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Captain Satellite: 1959 Abarth 750 Record Monza

I threw up a little in my mouth when I first saw this 1959 Abarth 750 Record Monza. After swallowing, I started to get angry… Really angry. Why would anyone do this? Sure it is small and based on a Fiat, but this thoroughbred doesn’t deserve this sort of treatment! I recomposed myself and started to read the auction description. Then things started to make sense. I am still a little upset, but there is a actually a reason for that monstrosity of a spoiler. The asking price is not realistic, but it is worth taking a look for a good laugh.

Turns out that the car was customized in the sixties for a children’s television show. Anyone here watch Captain Satellite as a kid? Apparently  the Captain (Bob March) would drive the Abarth to his spaceship at the beginning of each show. The car was modified with the scorpion wing and some interesting rims to give it a futuristic look. The show did well enough to run for a decade, but when it went off the air, the car needed to move on too.

According to the seller, the little 750 ended up on a local car dealer’s lot. The next owner bought it and drove it occasionally for twenty years. They ended up handing it down to their son, who had the bright idea of restoring it. Like so many expensive projects, they only got as far as stripping everything off. He passed away before getting it put back together so it went to their son who had no interest in finishing the job.

Another twenty years went by and here it sits, missing its engine and in need of some serious attention. There are many parts included with the sale which can be seen on the seller’s photo gallery. Unfortunately, someone thinks they are going to cash in big now. These are worth six figures restored, but without its original Abarth tuned engine, we highly doubt they will ever get close to their $100k asking price. Then again, perhaps its past adds some value? What do you think? The next owner will then have a big dilemma. Do you restore it back to its stock form or to its formal TV glory?

Source: eBay


  1. Rich Truesdell

    Jesse, I can’t believe you’re posting this as on Sunday, while attending the San Marino Motor Classic Concours d’Elegance I photographed Mike Malamut 1958 Fiat Abarth 750 (http://bit.ly/LeKdIR), a simply stunning little car that shows the potential of this car should its buyer go the route of a full restoration.

    I have a candidate for Barn Finds, the documented first car that George Hurst modified back in 1956, a Cadillac-powered 1946 Lincoln Continental convertible (http://bit.ly/OOf1hV). I hope you’ll take a look. Contact me if you would like to feature it as it will be featured in my Hurst book in the fall.

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  2. Horse Radish

    It’s the same as, or even worse:
    What is a Porsche WITHOUT a Porsche engine.

    And, sorry to say, but some of Captain Satellite’s glory has lost its glamor

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  3. Go cart Mozart

    Way too much money, and what a shame. You could remove the spoiler, but I dont think the front end is proper either. Ok I would offer $2,500 bucks, there you go.

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  4. Doug M Member

    What a bizarre story! Kinda makes sense, but then there is that huge asking price!! However, reading the add did give me a new “favorite line” for selling a car with problems: the car features “an interior prepped for restoration.” In other words, the carpet and interior is stripped out of it! It’s bare inside! Not the way I like to find an old original car….

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  5. Doug M Member

    Oh, one other thought: the seller is hoping that some rich dude who used to watch Captain Satellite will see it and just have to have it to park in his garage… Good luck!

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  6. Duck Canuck

    Interesting. Since it was a period customization, I am not all that outraged by the modifications. However, I am furious that someone managed to lose the engine!

    I wonder what other TV-show cars have sold for?

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  7. Pat

    For the price he’s asking, It would take a space cadet with a lot of money to throw away to buy it.

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  8. Dolphin Member

    My first thought about the lead photo was: The limits of bad taste are unbounded.
    Then I read the story and realized that it was done just to make a buck on a TV show.

    The body doesn’t seem to have been altered as much as it seemed to be at first glance. The rear looks like it retains its basic shape under that weird spoiler. The front looks like it has been extended and may be more of a problem. The headlight openings have been altered and will need to be redone once the basic shape of the front end has been put right. Bring an expert on Abarth bodies and also a body man who is experienced in working on these bodies when you look at the car. The interior has been tarted up and some of the original pieces look like they are missing. Discuss how much work it will take to fix the body and also reverse the modifications in the engine bay and interior, and do this so the owner can hear it all. Then make an offer that reflects all these costs, and hope the owner gets it. As it stands, it’s way overpriced and the owner is living in la-la land.

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  9. scot c

    ~ puked up a little in my mouth, also. had the presence of mind to spit it out, gargle, brush, then gulp a double shot of space whiskey. two or three more and i’ll be fine. Houston, we have a problem. over and out.

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  10. Andrew

    I’ll pay the $100k, but here’s what you’ll have to do first:

    1. Take all custom / fabricated / period pieces off
    2. Find me the numbers – matching engine
    3. Restore the car to factory standards
    4. Give me $50k

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  11. Sunbeamdon

    Anybody want to make a sow’s ear out of a silk purse? OOPS, its already been done; reminding me that taste knows no bounds!

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  12. gunningbar

    Very wierd life form here….beam me up Scotty!

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  13. Ron Erikson

    Maximum fair price = $25,000. Ed L?

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  14. Chris

    Okay, Americans in general are into TV in the past, nostalgia sells as well as the unaltered. My car dealer friend always says “There is a butt for every seat” so someone will buy it.
    What I did find odd is the kid in the back ground of the original pics, with the afro. It does not look photoshopped, more like magic marker…

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  15. Chris H.

    Ground control to Major Tom….

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  16. Dolphin Member

    As expected, did not sell.

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  17. Dolphin Member

    And then relisted at *half* the original price!

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