Ready For Fun: 1967 Abarth 1000 OT Spider

1967 Fiat Abarth Spider

With the reintroduction of the Abarth 500 to the States, interest in the Abarth brand has increased greatly. While it is nice to finally see the name back on American shores, the new Abarths aren’t anything like the ones from yesteryear. Sure they are fun little micro cars, but they lack some of what made the old ones so great. Whether it was on an all-out race car or a street going convertible, each modification served a purpose. In those days Abarths weren’t just about gaudy stripes and scorpion badges, but about handling and performance. If you don’t believe me, just have a look at this 1967 Fiat Abarth 1000 OT Spider here on eBay, which lacks all the flash associated with modern Abarths. Special thanks to Jim S for this tip!

Abarth 1000 Motor

Prior to Fiat buying Abarth, their street fairing cars were typically quite understated. Visual changes were usually limited to aerodynamic improvements or those that would help with cooling. Keeping with this tradition, the 1000 OT Spider received minimal visual changes from the 850 Spider that it was based on, but the few it did receive gave it a much cleaner and sleeker look. The Fiat 850 wasn’t a particularly fast car and the 850 cc motor was rather limited, so Abarth had to increase displacement to 982 cc to squeeze any additional performance from it. The resulting power increase allowed for a top speed over 100 mph, which seems rather excessive for this little spider. It isn’t a rocket ship, but it is a significant improvement over the stock 850.

Abarth 1000 OT Interior

Like the exterior, the inside received minimal modifications. There aren’t any over bolstered seats, carbon fiber panels, or any of the other flashy options found in today’s Abarth. The only parts that stand out, which happen to not be seen in the seller’s photo, are the Abarth dash badge and steering wheel. From what can be seen in the seller’s photos, this one looks to be in nice shape inside and out.

Fiat 1000 OT Spider

The seller of this car doesn’t provide much information about it. They claim it runs and drives with no issues and that the miles are all original. Given the recent price hike for Abarths, it would be good to hear a bit more about it and any documentation that might prove its authenticity. If it is the real deal, it should make for a good buy for those that appreciate these cars for what they are. The name might be synonymous with racing, but the 1000 OT Spider is by no means a race car. It is a fun little convertible with a decent power band, nice looks, and respectable handling. So would you rather have this classic little Italian or its youngest sibling the new Abarth 500?

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Comments

  1. sir mike

    very nice…wish it was a coupe…like that body style better…

  2. That Guy

    Seller has zero feedback, the location is “United States,” there is no written description, only four pictures of a beautiful and rare car… hmmm…

    I hope this is real, but this eBay listing is ringing alarm bells for me. I’m not a serious bidder so I won’t waste my time contacting the seller (and I don’t want to waste his, if he actually is legit), but if someone else decides to, I’d be interested to know what the response is. I suspect it will be “the owner is deployed to Afghanistan and I’m selling it on his behalf” and the pictures will turn out to have been stolen from someone’s Flickr account.

    • That Guy

      I somewhat amend my previous comment – for some reason I couldn’t see the description section of the listing before. It’s still almost zero, though. This auction definitely warrants taking some time to confirm that the seller is for real before sending off any money.

    • Alan (Michigan)

      Good to be wary of possible scams. I am not interested enough to have noted what you point out, but I do agree: An extra “buyer beware” is appropriate here.

  3. Dave Wright

    We auto crossed against one of these cars in the early 70’s……….it was a dog. Our H production bug eye sprite embarrassed it so badly they quit coming to the races after they blew up the engine. They looked good on paper but we’re a mere shadow of the early Abarth cars.

  4. mike

    really pretty but wish it was a coupe version..

  5. Charles

    Cute and looks to be in great condition!

    I remember these cars as being troublesome, but this will make a nice collectable for someone.

    Like others, this E-bay listing raises red flags.

