No one could get as much power out of a Fiat 850 as Carlo Abarth and his team. Were the 850s wolves in sheep's clothing or dinos in romper suits?
It all started with the Fiat Abarth OT 850/130, which was presented two months after the debut of the Fiat 850 (from which it is derived). Carlo Abarth was not satisfied with the performance and the sales numbers and developed new, more powerful models: the OT 850/150, the OT 1000 and the OT 1600.
The latter was a real dream car, looking much more aggressive than the others. Equipped with the same engine as the Abarth 1600 GT (a twin-ignition engine with two overhead camshafts), the power was 154 hp and reached 100 km/h in 7 seconds with a top speed of 220 km/h which was a very high speed for the time. speed. Not for nothing was the nickname of the OT 1600 "Monster" or "Bomb"
Abarth versions of the Coupé and Spider were also developed and a large series of real racing cars were built on the basis of the 850 chassis. They are all covered in this chapter.
The poor performance with the tubular chassis cars built by Abarth in 1964 paved the way for a new line of two-seater sports cars, which debuted in April 1965 during a test at Monza. The basis of these sports cars, the OTs (short for "Omogolata Turismo"), is derived from the platform of the Fiat 850. And that is why they are on this website.
In 1965 it was the turn of the 1300 OT: around 150 hp with a top speed of 245 km/h. That was 5 km/h faster than the 1600 OT Sport Spider, which also had 25 hp more. The streamline of the 1300 OT, drawn by Mario Colucci, was clearly better than that of the Sport Spider.
The car below is one of the second series, 1966 or 1967. Also built as "Periscopo"
When was the last time you saw a factory invoice for an Abarth 1600OT? I suppose none of us ever saw one but today I found one on a classic car dealer's site in France. And what a site it is. The man, Franco Lembo, sells cars that are almost beyond belief.
One of the most interesting cars he has for sale at the moment is an incredible original Abarth 1600 OT Tipo 102b factory development car. This one!
And this is the invoice I promised: 820.000 Italian Lire
The list of experimental engines from 1974:
And the official proof of what this car was equipped with:
The "Registro storico Italiano Abarth" annually publishes a calendar that focuses on one specific model. I already had a previous article about it. In 2010 it was the Fiat Abarth OT 1000 Berlina's turn. Because 2021 starts on the same weekday as 2010 (a Friday), I have adjusted the years and also made a PDF calendar. You can print it yourself and put it on the wall in your man cave.
A Fiat 850 Coupé as Abarth Coupé 1000? I want one!
For just over 1 million Lire you could buy a Fiat Abarth Coupé 1000 in 1965! In today's money that is less than € 3000 ........ However, if you compare it to the price of a regular Fiat 850; it was about 750,000 lire at the time. Less than € 1900. But with the average income in Italy in those days, you even had to save for a long time for a Berlina.
A Fiat 850 Coupe in Spain: an Abarth OT 2000 America
A while ago I found this image on the internet and posted it on my site.
It didn't take long for the Abarth fans to react and the question was: which one is this. If you want to find out, you have to do a bit of searching on the web and I found this: It is an original Spanish registered Abarth. And as I know the license plate of this "roadside bomb" (B-700 693) I was able to do some more research. At first it belonged to Manuel Juncosa who ended second in the Carrera Cuesta of 1968 (he was beaten by Juan Fernandez with a Porsche Carrera 6, nothing to be ashamed for). The engine was later replaced by one of a Seat 1430 and the car was then sold. The new owner only wanted the car on the condition that the badly broken original engine was included. During its restoration, the main problem was the possibility of finding the pistons. Theu succeeded and the dry sump seems to be on the engine too. And it's on the road again!
Abarth tackled the Fiat 850 immediately after its introduction. The OT850 / 135 and OT850 / 150 versions of the Berlina were released that used the original 843 cc engine. The name referred to the maximum speed that Abarth managed to squeeze out. The OT 850/135 had the normal chassis, the OT 850/150 that of the Special with disc brakes.
As true Abarth development, the OT-1000 and OT-1600 were delivered with different engines. While the OT 1000 still resembled the OT 850/150 in terms of performance and price, the OT 1600 was something very special and only for the brave (and rich) because one and a half times as fast and 3 times as expensive as an OT 850/135 (and almost 4 times as expensive as a regular 850!)