Osca, the racing “little Maserati” that conquered the world

The most important pages in the history of the automobile are written by both big brands and by smaller realitiesremained in business for often short periods but long enough to leave their mark.

Among these there is also the Notchwhose name periodically returns to the headlines thanks to nostalgic entrepreneurs who sometimes take it into their heads to revive it, even if for now the history of this talented workshop remains confined to the period 1947-1967 in which it lived its short period of glory.

Want to run

The epic of the Osca begins where the first era of the most celebrated Maserati brand ends, namely in 1937, when the brothers Ernesto, Ettore and Bindo Maserati they sold the family business, already an established manufacturer of racing cars, to Omar and Adolfo Orsi, entrepreneurs in the metallurgical sector eager to enter the world of engines.

The agreement provided that the Maseratis would accompany the new owners, providing them with assistance and advice, for 10 yearsduring which the three repeatedly toyed with the idea, set aside due to the war, of starting off with a new workshop.

The attempt materialized once the terms of the agreement expired, that is in 1947: free from any further constraints, the Maseratis founded the Specialized Car Construction Workshopswhose acronym was soon transcribed without the dots in Osca.

Osca MT4 2AD 1500 Morelli Spider 1953 technical

Immediately winning

The first work of the new company was the MT4 competition boatdesigned to compete in the category up to 1.1 liters, which was equipped with a 1,092 cc engine and just over 70 HP and which began to bring fame to the brand almost immediately.

Between ’48 and ’59 the small car in fact he achieved successes in races such as the Grand Prix of Naples, Ferrara, Tigullio, Modena and Sinigallia, and numerous placings with talented drivers such as Gigi Villoresi and Ada Pace, and then also conquered the international limelight in various races of the SSCA circuit.

Fiat-OSCA 1500 Coupé Viotti 1957

Fiat-Osca 1500 Coupé Viotti 1957

In the meantime, variants and evolutions of higher displacements were added to that small and winning boat, from 1.4 up to 1.6 liters and up to 140 HP which sparked the attention of sports customers and the most popular coachbuilders such as Frua, Michelotti, Vignale and Zagatowho tried their hand at the Osca looms.

Returning to competitions, the top model was the MT4 with a two-liter engine and double overhead camshaft, which could also boast some technological refinement such as the distribution with desmodromic valves, with piloted opening and closing. With this car, Osca crowned his already substantial palmares by adding the victory to the 12h at Sebring del ’54 with the unforgettable Stirling Moss.

OSCA Formula Junior 1958

F1, closure and rebirths

Between ’51 and ’59 Osca also took part in some races of the Formula 1 Championship, in three seasons as a team and in two more as a manufacturer, however, collecting few placings and many retirements. In ’60 and ’61 instead supplied the engines to the De Tomaso team.

In the mid-1960s, the Maserati brothers decided to retire from the business and began the sale of the majority stake in Osca to the Agusta accounts, already known as motorcycle and helicopter manufacturerswhich in late ’66 closed the Bolognese office with the intention of transferring the business to Milan but ending it up definitively.

In 1999, a first attempt was made to bring the historic brand back to life with a baptized prototype Osca 2500 GT Dromos made in collaboration between Luca Zagato and a Japanese entrepreneur, who remained, however, still at that one specimen.

Recently, however, the Molise Massimo De Risioowner of the brands Dr ed Evohas announced that it has acquired the rights to the Osca name from the granddaughter of one of the founding Maseratis and has every intention of putting it back on track.

Source: Motor1.com Italia – News by it.motor1.com.

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