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Racing Through Time: The Legacy of the 1954 OSCA MT4 #1143

Tracing the Journey of a Motorsport Icon: The Chassis number 11431954 OSCA MT4's Epic Tale from Italian Tracks to Classic Car Renaissance - A Story of Speed, Triumph, and Timeless Restoration.

Photography by Jeroen Vink (IG: @jeroenvinkphotography) From an interview with Alex von Mozer VSOC.

The 1954 OSCA MT4 stands as a testament to the craftsmanship of the Maserati brothers, who in 1947 had founded the Officine Specializzate Costruzioni Automobili, or OSCA, which specialized in competition sports cars. Born in Bologna, this iconic sports racing car wasn't just a machine; its low weight and high power rendered it a symphony of speed and ferocious tenacity – one which would etch its legacy on the tracks of Italy and beyond.

Having been entered in almost 70 official races between 1954 and 1962, chassis number 1143 is a thoroughbred racer – indeed this was the most frequently raced of all OSCA MT4s.

Francesco Giardini, the first custodian of this speed demon, wasted no time unleashing its potential. The year was 1954, and Giardini hurled the OSCA into the crucible of motorsport glory – the Mille Miglia, as well as the 1000km Eifelrennen at the Nürburgring, and the hallowed asphalt of Le Mans with #42 emblazoned on its frame.

After conquering this trio of behemoth races, Giardini's journey with the OSCA continued with a dozen Italian hill-climbs and circuit races. In 1954, he etched his name in the annals of racing history by clinching the Italian Championship in the 1.100cc Sport class, securing four overall wins and five class victories.

As the seasons changed, so did the hands that gripped the steering wheel of #1143. Attilio Brandi of Florence took the wheel, entering the OSCA into an impressive 37 races over three exhilarating years. He claimed 10 class wins and 10 second places with the OSCA. One of his major results was his class win in the 1.100cc Sport category in the 1956 Mille Miglia. Brandi also claimed second place in the Italian 1.100cc Sport championship in 1955, and was the overall winner of the Italian Mountain Championship in the 1.100cc Sport category in both 1956 and 1957.

The OSCA’s pedigree shows that this was more than a race car; it was a perpetual contender, a constant force in the Italian racing scene. It tasted the asphalt of the Targa Florio four times from 1958 to 1961, leaving its mark on the historic circuit.

In 1962, the curtain closed on the racing career of #1143 after a handful of Sicilian hill-climbs, and it found its way into the hands of a now unknown Sicilian racing driver. There, it faded into obscurity and sadly, some disrepair, until the 1980s. Alfonso Merendino, the winner of the 1977 Targa Florio, discovered the battered relic in an underground car park, awaiting rescue.

The restoration, completed in 1997, breathed new life into #1143, and Merendino sold it to Alexander Fyshe, the long-time president of the Maserati Club UK. For over 15 years, he reveled in its timeless beauty and historic significance.

The torch was eventually passed to the current owner through Netherlands-based VSOC, and the OSCA MT4 once again graced the tracks, participating in the commemorative editions of the Mille Miglia and Le Mans in 2023. A third-place finish in the latter race signaled that the old stallion still had plenty of fight left in her.As plans take shape for future classic events, the OSCA MT4, with its rich history of adventure and victory, continues to captivate hearts and minds.

Alex von Mózer MsC is a lifelong car enthusiast and owner of VSOC. Grew up with fast cars and clearly remembers seeing his first Ferrari Dino 246 GT in Italy when he was only 4 years old. Father of 2 lovely girls. Always very busy with the client in mind. Enjoys sports, racing and rallying. Photographer Jeroen Vink is a highly skilled professional photographer residing near Amsterdam, Netherlands. With a diverse range of interests and talents, he is not only an accomplished photographer but also an engineer with a profound fascination for vintage cars and exquisite timepieces. His expertise lies in the realm of automotive and product photography, particularly in the captivating domains of jewelry and watches. Throughout his career, he has curated an awe-inspiring portfolio, attracting esteemed clients such as Stellantis, Renault, Fiat Professional, Watchtime magazine, and Hodinkee.


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