1963 Abarth-Simca 1300 GT Coupe by Sibona & Basano
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Le Castellet, France | November 19, 2021
Abarth used cars from many different manufacturers as base cars for their wild creations. In this case, the base car is a Simca 1000, which was a small, rear-engined sedan produced by the French marque between 1961 and 1978.
Confusingly, there were Simca-Abarth variants of the 1000, which were really just hot sedans. What we have here is an Abarth-Simca. It’s a GT car that Simca wanted Abarth to build that they could take racing.
It’s got a Simca 1000 floor pan, an Abarth-tuned 1.3-liter twin-cam inline-four, and a Simca 1000 four-speed manual gearbox. The cars were eventually homologated for FIA competition, and they were successful in European road racing events.
This car was sold new in Italy, where it was campaigned successfully. From there, it has kind of a complicated ownership history, and frankly it’s too late in the day for me to make much sense of it. You can read more about it here and see more from this sale here. The pre-sale estimate is $405,000-$500,000.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Alcacer do Sal, Portugal | September 20-21, 2019
This may look like some kind of early Porsche or Volkswagen sports car, but it isn’t. It is certainly related to those cars but is its own thing entirely. Wolfgang Denzel built cars in Vienna, Austria between 1948 and 1959. Very few were made.
Early examples used a Volkswagen chassis, but by 1952 the cars used a custom-built frame. Bodies were done in aluminium, and running gear was sourced from Volkswagen (though some later cars used Porsche powerplants instead).
This car carries a replacement 1.3-liter flat-four and a later-style Denzel body. It was sold new in Portugal, where it remains today. Only about 65 of these 1300 model examples were built and approximately 30 survive. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | June 17, 2019
Automobiles CG was founded in 1966 by Jean Gessalin and brothers Abel, Albert, and Louis Chappe. Their primary business was building bodies for other manufacturers, as well as assembling cars for other companies. But CG was also an automotive manufacturer in its own right until the company closed in 1974.
The 1300 was the final model introduced by the company, in 1972. Production lasted for about 18 months, and only 95 examples were churned out. CG cars were Simca-based, and this car is powered by a 1.3-liter inline-four from the Simca Rallye 2. Output was 80 horsepower in base form, or 94 when equipped with optional go-fast bits, which I think this car has.
CG is not very well remembered today (and neither is Simca for that matter), especially when compared with its peers, like Alpine. Very rare, this car should bring between $56,000-$90,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Leclere-MDV | Paris, France | October 21, 2018
Photo – Leclere-MDV
The Alpine A110 is perhaps the most well-known car the little French company ever produced. Now part of Renault, the once-independent Alpine always had strong ties to Renault, and they built the A110 in a few different forms for almost two decades, from 1961 through 1977.
This is how they mostly looked, and we’ve previously featured a 1600 S variant. The yellow example above is powered by a 1.3-liter Renault straight-four from a Gordini R8 that makes 120 horsepower. The 1300 S (which was for “Super”) was offered between 1966 and 1971 only.
This example was recently overhauled and is ready to run. These are great-looking, great-sounding little cars. Only 868 were built, and they’re one of the best sports cars that France ever offered. This one should bring between $57,000-$80,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 19, 2017
Photo – Bonhams
The Abarth Scorpione was originally built as the Lombardi Grand Prix beginning in 1968. Based on the Fiat 850, the car was rear-engined and sported rear-wheel drive. It’s kind of a small fastback coupe, with Italian lines, having been designed in-house at Lombardi in Vercelli, Italy.
The Lombardi Grand Prix was sold under other names as well, such as the OTAS 820, the Giannini 1000 Grand Prix, and the Abarth Scorpione. Abarth also produced a hotted-up version called the Scorpione SS. It is powered by a 100 horsepower 1.3-liter straight-four, up about 25 horsepower over the base model.
All four models were out of production by 1972 and only a handful of Scorpione SS models were thought to have been produced. This example spent most of its life in the Netherlands and Belgium until it was imported to the San Francisco area in the early 2000s. It’s been completely restored and is a fine example of what turned out to be the final car produced by Abarth before Fiat took over the company. It should sell for between $70,000-$110,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Coys | Nurburgring, Germany | August 8, 2015
Photo – Coys
Attilio and Domenico Giannini were brothers who founded a garage in Rome in 1920. They began as part of the Itala service network and entered their first race car, an Itala, in the 1927 Mille Miglia. They later turned their attention to tuning tiny Fiats – and they were very successful (even though the original business closed in the 1960s and the brothers split, each opening their own company). Domenico’s new company is still around, wrenching on Fiats.
This car, a one-off, was built by Giannini before the original company closed its doors. It features a 1.3-liter flat-four. It’s likely the only Giannini product powered by a Boxer engine that still exists. It was a race car, and the aluminium body is very reminiscent of a Lotus 23.
This car has been in a private collection for nearly 40 years and this is the first time it has ever been offered for sale on the open market. It is expected to bring between $110,000-$140,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Coys’ lineup.