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Abarth – 1300OT Periscopica Coupé

During his long career, tuning specialist Carlo Abarth contributed to many superb racing cars that were built on platforms ranging from mass-production Fiats to exotic four-cam Porsches. Few of these models, however, involved as comprehensive an approach as his OT (Omologato Turismo) series, as this 1300 OT coupe splendidly attests.

Vehicle Overview

In late 1964, Abarth’s contract with supplier Simca expired, as Chrysler had taken a majority stake in the French manufacturer and had little interest in pursuing a competition agenda. Seeking a replacement for the successful Simca-Abarth 1300 and 2000 GTs, the Italian constructor took the opportunity to develop his own engine design, culminating in the production of a 1300 cc inline 4-cylinder motor with two valves per cylinder, twin-plug ignition, and dry sump lubrication. Fed by two large Weber carburetors, the 1300 OT engine developed a compression ratio of 10.5:1 and was good for 145 hp.

Abarth penned a handsome coupe body that was molded in three-piece clamshell fashion by Sibona & Basano of Torino, and the coachwork was mounted on a developed version of a Fiat 850 chassis in a series of at least 50 examples built between May 1965 and March 1966, thus satisfying homologation requirements. The thoroughbred race car featured minimal adornments, with a bare fiberglass interior and weight-saving features like drilled aluminum pedals.

As the rear-mounted motor and front-mounted radiator contributed to cabin heat, several cars were equipped with a periscope-style intake on the roof that fed cool air directly to the driver. In this configuration, the model was appropriately nicknamed Periscopio. The 1300 OT Coupe dominated its class during the 1966-68 seasons, notably winning the Division 1 FIA Manufacturer’s Cup in 1967 and 1968.

Photo courtesy of Gooding & Company

Technical Specifications

  • Body
  • Year
  • Make
  • Model
    1300OT Periscopica Coupé
  • Coachbuilder
    Sibona Basano
  • Length (mm)
  • Width (mm)
  • Height (mm)
  • Photo credits
    Gooding & Co
  • Engine Type
  • Designer
    Mario Colucci

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