OSCA MT4 group S (1948)

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220px-1955_Osca_MT4_Morelli_Spider.jpg Source

1953-54 Frua Spider chassis numbers
Chassis number

OSCA = Officine Specialzate Costruzione Automobili Fratelli Maserati
MT4 = Maserati Tipo 4
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Of the 78 MT4 chassis built, Frua bodied 3 (1952), Vignale 4, and Morelli 25. One chassis was delivered to a customer who built his own body (#1156 to Rossi), and another chassis became the streamlined record car. The remaining 44 MT4s were bodied at the factory.

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Click here and here for '48
Click here for '50
Click here for '52 Frua Spider
Click here and here for '53
Click here for Vignale & Morelli 1952-55

FIAT-derived, straight 4 cyl, 4 stroke, petrol engine,
cast iron block, alloy head with hemispherical combustion chambers
5 main bearings with Vandervell Thinwall shell bearings
single overhead chain driven camshaft operated short rocker arms for the exhaust valves and pushrods for the intake
1950: 2AD Albie Distribuzione = DOHC. Small followers called 'linguette' (fingers) were placed between the valve stems and camshaft lobes. This reduced side loading on the valves and facilitated adjustment. The 2AD used a double chain to drive an idler gear from the crankshaft, while the camshafts were driven off the idler by straight cut gears. As the 2AD was developed, the center idler gear drove a found mounted distributor rather than the side mounted unit. Sidedraft DCO Webers improved the induction and the 1100cc 2AD was good for over 80 hp. The new head made all previous OSCAs obsolete and within a very short time, most, if not all, existing OSCAs were modified with the twin cam head. Source
magnetos supplied the voltage

1948, 1092cc, four-cylinder engine, SOHC, 72 bhp @ 6000 rpm, 2 x Weber DPR3 carburetors
1949, 1342cc, four-cylinder engine, SOHC, 90 bhp @ 5500 rpm

2AD models (DOHC)
1950+, 1092cc, four-cylinder engine, DOHC, 92bhp @ 6600rpm
1950+, 1342cc, four-cylinder engine, DOHC, 100bhp @ 6300rpm
1953, 1453ccc, four-cylinder engine, DOHC, 110bhp @ 6200rpm
1954, 1491ccc, four-cylinder Tipo 372 DS engine, DOHC, 120bhp @ 6300rpm, twin spark ignition

tubular ladder type frame which supported semi-elliptic springs attached to the rear axle
It weighed just under 1000 lbs
Front suspension, Double wishbones with coil springs
Rear suspension, solis axle with semi-elliptic springs. Later quarter elliptics leaf springs with locating rods, until the advent of coil springs in 1955-56

aluminum body with removable fenders, allowing the car to participate in the Formula Two events of the era. The first OSCAs were cycle fendered 'siluros' (torpedo) followed by envelope bodied spyders with a low cut cockpit, removable fenders and headlights positioned behind a large oval grille. As participation in the Formula Two events decreased, a semi-avvolgente (semi-envelope) style was developed. Almost all of the early bodied cars were modified with semi-or full envelope bodies, only one or two remain untouched.
worm and sector steering
wheelbase, 2300mm. In 1953 the wheelbase decreased to 86.6 inches (2200mm)
track f/r, 47" /45.2"
3.50x15" Borrani wire wheels

1949 Fiat Comirato-Gilco OSCA 1100 Special

It began life as a cycle-fendered special on a Gilco (Gilberto Colombo) 200 series chassis no 5504549 in 1949, and was campaigned by Alberto Comirato of Milan with a Fiat 1100S engine as the Comirato-Fiat-Gilco. In 1950 Comirato bought an 1100cc O.S.C.A. engine (no 1111) and installed it, changing the car's name to Comirato-OSCA-Gilco. The car then changed hands a few times and was rebodied with a baby-Ferrari styled bodywork by Fratelli Palazzi, a small carrozzeria that reportedly did work directly for Ferrari. Someone named Crepaldi finished the car and sold it to a wealthy Texan named "Bro" Crim in 1954. Crim had gone to Italy to race cars but didn't have much luck with this bitza, so took it back to Texas where it continued to exasperate him. The engine and four-speed Siata transmission vanished along with an unnamed mechanic who was going to repair them, and the car was later chopped up to accommodate a Chevy V8 for drag racing. A low point was reached in the early seventies when the car was thrown in as a freebie as part of the sale of a $75 trailer hitch. A slow process of restoration with many false starts was begun in 1993, with the current owner (who did the lion's share of the work) since 2008. Source