  6. FRED

    to small for my big ass…

    • sysense

      Haha ;)

  7. Jimbosidecar

    Wow! Haven’t seen one of these in almost forever. The ’67s were the prettiest, as in ’68 they did away with the covered headlights. License plate is New York. So few pics and such a minute description…

  8. Dolphin Member

    Nice condition. Looks like a survivor from the snowy Northeast.

    I have always liked pretty much anything Abarth except these later Fiats-with-the-Abarth-name-tacked-on. This is really a Fiat Spider and little else……but it does have aftermarket boy racer wide wheels, for what that’s worth to someone.

  9. Jeffry

    i found this same car listed on BaT back in May with the same photos but a lot more but with a different ebay seller listed
    http://bringatrailer.com/2014/05/14/no-reserve-1967-fiat-abarth-1000-ot-spider/

    And the other ebay listing for May with a $24,100 winning bid.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/1967-Fiat-ABARTH-1000-Spider-BERTONE-Lamborghini-Miura-RARE-/131188730456?nma=true&si=VjgAdHsGO%252BdThS9tjuQGbPywr%252Fs%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

    Me wonders what is up with this one?

    • Dolphin Member

      I think someone paid big money for it back in May and is now trying to get out of the financial hole he’s in using the same sale venue, photos, and much the same sell description. The $24K price from May is crazy high, even if it’s a ‘real’ F-A Spider Bertone—i.e., a Fiat Spider with Abarth logos on it. He’ll need lots of luck to get out of that hole.

      • Will

        I think a more likely scenario would be a deadbeat bidder. The newer ebay listing with simply United States as its location may be by the same person even if it is a different seller according to ebay. I do agree that something is very fishy with this one. Why would you pay 24000 dollars for something and then put it in a no reserve auction?

  10. z1rider

    IIRC, when looking at the engine, if you can see the ground from above, the engine pans are missing. They are important for proper airflow through the radiator. Without them the engine will run hot.

    Also, no mention of rust which these are notorious for. If it had been in San Diego or Phoenix all it’s life that would not likely be a problem. But from just about anywhere else I would be very careful.

  11. Ranco Racing

    I fail to see how this qualifies as a “barn find.”

  12. paul

    Black painted rocker panels when they should be body color scare me especially rusty bottom prone Fiats. I had one of these about 45 years ago, they handled like go-carts, I even had it around Lime Rock Park often, Dave Wright mentions that his 1275 Bugeye killed these 1000 cc Abarths & I would think it would, I ran against 948 Bugeyes & did quite well, Dolphin mentions “boy racer wheels” actually they improved my lap times about a second that translated to a few grid spots north, they allowed me to take the down hill leading to the front straight flat. This car doesn’t have a roll bar & I’m not seeing anything Abarth except the exhaust, badging & rims, but I could be wrong about the cylinder head the item that bumped these up from 843 cc’s, also the Webber side draft ( I think ?), it has been 45 years. I stepped up from this to a 58 Gulietta Spyder purpose built track car.

  13. Brian

    I’m concerned about this one as well. I emailed thru eBay and asked for a close-up shot of the chassis plate and have yet to hear from the seller.

    It is listed as having: leather and FWD both of which are wrong (re the leather, I am only going from the photo here which really screams vinyl – & I believe they were vinyl originally)

    Real Abarths are worth way, way more than currently bid…(even a nice Fiat 850 spider is worth way more than this if condition is as described)

    Do you homework before bidding or sending money.

  14. Dave Wright

    Great note. Our H Production Bug Eye was a 948 CC as well. I am with you……there is little about this car to suggest Abarth but I think that was typical of these later cars. The advantage we had with the bigeyes was the amount of racing parts available………the Brits perfected the Healy racing after market parts design very early. The coolest Abarths were the 11,000 RPM rear engine cars that weighed 900 lbs. they really were in a class of there own.

    • paul

      Sorry, I thought H was the 1275 class, 45 years & it’s all a bit hazy.

