Formula Junior was originally established in 1958 by Count Giovanni ‘Johnny’ Lurani, one of the Italian aristocrats who had established the Mille Miglia in 1927 to give young talented drivers an affordable and competitive entry into single seating racing as he was concerned that there was a lack of young Italians coming through as potential Formula One drivers. In order to keep costs down, the manufacturers had to use production based engines.
Cars were to run Fiat’s 1,100cc engines, with a substantial proportion of the mechanical parts also sourced from Fiat, as these were readily available and affordable. A number of Italian marques used them to produce attractive front-engine race cars, and amongst those marques were Stanguellini, Taraschi, Volpini, Autosud, Bandini, and the Maserati brothers’ specialist company, OSCA. Three of the six Maserati brothers, having sold their namesake company pre-WWII to Adolfo Orsi, were free to start-up again in 1947. Bindo, Ernesto and Ettore created OSCA, who manufactured mostly small race cars.
The OSCAs, in particular, were very charismatic cars, looking every bit like a two-thirds-scale Maserati 250 F. The OSCA company built far fewer than other marques such as Stanguellini who produced around 100 cars, as only 15 cars emerged from the Maserati brothers’ OSCA factory in Bologna. The series, which had such appeal and popularity grew and soon swept across Europe, the UK, North and South America, Australia and New Zealand. It rapidly spawned vigorous and regular racing, and it quickly achieved its aim of providing a racing forum for many talented young drivers.
The OSCA that we offer today, chassis 003, was originally delivered new to North America where the car raced at various North American circuits including Sebring where this car is pictured.
The car has not been seen publicly for several years and prior to its last outing in 2011 at a test day at Silverstone, where the car handled and performed brilliantly. The car has formed part of a significant museum collection in Holland where it was meticulously maintained and a key piece to the museum before being purchased by the current owner some 8 years ago. The previous owner purchased the car from the US where the car is believed to have remained since it was originally delivered there in 1959, finished in its original Blue North American racing colours.
The vendor of the car, a regular in the historical racing scene, was so drawn to this beautiful period OSCA, which still retains its original 1950’s paintwork that it raced in period in North America in the 1960s. Its body work and fitting period paint are still amazingly original as are the Borrani magnesium wheels. The engine has been sympathetically updated by David Methley and the gearbox features a Baccio close ratio gear set. It has also been fitted with a roll hoop by Roach and seat and under tray refresh by Neil Read with invoices from Read Performance. The car is sold with a very large amount of spares which accompany the car, specifically a spare set of Magnesium wheels, which are very rare indeed and spare cylinder heads to name but a few of the parts. Also sold with FIA papers, a very large folder with numerous invoices for vast amounts of work that has been continuously done to the car, old correspondences detailing previous owners sourcing parts and sharing the little known knowledge of these rare cars.
Last raced at The Algarve Historic Festival in 2009, by the vendor, where it did very well indeed and was tested at Silverstone in 2011 in preparation for racing at the Goodwood Revival. However, with many other projects that the vendor is involved with, he has decided that the car should be passed on.
This is the first time that this car has been seen publicly on the open market and is a very rare opportunity to acquire one of the handful of remaining OSCA Tipo J’s that remain. These cars are just stunning to look at and are a fantastic drive and eligible for a plethora of events.