Results in famous races (until 1952) and in WSCC (1953+)


Siluro = Cycle wing fenders with 1100cc engine
Car entry, chassis number Car number/ result
Targa Florio Mille Miglia Le Mans Dolo miti Pescara
Date 20/3 24/4 26/6 17/7 15/8
Team 1080km 1600km 24h 500km
Franco Cornacchia, 1101 #244, 15th #552, dnf #102, OTL
Paolo Montezemolo/ Ferrero, 1103 #441, dnf
Emanuele Nasi/ Mariano Brandoli, 1105 #507, dnf
F. Pariani/ Aldo Bertossi (Pariani 1350cc) #617, dnf
Antonio Stagnoli (1350cc) #137, 11th
Luigi Villoresi, 1108 (1350cc) #24, 4th
Luigi Fagioli, 1107 #58, 5th
Giulio Cabianca, 1106 #60, 11th
Alberto Cacciari, 1104 #64, 13th
Total points
Works Starts/finishes 11/6 1/1 4/0 2/1 4/4
Drivers Team entries and car number
Franco Cornacchia
Franco Cornacchia 244 552
Alessandro Bassi 244
L. Lesna 552
Salvatore Ammendola 102
Luigi Villoresi
Dorino Serafini 24

37359268851_0389e3fc6f_b.jpg Source
1948 Siluro (Cycle wing)
file.php?id=55770&t=1 Source
1951 Berlinetta Frua chassis #1113 at Tour de France '52
file.php?id=64747&t=1 Source
1951 Berlinetta Frua chassis #1113
26155.jpg Source
1953-1954 MT4 2AD Morelli Spider
file.php?id=64876&t=1 Source
1954 Berlinetta Vignale, chassis #1136

Coupe Chassis numbers

Chassis 1113
This was purchased by Liugi Piotti of Milan in 1951. The chassis was sent to Frua, who created a tight, attractive berlinetta body for the car. The engine was originally number 1304 and was a 2AD 1350cc unit. A photo of the car appears on page 58 of the Orsini/Zagari OSCA book.

Chassis 1120
In 1952 Mario Damonte of Turin purchased this Vignale/Michelotti bodied coupe, with dramatic scalloped sides. The team of Damonte and 'Helde' entered the street coupe in the 1952 LeMans 24 Hour and won first in class.

Chassis 1136
Looking very much like a Ferrari, this Vignale coupe was built for Francia da Armangaud in 1953. Nothing further is known about the car or its history.

Chassis 1153
This is the now famous Vignale coupe recently sold at an auction, and perhaps the most beautiful of all OSCA coupes. Built by the factory, it was the 1955 Turin show car. It resided with collector Walter Grell for most of its life and is still totally original.

Chassis 1176
The subject of this story, and by far the most mysterious of the OSCA coupes. While Morelli constructed many of the traditional OSCA spider bodies, they made a coupe for OSCA racer Jim Simpson. It was destroyed shortly after delivery and we have no pictures of the original body.

Of course there were other OSCA coupes, as in many cases, an early 'siluro' (cycle fendered) bodied OSCA was later rebodied as a road going coupe. Here are three listed by Orsini and Zagari:
Chassis 1105
Siluro bodied car, built in 1949. And after an accident in 1952 was rebodied as a Vignale coupe. In 1955-6 it was again changed into a spider.

Chassis 1108
A siluro for race driver Luigi Villoresi in 1949, he had it changed to a coupe by Vignale in 1951. In this form it looks remarkably like a small Vignale Cunningham.

Chassis 1110
Ippolito Berrone purchased this siluro in 1950. In 1951 it appeared at the Turin Auto show as a Frua coupe. This beautiful car was later transformed into a Morelli spider.

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