The Single File series is fast becoming a home away from home for me! The unique nature of my collecting, and indeed my taste in vehicles, means that there’s some rather weird and wonderful diecast on my shelves. Today we’re looking at one of my recent acquisitions, and one of the most beautiful miniatures in my collection: the OSCA MT4 Vignale Berlinetta by Yow Modellini.
Yow Modellini are a niche modelmaker from Japan who specialise in resin models of one off cars, coach-built classics and concept cars. One of their lesser known ventures was a 5 car 1/64 set celebrating the Japanese “Festa Mille Miglia” events, and it featured a Bentley 6½ litre, AC Ace Bristol, Lotus Eleven, Alfa Romeo 1900 Disco Volante and this OSCA MT4. The set was quite a rarity it seems, and when individuals rarely come up the prices can be rather steep. But via a slightly circuitous route I was able to secure one.
OSCA stands for “Officine Specializzate Costruzione Automobili—Fratelli Maserati S.p.A” and was founded in 1947 by the Maserati brothers. Their initial aim was to build a car capable of competing in the popular 1100cc racing class, and the MT4 was the result. It proved to be a capable and competitive machine, winning the 1948 Grand Prix of Naples at the first attempt. Stirling Moss had a fruitful career piloting MT4s (including a win at the 1954 Sebring 12 Hours) and a Vignale bodied car like the diecast version here went on to win the 1100cc class in the 1953 Le Mans 24 hours.
To me the Vignale bodied MT4s are some of the most beautiful cars on the planet. The bodywork is a perfect mixture of form and function, with the cutaway sides and minimal front arches designed to improve engine ventilation and brake cooling. The Yow Modellini miniature is as easy on the eye as the real thing. The proportions have been captured faithfully, from the short front overhang and long bonnet to the squat rear.
The construction is decent, and there are neat touches: chromed door handles and filler cap, the distinctive front grille. The head and tail lights are both done in clear plastic. And it’s all in such a compact package: it’s a very petit car.
And it’s capable of rolling easily thanks to nicely replicated wire wheels. And there isn’t a great deal more left to say, this is really one of those cars where the pictures can do all the talking…..
If you’re lucky enough to find one, I suggest you pull the trigger. There may be a little work involved, but this is one of the rare breed of diecasts that have rarity, beauty and a unique subject matter blended perfectly.