Abarth Potential: 1965 O.T.A.S. Torino


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Here’s one we have never seen before. It is an 1965 O.T.A.S. Torino 820 and don’t feel bad if you mistook it for an Abarth Scorpione. They were both based off the Lombardi Grand Prix car, but with their own engine modifications. The Torino was a less potent version destined for US exportation. The whole story is complicated so you may want to read Hemmings’ writeup on the brand. This particular car is listed for sale here on eBay with bidding currently at $510. Thanks to Jim S. for the tip!


This project is going to be a tough one. The engine is long gone and many of the interior bits are missing. You could go stock, but that would require a re-sleeved 850 block (these were shrunk down to 820 to get around emissions). If we were going to all that work, we would be tempted to try and fit the 124’s 1300 in there just like what was done with the Scorpione.


Here’s the Abarth version. This one sold through Bonhams a few years back. Quite a looker, uh? Go ahead and compare all the photos below, we think you will be pleasantly surprised. The Torino looked liked a hopeless hunk of rust at first, but after seeing this beauty we went to check the couch for change. As an O.T.A.S. this project doesn’t really make much sense, but as an Abarth clone, it makes perfect sense to us. Now, if only we had picked it up when it was first listed on craigslist for $800…

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Skip Middleton

    If the 124’s 1300 would fit, then the later 1600 or 2 liter would probably fit, too. No compelling reason to leave this bone stock at that point, a set of Recaros and a machined shift gate a la Abarth/EveryOtherItalianSportsCar and fun is had by all…

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    • Webby

      Exactly what I was thinking if a 1300 twin cam would fit, so would the 2 litre.
      No need to tell the DMV………..
      And most of their counterjumpers can’t tell a V8 from a V6 any way!
      It would be a rocket with a 2 litre.

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  2. Horse Radish

    I think for the current bid of $1000 ,
    I’d rather have the red one.

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  3. scot

    ~ i’d be crazy to give $800 for just the leaping cat emblem, wouldn’t i ??

    Like 1
  4. Mark E

    That’s one bucket load of rust for a California car. And considering its Italian heritage, there’s probably critical structural rust throughout, like in a Fiat, for example. Pass, even at $800…

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  5. paul

    From the looks of this I would say you would need a very complete metal shop so you could re make all the metal that is gone, I wouldn’t know where to start on this, but if I did this car it would be fitted with a 1300 veloce Alfa Romeo engine.

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  6. Connor

    Is anyone else reminded slightly of a Saab sonnett in the second picture?

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    • Jesse JesseAuthor

      Yeah, that is first thing I thought of when I saw the listing.

      Like 0
  7. Bill

    The fascinating and convoluted history of the O.T.A.S. 820 Grand Prix

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  8. Jesse JesseAuthor

    I love the dash design. The stacked gauges look great and I’m sure it’s a better use of space in a car this small.

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    • rancho bella

      yep……..I was thinking the same thing…great looking dash and gauge set up.
      I like it, but, you might need a couple English or Polish panel makers to bring it up to snuff.
      What is it with older Italian metal……it just wants to self destruct. I knew I should have listened more in my metals class, then I could answer my own question…..

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      • rancho bella

        Also, it looks like it was lime green originally. See the top where the silver paint is leaving and the interior doors where the door card is removed. What a little treat this car……….

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      • paul

        The problem with Italian metal as I have heard over the years of owning Alfa’s is this, they sourced metal from all over the world where ever they could find it & for the cheapest $’s.There was a point for the Alfa brand after the war that they scrounged metal even from road signs melted it & panel beated new panels from this metal.

        Like 0

    With the right connections along with an 850 or 124 Spyder this car may be a viable project. Sometimes it doesn’t as much money as common sense and a little skill on a build. The plus side is that for now Fiat is here to stay. Maybe there can be some Fiat awareness. Can you see Fiats show up at the Mopar Nationals?
    I can imagine how funny it would seem rolling up to a hardcore Mopar guy in a new 500 and saying hey bro!

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  10. DolphinMember

    A So Cal car by way of the rust belt.

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  11. scottski

    That styling is pretty advanced for 1965… long before Lotus and the Europa.
    You can’t fault the Italians for lack of imagination in design… and making pretty cars.

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  12. Chris A.

    Pretty car and you sure won’t see one very often. With reference to the steel, the italian cars were never undercoated and trapped moisture. Added to that some of the steel they used had a high sulfur content that when wet was acidic and corroded like crazy. And it was never very thick to start with.

    Like 0
  13. Jamie Wallhauser

    The last time I saw this car was at the 1970 New York International Automobile Show at the New York Coliseum, April 4-12, 1970. Here are the statistics listed in the official program:
    OTAS Lombardi Tigre-Coupe
    Cylinders: 4
    Horspower: 84
    Top Speed: 112
    Wheelbase: 79
    Length: 140
    Width: 55
    Height: 51
    Weight: 1403

    Just below the Coupe, is the Tigre-Spider with a top speed of 109 and a weight of 1547.

    Like 0
  14. Jesse JesseAuthor

    Sold for $1,574 with 16 bids.

    Like 0
    • scot

      ~ ooouuchh, steal this car!

      Like 0

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