Down Periscope: 1967 Abarth 1300OT Periscopica Heads to Auction
Bonhams caused a sensation in Monterey when they consigned 10 important Ferraris from Fabrizio Violati's Maranello Rosso collection, including the famous $38 million 250 GTO. Now, they've got 10 more exciting offerings from Maranello Rosso for their upcoming sale at the Goodwood Revival in England. This time, though, the cars are all Abarths. These significant, diminutive machines span almost two decades, from the 1959 750 Record Monza to the 1978 131 Group 4 rally car, and one of the coolest is this 1967 1300OT coupe, called the 'Periscopica' for its hard to miss roof-mounted cooling intake. RELATED: See Photos of the 1970 Porsche 917K
After Chrysler purchased a 64% controlling share in French automaker Simca, the American automaker quickly slashed the program that allowed for the potent little Abarth-Simcas that, like so many Abarths, had done well in small-bore sports car racing. Carlo Abarth was out of luck, but not out of ideas.
He still had quite a few Simca chassis in his possession, so the wizards at Abarth went about modifying them, fitting independent suspension, a rear-mounted Abarth engine and sleek, sexy fiberglass bodywork. Fitted with Weber 45 DCOE carbs and given a 10.5:1 compression ratio, the dry sump-lubricated 1289 cc four developed 147 horsepower.
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Production of the 1300OT only lasted long enough for the 50 necessary cars for FIA homologation to be built. It wasn't long before the car was doing the usual Abarth thing and dominating its class, in this case for three consecutive years.
Other than its incredible turn of speed for a 1300 cc car, the most distinctive element of the 1300OT is of course the big intake on top. It may look like it's supposed to feed the engine, sort of like an airbox on a '70s F1 car, but it is actually there to funnel fresh, cold air down to the driver. The water and oil cooling pipes run through the cockpit in these cars, so to keep drivers from roasting alive during long endurance races the periscope was essential.
This particular example offered by Bonhams from the Maranello Rosso collection doesn't have a specific or well-documented race history, but it is highly collectible. Having been a static display piece for some time, though, it needs an engine rebuild (due to internal rust) and both clutch and brake master cylinders are seized. It's nothing that can't be fixed, so we think this car needs to be sorted and brought onto the historic racing scene as soon as possible.
It will be offered at Bonhams' Goodwood Revival sale on Sept. 13, 2014. It carries a pre-sale estimate of £180,000 to £220,000 ($294,000 to $360,000).
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