The Big Car Database

Osca

O.S.C.A. (Officine Specializzate Costruzione Automobili—Fratelli Maserati S.p.A.) was an Italian manufacturer of racing and sports cars established 1947 in San Lazzaro di Savena, Bologna, by the Maserati brothers, and closed down in 1967.

Its name is usually abbreviated to OSCA or Osca.

Industry Automotive
Fate Ceased production
Founded 1947
Defunct 1967
Headquarters San Lazzaro di Savena,Bologna, Italy

Key people

Ettore, Ernesto and Bindo Maserati
Products Automobiles

History

O.S.C.A. was founded in 1947 by Ernesto Maserati (engineering manager) and his two brothers Ettore, and Bindo(operations managers) who had all left Maserati after their ten-year contract with Adolfo Orsi 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The O.S.C.A. factory was at San Lazzaro di Savena outside Bologna, where Maserati were originally made 1926 to 1940.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 head, and the bodywork 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.

In 1950, a new DOHC (MT4-2AD) raised power (to a maximum of 100 PS (74 kW; 99 hp) at 6300 rpm), and in 1953 the engine was enlarged to 1453 cc (110 PS (81 kW; 108 hp) at 6,200 rpm). The all new tipo 372 DS twin spark engine with 1491 cc (120 PS (88 kW; 118 hp) at 6300 rpm) was later used in the O.S.C.A. MT4 TN (for Tipo Nuovo", "new model") of 1955. With this new engine, the car received the new name FS 372, of which five were built. One of these belongs to SirStirling Moss, who still races it in historic races across the globe. Versions of this engine went on to be used in coupé and convertible models of regular Fiats from 1959 to 1966.

These automobiles were mainly barchettas, but a few were built with more luxurious berlinetta bodies 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 as part of the Briggs Cunningham Team.

From 1951 to 1962, automobiles or engines made by O.S.C.A. also were entered in some Formula One and Formula Twoevents 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 750 cc 70 hp (52 kW) type S 187 was introduced in 1956. Weighing 430 kg (948 lb), this car had a top speed of 110 mph (180 km/h). The name "187" refers to the displacement in cubic centimetres of each cylinder of the engine. In 1959 Jim Eichenlaub won the American H-Mod Title with this OSCA S 187. Operating on a shoestring budget, Eichenlaub often slept in his tow car because there was no money for a motel. However he won his first race at Pensacola in April 1959.

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

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

OSCA Fiats

The 1500S Coupé and Convertible were available with OSCA's twin cam 1491 cc engine as the 1200 were produced with a Fiat engine. These 90 PS (66 kW) - 1500S models went on sale in November 1959, with Pininfarina bodywork. The engine was uprated to 1568 cc and 100 PS (74 kW) in the summer of 1962 (1600 S) thanks to a 2 mm bore increase, and the shell underwent a facelift as the Fiat 1300/1500 replaced the original 1200 in 1963. This continued in production until replaced by the Fiat 124 coupé/spider, with Fiat's own twin cam engine, in late 1966. OSCA also offered their own cars powered by this engine, such as the Fissore-bodied 1600 GT2.

Vehicles

Name and year of introduction:

  • Osca MT4 (1947)
  • Osca S187 (1956)
  • Osca 750S (1957)
  • Osca 1100 FJ (for Formula Junior)
  • Osca 1100 (1960)
  • Osca 2000 Desmodromico (Morelli, 1959/60)
  • Osca 1600 GT2 (1962)
  • Osca 1600 SP (1963)
 

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