Italians have an exquisite taste in design and beauty. Once you get a sense of it, things become quite obvious as to why their designs are hard to beat. A classic example for the same has to be the 1953 Abarth 1100 Sport – that was essentially a performance oriented car in the 1950’s with a classic design twist to it. The 1953 Abarth 1100 was built by Karl Abarth who was a motorcycle racing champion and an equally talented engineer. After tasting considerable amount of success in building motorcycle exhaust systems, he wanted try his hand at building performance cars. His initial efforts in building a performance car, lead him to create the Abarth 205 which was essentially based on the Cisitalia 204.
This 1953 Abarth 1100 Sport designed by Ghia is up for grabs at the RM Sotheby’s Monterey sale, which is to take place on August 18, 19 2017. The beautifully designed machine from the past in all its glory is looking for a lucky owner who can cherish its impeccable form. It is indeed one Italian masterpiece that is sure to be appreciated in value, being as exclusive as an automobile can get.
The Cisitalia had won Abarth the Formula 2 Race Championship the previous season. The 205 was essentially a coup variant of the already proven 204 chassis. The 205 won several competitions and was considered to be a very handsome looking machine. Interestingly enough, the 205 sported a detuned engine which was a clever strategy used by Abarth to enhance the market for his tuning accessories. The Abarth 205 was built between 1950 to 1951 and only a total of fours cars were ever made. The car used the Cisitalia engine and transmission combination comprising of an inline-4 1188cc engine producing 65hp. Mated to a 4-speed transmission, the 205 could clock 170kmph, which was considerably quick in its time.
Ghia took this already gorgeous looking performance machine, mated it to a Fiat 1100 engine and transmission and topped it to look drop dead gorgeous. The car in discussion here was designed by Ghia alongside his Chryslers of the same period and its influence is very evident in the design of the 205. The broad grills, low and wide stance complimented by the drooping roof line, is very reminiscent of Chrysler cars. This car was sold to an American gentleman named Bill Vaughn, who transformed this car into the Vaughn SS Wildcat by equipping it with a V8 engine.
The car was lost for a few years only to be discovered in a barn. The car was then recovered and saved by Pat Branden, a long time enthusiast of the car. The car passed through two collectors after that and has been spending time with a consignor ever since. The consignor spent good five years painstakingly restoring the car, keeping true to every little aspect of this iconic machine and bringing it to its current show car status. The car participated in the 2015 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, where it won in its own class and was nominated for the Best of Show category.
Photography by Angus McKenzie for RM Sotheby’s