Friday, July 25, 2014

Lombardi Grand Prix / OTAS Grand Prix/820 / Abarth Scorpione 1000/1300/SS (1968-72)

Lombardi Grand Prix 

The Lombardi Grand Prix is a small, rear-engined sports car on Fiat 850 Berlina Speciale underpinnings. It was developed by the Carrozzeria Francis Lombardi with an in-house design by Giuseppe Rinaldi. The car was built from 1968 until 1972 and was also marketed as the OTAS 820, as a Giannini, and as the Abarth Grand Prix and Scorpione. The design had a Kammback rear and a very low nose with flip-up headlights, and a large single windshield wiper. The headlights were electrically powered. The entire unibody was steel except for the rear fascia, dashboard, and headlight buckets, which were rendered in fiberglass.

The engine of the Grand Prix was increased from the original 843cc Fiat 850 engine to the 850 Special engine, with 47 PS (35 kW) at 6400 rpm with a top speed of 153.8 km/h (95.6 mph). Luggage space is limited, with very little space next to the spare wheel up front and with a tiny rear compartment. The round tail lights are Fiat 850 Coupé units.  

Series I models used the regular, metal engine cover from the Fiat 850 while the Series II has a louvred unit in black fibreglass. The door windows are also different, being of a three-piece design (one on top, two lower pieces of which one could be slid open) while later cars have a more conventional layout with a vent window up front and a single piece which, however, could only be rolled halfway down. (wikipedia &

OTAS Grand Prix/ 820 

In 1969, Franco Giannini formed a joint venture with Lombardi, the Officina Trasformazioni Automobili Sportive (OTAS), to market the car outside Italy and allowing for a more powerful, Giannini-engined Grand Prix model to be marketed abroad. The resulting OTAS Grand Prix has a tuned, 994 cc twin-cam "Tigre" engine. In Italy, this model was sold as the "Giannini 1000 Grand Prix".

OTAS also sold the Grand Prix in the United States and in Canada as the OTAS Grand Prix 820cc, fitted with the same down-sleeved 817 cc (49.9 cu in) version of the inline-four engine as used in federalized Fiat 850s. The OTAS was sold until 1971 when the company shut its doors. (wikipedia &

Abarth Scorpione

Abarth Scorpione 1000/ 1300

Carlo Abarth & Company developed his version of the Grand Prix. Abarth's version, first seen at the 1968 Paris Motor Show, received a tuned version of the larger 903 cc engine from the recently introduced Fiat 850 Sport Coupé/Sport Spider, transforming it into the potent Scorpione. that has a claimed 52 PS (38 kW). For better cooling than the original Lombardi and OTAS, Abarth mounted the cooler up front, in the air stream.

 (Photos from

In 1970 Abarth showed the considerably more powerful Abarth 1300 Scorpione, what was to be Abarth's last independently developed car. Equipped with a 1280cc version of the Fiat 124s, this model has 75 PS (55 kW). In a 1970 road test by Auto, Motor und Sport, the Scorpione reached 175.6 km/h (109.1 mph), close to the claimed 180 km/h (112 mph). (wikipedia)

1968 Abarth Scorpione 1300 Race Car 

Abarth Scorpione SS

And to top things off, Abarth and Mario Colucci developed the hot Scorpione SS, which could produce 100 hp and was good for a 115 mph top speed. It was extensively re-engineered, with a coil-over front suspension, a reworked rear suspension, anti-sway bars front and rear, and all-wheel Girling disc brakes. Most Abarths, this one included, race with their rear decks slightly open for cooling, which also helps with stability. After Abarth was taken over by Fiat in 1971, the Scorpione SS was quickly cancelled after 5 units were built. (wikipedia)

(Photos from,, &

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