1952 Osca MT4

The Italian company named O.S.C.A. (Officine Specializzate Costruzione Automobili—Fratelli Maserati S.p.A.) was founded in 1947 in San Lazzaro di Savena, Bologna, by the Maserati brothers. Ernesto was the engineering manager, and his two brothers (Ettore and Bindo) were the operations manager. Their Maserati company had been acquired by Adolfo Orsi in 1937 with the brothers remaining with the company for a decade as part of the contract.

The first automobile built by the O.S.C.A. company was the MT4, for Maserati Tipo 4 cilindri. With the intention of competing in the 1,100cc racing class, the MT4 was powered by a 1,092cc engine which offered 71 horsepower at 6,000 RPM. It had a Fiat-derived block, alloy head, and single overhead camshaft, with a design similar to the 6-cylinder engine of Maserati. The chassis consisted of two tubular steel side members fitted with double wishbones at the front and a live axle in the back. The bodywork varied, initially a cycle fender configuration that was later replaced by a Barchetta in coupe configuration, usually constructed by Morelli.

The O.S.C.A. MT4 made its racing debut in 19484 at the Pescara Grand Prix where it was driven by Franco Carnacchia. Luigi Villoresi drove it at its second outing, the Napels GP, where it finished first overall.

Development was ongoing with the MT4 being continually improved, the first was an increase in displacement to 1,340cc. By 1949, after less than a dozen examples had been built, the brothers introduced a new twin-cam head and twin camshaft design; all MT4s that followed would employ these new designs. Still intended for smaller displacement classes, the MT4 was now available in either 1090cc or 1,340cc configuration.

A 1,450cc engine was introduced in 1953 and quickly followed by a 1,490cc twin-spark version in 1954. The 1.5-liter MT4 1500 was a force in small-displacement classes during 1954 with winning drivers, including Gentleman Jim Kimberly and Siata tuner Otto Linton, among many others. The MT4 1500 had its greatest success at the 12 Horus of Sebring in March 1954, where Stirling Moss captured 1st overall in chassis number 1137 on behalf of Briggs Cunningham's team.

It is believed that now more than 72 examples were built on the MT4 platform in total, of which roughly 50 were clothed in the original Frua design.


by Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2020

Related Reading : Osca MT4 History

The early 1930s were a difficult time for world economics. The Great Depression strangled the life out of many prominent businesses. The onset of the Second World War would claim even more companies as production ceased in support of war efforts and several European factories were bombed during the war. The Maserati brothers had created a prosperous business fueled by successful racing endeavors....
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1952 Vehicle Profiles

1952 Osca MT4 vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: 1116

Officine Specializzate Costruzioni Automobili (OSCA) founded in 1947 in Bologna by the Maserati brothers who left their own firma 10 years earlier. OSCA was sold in 1967 to MV Agusta. Maserati Tipo 4 cilindri (MT4) - 1092cc, 72 horsepow....[continue reading]

1952 Osca MT4 vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: 1122

This famous OSCA MT4 is the only remaining original MT4 of three built by the factory in the Ernesto Maserati-designed Mille Miglia body style with the in-board headlights. In August 1952, it was the first OSCA to appear on the California racing circ....[continue reading]

1952 Osca MT4 vehicle information

Prototype Roadster
Coachwork: Frua

Chassis Num: 1121

This OSCA MT4 is the first prototype MT4 Spider with outside headlights designed by Ernesto Maserati. It was also the first MT4 with the headlights in the fenders. During the early 1950s, OSCAs won hundreds of races in Europe, and they also began to ....[continue reading]

1952 Osca MT4 vehicle information

Berlinetta
Coachwork: Vignale

Commissioned by Italian gentleman racer Mario Damonte, this OSCA MT4 was clothed by Vignale (one of four by Vignale in 1952) with a unique design penned by Giovanni Michelotti. It featured very recognizable scalloped sides with prominent vents which ....[continue reading]

Roadster
Chassis #: 1116 
Roadster
Chassis #: 1122 
Prototype Roadster by Frua
Chassis #: 1121 
Berlinetta by Vignale
 


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Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

$255-$10,000
1952 MT4
$10,000-$17,350

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Osca
1957Ford (1,676,449)Chevrolet (1,505,910)Plymouth (726,009)
1956Chevrolet (1,567,117)Ford (1,408,478)Meteor (1,408,478)
1955Chevrolet (1,704,667)Ford (1,451,157)Buick (738,814)
1954Ford (1,165,942)Chevrolet (1,143,561)Plymouth (463,148)
1953Chevrolet (1,346,475)Ford (1,247,542)Plymouth (650,451)
1952Chevrolet (818,142)Ford (671,733)Plymouth (396,000)
1951Chevrolet (1,229,986)Ford (1,013,381)Plymouth (611,000)
1950Chevrolet (1,498,590)Ford (1,208,912)Plymouth (610,954)
1949Ford (1,118,308)Chevrolet (1,010,013)Plymouth (520,385)
1948Chevrolet (696,449)Ford (430,198)Plymouth (412,540)
1947Chevrolet (671,546)Ford (429,674)Plymouth (382,290)

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