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12.09.07
Austin Healey 3000 Mk III - A Superb Restoration
THE Big Healey - 1967 BJ8


9.06.07
Lime Rock Park Video - 2007 Vintage Festival - Sam Posey, Jim Haynes, John Bishop
40 minutes of wonderful conversation from the 2007 Vintage Festival


5.27.07
The Stanguellini In Aunt Edith's Gift Shop
It is mid-July in Lime Rock. After almost 7 years in Arizona, I find the Connecticut humidity is odd, intense.


Harry Carter winning the 1960 Vanderbuilt Cup!!


1962 Porsche 356B S Roadster T-6 (Twin Grill)


1954 Ferrari 250 Europa PF Coupe

02/14/05
Turning Horse Feed into Mulch
A self explanatory mea culpa

7.22.05
Lola EX 257 / Lime Rock July 4 Weekend/Chris Dyson
Digital Photo and Image Manipulation by dlminton

06.15.06
What So Proudly We Hailed
A son's lesson learned

10.20.07
Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mt. Boys - Answer The Call - Live at Helsinki October 13, 2007
An absolute high point in my 7+ years as Helsinki's webmaster

OSCA MT4 Spider Morelli

5.27.07
A Maserati by any other name...is an OSCA.


1955 Mt4 Spider Morelli S/N 1167

By 1948 the four Maserati brothers, Alfieri, Bindo, Ettore, and Ernesto had been part of the birth of motorsport, and founding figures of the nascent motoring industry for almost a half century. After brother Alfieri's death in 1932 following his accident in the Targa Florio, and the financial difficulties that forced them to sell their business (and name) to the Orsi family, the three surviving brothers were still driven to create winning cars for racing and for the road .

Forbidden by the Orsis to trade under their own name , they had an answer. The new Maserati business became Officine Specializzate per la Costruzione di Automobili Fratelli Maserati Spa, a mouthful in any language! Small wonder the marque is better known as OSCA.

Ernesto's first design was simply named Mt4 (Maserati tipo 4, in recognition of its 4 cylinder engine).

Of the some 200 cars produced by OSCA, perhaps 80 were Mt4s, and of the Mt4s, records show 40 Spiders with Morelli of Ferrara bodies.

A tiny bantam of a racing car, they were, initially, ahead of their time. Porsche had just rolled the first 356 out of his shop in Gmünd, and the light, fast and agile cars of Lotus's Colin Chapman had not yet begun to make an impression on the racing world.

What did impress was Stirling Moss and Bill Lloyd's overall win at the 1954 Sebring in Briggs Cunningham's Mt4. The tiny Sport 1500 entry left the big guns of the Sports 5000 Ferraris and Maseratis, as well as Cunningham's own Sports 8000 Chrysler Hemi powered C4R in the dust.

This Car


1955 OSCA MT4 Spider Morelli
S/N 1167
Engine 1404
120 bhp @6300 rpm
1.45 litre dohc inline four-cylinder
2 Weber Carburetors
Curb weight 1573lb
Drum brakes
Front anti-roll bar
Rear trailing quarter-elliptic springs with radius rods
Wheelbase 2200mm
Front track 1200mm Rear track 1150mm

This impeccably restored Morelli Spider was one of the 5 delivered to Chicago's Harry Chapman in 1955. Although the track record of the individual cars is unclear, it is certain that these OSCAs were campaigned by Chapman and William "Bumpy" Bell at many early US sports car races, including Torrey Pines, Pomona, and Santa Barbara road races during the '55 and '56 season. Perhaps this car, with Bell and Chapman sharing the driving, competed in the non-championship Venezuelan GP in Caracas in June of '55.

The Mt4 came into the hands of the late Tony Koshland, who lived in Sharon, CT near Lime Rock Park, early in 1974. Judy Stropus, the publicist, race driver, and timing and scoring guru, remembers this car well. She recalls driving it for Tony and the delightful neutrality of the handling.

Judy confessed that it was that run at the Glen that marked the end of engine #1523 (its original), as a rod failure left a very big hole in the block. This may have been when engine #1404 was fitted. What resonates, as one discusses this car, is that this is a car to love. It is a machine that evokes an emotional response, even when the memories are 30 years old.



After Tony Koshland's untimely passing, the car became part of Manfredo Lippmann's collection.
An avid collector, Lippmann bought the car as a surrogate for another Mt4 Spider Morelli he had loved and lost. During Lippmann's ownership, the Mt4 participated in 4 Rome-Brescia-Rome runnings of the Mille Miglia. In 1999, when Lippmann found and bought his long lost Mt4 , the car passed to ithe stewardship of multiple Pebble Beach Best in Show winner, Sam Mann.

In 2002, after a frame up restoration by Nino Epifani's shop in Berkeley, the little red Mt4 was taken for a 1000 mile run in Italy, competing in the 2002 Mille Miglia.



Unwilling to see the Mt4 relegated to being a piece of sculpture, and unfortunately not up to the constant exposure to the sun that the topless little car requires, Mann offered this rare example of Italian design and motor sport history for sale at the 2005 Gooding Pebble Beach Auction. The road legal racer sold for nearly a half million dollars.




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