Another Double Bubble: 1958 Abarth 750 GT Zagato

abarth-750-gt

The Abarth 750 GT Zagato is one rare little Italian hot rod, yet we have come across a number of them over the years. Another one has just surfaced in California and it can be found here on craigslist for $35k. It is going to need a complete restoration and some important parts are missing, but we have hope that someone with deep pockets will have mercy on it. Thanks goes to P. Trout for the tip!

abarth-750-gt-zagato

It appears that someone began restoring this Zagato, but didn’t get very far. At some point the highly tuned Abarth motor went missing and was replaced with a Fiat 850 motor and transmission. While the aluminum Zagato body is what makes this such a unique car, the Abarth tuned 750 motor is what makes it so special. Not having the original motor affects the desirability here because finding a correct drive-train could be difficult. Values are climbing, but we think the seller’s asking price is a little optimistic. What do you think it’s worth?

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Comments

  1. skloon

    Bring a french wheel

  2. Wonkerer

    It’s worth maybe $12-15k as is (depending on what comes with it) because you’re not going to find a serviceable Zagato motor for less than $20K. I’d just leave it the way it is all patina’ed and everything, keep the incorrect Fiat 850 motor and drive it. Heck I wouldn’t even put the lights/bumpers/trim back on!

  3. Dolphin Member

    I think this is one of the most desirable vintage Italian sports cars for all kinds of reasons, but it could be a big headache to put right, depending…..

    There are lots of questions but there’s almost no information other than the car is in tough shape and that it has an incorrect engine. It has an aluminum body, which might be corroded to the point of being paper thin and need to be replaced at great expense. Or the body might just be coated with a thin layer of the filler that Zagato put on to smooth the surface of the hand formed aluminum. The seller says the floors were rusty and were cut out, but doesn’t comment on the condition of the aluminum body itself. Nor does he say what the VIN is or whether the tag is still with the car or what the car’s history is.

    The seller refers to the car being at the ‘Best of France and Italy’ car show in Van Nuys the other day, so whoever saw the car might know the answers to the important questions. I hope someone who saw it will add information about the car here. Hopefully there are some parts that also come with the car, but if the car and the VIN can be confirmed as legitimate, I’m sure that someone will step up to save this rare little jewel. They’re just too rare and special not to be saved.

  4. Chris A.

    Great car, but only a professional firm could restore it. Not a weekend hobbyist project car. If the original engine’s serial number can be matched to the car and the engine located, putting them together again would add immensly to the project value. Think of the overall value if the engine had a Bialbero head. Southern California was a hotbed for small bore racing back in the late fifties and early sixties and the present car may have donated its engine for a later version Abarth. It might be possible to check the engine numbers for Abarth west coast race entries back in the day and get lucky enough to find it. Much later on, the engine may have surfaced again in one of the VSCCA or other vintage race group cars. It would take a lot of effort and great luck but someone may just know the history of the project car and the missing engine..

  5. rancho bella

    I chuckle when ads make something read soooo easy. “aaaaaaaaaa just go down to the Fiat parts shop…….they got everything”………………

  6. Jim-Bob

    This looks like a scary project that will probably cost more than it’s worth to restore. You have to wonder just how long the aluminum has sat unprotected and just how corroded it now is. I’d also venture that for this kind of money, you would want to have the original (or an exact replacement) drivetrain included. These cars do go for good money finished ( I have seen a few north of $100k), but that doesn’t mean this one is priced well. If I were to speculate, I think $15-20k would be a more appropriate price given the work needed.

  7. Chris A.

    A “buy it now” price more toward the $15K seems realistic. Looking closely at the body, I’m concerned about the corrosion that lies between the filler and the aluminum body panels underneath. The aluminum may have been primed, but I doubt if it protected the body panels well either inside or out. The aluminum was soft and thin to begin with so tissue paper thin at best and swiss cheese otherwise. Don’t forget the problem with any steel to alumnum mountings. How close is Van Nuys to Pacific Ocean salt air as salt air will penetrate evrywhere. This project scares me more and more as I look at that body, what is missing and the probable cost.

  8. rapple

    Lovely little cars when complete, but as previous posters have pointed out in different ways, a very difficult restoration. Unless you have the “win the lottery” good fortune of finding the original engine as Chris A. speculates, a best case finished scenario is a re-creation/restoration with (hopefully) original body panels. The amount of hours and dollars needed to make this happen just doesn’t compute even starting at a fraction of what the seller is asking for this unfortunate pile.

  9. rusty

    If these things are so rare/sought after why do they keep appearing for sale everywhere on the net “like Christmas beetles under your feet on a summers day” [sorry an Aussie reference]

    It seems you have them in abundance In the US whether restored, part restored or unrestored…

    move on nothing to see here as they dont seem so rare..another one will be for sale just over the horizon.

  10. jim s

    it is a great find for someone. but i don’t see it ever being used as a driver so i am on to something that will be.

  11. Chris A.

    A good number of Abarth’s came into the US through Roosevelt Motors near NYC as the 750 class was a very popular SCCA racing class both east and west coast. I don’t ever recall seeing one as a street or road car. They, along with the Alfa Veloces and Porsche Speedsters in the larger engine class made up the front of the late 50’s SCCA small bore grids. There weren’t many inexpensive hot small bore racers as this time was prior to the Sprites. The Moretti, Siata, Stanguellini, and OSCA racers were made in small numbers and were very expensive so Abarths appeared both competitive and relatively cheap. Performance upgrades came along frequently as the engines both increased in displacement and evolved from OHV to DOHC heads with Webers and close ratio gear boxes were also available. But the Abarth racers were flogged hard, worn out, crashed or became obsolete. I suspect a lot of them had blown engines, transmissions or worse and ended up, like this one, as out of date, expensive to fix, old race cars with an engine loaded with Abarth goodies sold long ago to recoup part of the car’s cost. Until recently there was no use for the chassis until vintage racing took off and they became valuable entrants. On this one I also suspect the cast wheels were sold and replaced with the steel Fiat road wheels. Someone wanted the good stuff off this car for his project leaving this husk and some old stock Fiat parts in exchange. I’d love to see the original build sheet for this one. Does the SCCA have an archive where racers like this can be researched?

  12. DT

    floor jack to keep it from falling into 2 pieces

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