according to the vendor, very easy to maintain and he stresses race eligible and ready to go and have some fun with. This very well known MT4 was also featured on the 2011 RAC Woodcote Trophy brochure and few cars have such interesting history as this, but then very few cars are as interesting as an OSCA.
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