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Stirling Moss and the OSCA Return to Sebring


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#1 WGD706

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Posted 19 February 2004 - 23:27

Fifty years after recording perhaps the greatest upset in endurance racing history, Sir Stirling Moss and the little Italian sports car he drove to victory are returning to Sebring.

Stirling Moss was already on his way to becoming a legend 50 years ago when he drove the Briggs Cunningham-owned OSCA MT4 to victory in the 12-hour endurance race with Bill Lloyd (OSCAs were built by the Maserati brothers’ Officine Specializate Construczione Automobili, hence the name OSCA). Moss took the lead in the final hour, overtaking the Lancia team and its legendary drivers, including Juan Manuel Fangio and Alberto Ascari.

The underpowered OSCA did not even break into the top 10 until the fifth hour. Moss then began a spectacular charge to the front, passing an Austin Healey 100, two Lancias and a Ferrari.

Moss is regarded among the greatest drivers in motorsports history. His legendary career of over 190 victories includes 16 Formula 1 Grand Prix wins. He will be inducted into the Sebring Sports Car Racing Hall of Fame on Friday, March 19, the day before the 52nd Annual running of Sebring's sports car endurance classic. Other inductees include Mario Andretti, Carroll Shelby, Bobby Rahal, Bob and Al Holbert and race official Ford Heacock Sr.

Moss had a total of nine career starts at Sebring, which also included second place in 1957 and the fastest race lap three times.

The OSCA will be on display in the Gallery of Legends display in the paddock, courtesy of the Collier Museum in Naples, Fla. Its 1.5-liter engine remains the smallest-displacement powerplant ever to win at Sebring.
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#2 D-Type

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Posted 20 February 2004 - 02:27

A nicely written piece, thanks for sharing it with us. :)

This is one of SM's less publicised wins and well worth commemorating.

To split hairs, does anybody know if this is the smallest winner of any WSC race, or was the Porsche RS a couple of cc smaller? (Yes a future quiz question)

#3 antonvrs

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Posted 20 February 2004 - 05:27

O.S.C.A. Tipo MT4 Telaio N. 1137
Motore n. 1403 tipo 2AD orgine 1953 cilindrata 1450 cc, Carrozzeria spider, colore bianco.
Vincitrice della 12 Ore Sebring 1954.
Anton (from OSCA Orsini/Zagari)

#4 Joe Fan

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Posted 20 February 2004 - 08:06

It is races like this that make Moss, World Champion or not, one of the greatest drivers in motorsports history. Sir Stirling did some incredible things in underpowered cars and privateer equipment.

#5 D-Type

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Posted 20 February 2004 - 13:58

Originally posted by antonvrs
O.S.C.A. Tipo MT4 Telaio N. 1137
Motore n. 1403 tipo 2AD orgine 1953 cilindrata 1450 cc, Carrozzeria spider, colore bianco.
Vincitrice della 12 Ore Sebring 1954.
Anton (from OSCA Orsini/Zagari)

Thanks,

As the Porsche was 1489cc the OSCA is the smallest.

At least until someone points out that the official winner of the 1957 TT was a DB-Panhard as the race was a handicap and the WSC points went to the cars covering the greatest distance headed by a Ferrari.

#6 Don Capps

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Posted 20 February 2004 - 15:31

Originally posted by antonvrs
O.S.C.A. Tipo MT4 Telaio N. 1137
Motore n. 1403 tipo 2AD orgine 1953 cilindrata 1450 cc, Carrozzeria spider, colore bianco.
Vincitrice della 12 Ore Sebring 1954.
Anton (from OSCA Orsini/Zagari)


A man who knows to get our attention.... ;)

#7 dretceterini

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Posted 20 February 2004 - 21:50

One result that never gets mentioned, but in the same vein, is the 2nd overall in the 1948 Mille Miglia by Comirato in a Fiat 1100cc special.