For 63 years, Abarth has been the tuning arm of Fiat, turning out wins on the track and hot versions of ordinary Fiat passenger cars on the street. From the wicked 131 Rally to the modern day 500 Abarth, the Abarth range has been rather diverse over the years. Vintage Abarths are highly prized and often bring large sums at auction. One of my favorite vintage Abarths is the 1000 OTR, a car we featured in August. Based on the Fiat 850, these were handsome, well proportioned coupes that hid their diminutive stature well. Another OTR for sale has come to our attention via our reader Graeme, who is located in New South Wales, Australia and is selling his 1000 OTR.
1967 Fiat Abarth 1000 OTR
A genuine Fiat Abarth OTR 1000 coupe, fully restored, with only 9,800 miles and absolutely NO rust ever. With FIVA papers and easy re-import into the US, this highly desirable Group 4 factory racing car can lay claim to being the best of the nine known survivors.
Abarth & C. was formed in 1949. The company was very successful under Carlo Abarth’s leadership, receiving extensive support from FIAT. Abarth & C. was purchased by FIAT in 1971. On 9 September 1965, Abarth launched the OTR 1000, derived from FIAT’s new 850 coupé, with a special “radiale” engine where the combustion chamber was formed by two intersecting spherical domes, one containing the inlet valve and the other the exhaust. The intention was to achieve the efficiency of the Abarth twin camshaft cylinder head without the complexity. The OTR engine was based on an Abarth modified FIAT 850 block.
Unfortunately the SCCA thought the Radiale head too clever, and the OTR too modified and powerful for its class, and exercised its right to exclude from SCCA competition cars “not considered suitable”. This probably explains why Abarth made only a few OTRs and homologated the car in Group 4, not Group 3. This car was imported into the United States in 1967 by Abarth Sales Corp. It was raced from 1967 to 1970 by the first owner before he had an accident. The car was stored, eventually coming to Australia in 1993. It sat in a shed on the Central Coast of New South Wales until purchased by the current owner in April 2005 who spent 18 months restoring it.
The car was stripped to bare metal and all panels straightened with minimal use of filler and repainted. All the missing bits and pieces were sourced from around the world. The engine had new valve springs, the head was fitted with hardened exhaust valve seats and all seals were replaced. The car has since been featured in Australian Classic Cars magazine and has won awards at a number of car shows including the FIAT Club of NSW Concorso d’Eleganza Best of Show in 2007 and 2010, and Best of Show and 1st Street Modified at the FIAT Clubs of Australia National Meeting at Bathurst in 2008. The car has travelled only 4,800 miles since restoration and the total mileage is 9,800. It comes with a detailed history and the original owners manuals.
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Graeme is asking $63,000 USD for his OTR and can be reached via the contact information above. The OTR that was for sale in California was advertised at $85,000, so even though there are little comparables to go buy, I think our reader is being realistic in his asking price. It is estimated that around 35 of these OTRs were ever produced, so that figure represents a small price to pay for exclusivity that most Ferraris and Lamborghinis can not match.