  15. NickF

    Good, bad, or indifferent … they’re not building them anymore and I for one would be pleased to add it to my virtual museum – right next to my virtual X1/9 :)

  16. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

    SOLD for $27,000 with 53 bids!

  17. Dave Wright

    That is nuts……….

  18. Dolphin Member

    $27K!
    Hmmmmm……. Maybe the ‘Greater Fool’ theory is actually right.

  19. Brian

    For the folks who did not smell this as a scam immediately here is the email exchange I had with the eBay “seller” recently. My requests for a close up photo of the engine bay chassis tag through the eBay email system went unanswered but the following came to my private email a few days after the auction ended:

    From the eBay “seller:”
    “You messaged me regarding my 1967 Fiat ABARTH 1000 that was posted on ebay. The high bidder placed his bid in error and the car is still for sale. My asking price is $24,000. The car is in excellent condition, it comes with the clear title and all service records + restoration receipts. The Fiat is located in Long Island NY and i can ship almost anywhere. Let me know if you’re still interested.
    Sincerely,
    Donnie Trevino”

    OK, how should we proceed?
    Best Regards,
    Brian

    “The car is in Long Island. Right now, i am in Blue Ridge GA recovering from surgery and i also have to supervise my business here as soon as i get back on my feet. If you want to buy the car we can do delivery through escrow (ebay provides this type of service). With shipping to your front door arranged by me. (the car is left in storage at a shipping company in Long Island, so i can handle everything remotely in case an ebay sale occurs). If we make the deal this way ebay will keep the payment until you receive, inspect and agree to keep the car and delivery will be insured. Besides all that, you will recieve the car with a return policy, if there’s something wrong with it or not as described you will be able to return it. That’s the best i can do for you.”

    Anyone can ask eBay and learn that the way he suggests handling the transaction is a tip off of a scam. eBay will NOT perform the above service. Apparently eBay has finally figured out this was a scam as well since they’ve purged all info on this particular item (it even disappeared from my “watch list” where all the other ended sales are still there..)

    Cheers…

    • Alan (Michigan)

      Geez.
      A similar scam was tried on me for sa Craigslist posted pickup truck:
      Seller being shipped out (in army) in a couple of days, etc, etc….

      People like this should be forced to work at a low paying, hard manual labor job for a couple of years, and be denied internet acces for a decade.

      Scammers are the worst type of thieves. At least a robber will be up front with the fact that he or she is taking your money.

  20. Charles

    Scammers are everywhere!

    A few years ago I shopping for a large commercial generator. A fellow had a listing on the Trader Online equipment site for a used Cummins-Onan 30K genset. The item was supposed to be on a shipping dock in New Jersey. He wanted payment in advance, and he would hold it or me. I told him that I would drive to NJ with a truck and bring cash. The ad disappeared, an I never heard from the seller again.

    The very same generator, pic’s, and description turned up on an ad from an equipment company in NC. I called the company and they did indeed own the piece of equipment, and would gladly accept a cash, credit card, or other for the transaction. I reported to theft of their ad to the legitimate company and to Trader Online. There was supposed to be an investigation, but I never heard anything else about it.

    Now for big ticket items, if I deal with an E-Bay seller, or other online seller, I run a background check on them before proceeding with a transaction. If everything comes back OK, then I go and meet them in person and inspect the item. Not saying that it will be impossible to become a scam victim, however this strategy seems to be working.

  21. kenneth tiven

    I owned a Fiat Abarth exactly as pictured. I also owned a Fiat 850 sports coupe at the same time. All the performance difference was real and explained when I decided to tear down the engine. Most critical moving parts had been polished balanced and lightened. I had cylinder head shaved and got new valve springs. It would run 85mph in 3rd gear… probably felt faster than it was because it weighed maybe 1500 pounds. Fiat 124 rims helped handling, swing rear axles were the biggest impediment. Sold it to someone who said tell me what you want for it and I named a high but fair price. My young kids cried at the sale.

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