1963 ATS 2500 GT

In 1964 this svelte coupe was manufactured from ex-Ferrari personnel to compete at the top the market. It used a bespoke V8 mounted behind the passengers with a high level of appointments.

Automobili Turismo e Sport SpA (SPA) was an Italian company with engineering support from Carlo Chiti and Giotto Bizzarrini. The company took full advantage of ther ex-Ferrari expertise and financing by Count Giovanni Volpi. Later when Bizzarrini and Volpi left, Chiti finished the design with his own V8.

Central to the 2500 GT was a bespoke 2.5-liter engine that not far off a Ferrari unit. It was an all-aluminum 90º V8 that could produce from 210 to 250 horsepower using Weber twin-choke carburettors. The 9000 rpm redline took full advantage of the Abarth custom exhaust and five-speed Colotti gearbox. A mechanical fuel injection system was offered as an option.

Holding the car together was a tubular steel spaceframe which sported a double-wishbone suspension bot front and rear.

Inside, the 2500 GT received a full leather treatment with a Nardi wooden steering wheel and electric power windows. Power brakes were also standard.

Bertone stylist Franco Scaglione was responsible for designing the exterior of the car. He penned a sleek fastback with an integrated front bumper and a rear hatch for access to the V8 engine. The standard GT model featured a steel body while the GTS was equipped with an all-aluminum body for events like the Targa Florio.

The first ATS appeared at the 1963 Geneva Motor Show as one of the first mid-engine sports cars to enter the market. The showcar was lavishly trimmed for touring unlike the racecars that followed it.

Ultimately, ATS only completed eight cars with some of the final cars using 3.0-liter version of the engines. As many as four unused chassis were manufactured when the company was liquidated.

In Detail

typeSeries Production Car
released at1963 Geneva Motor Show
built atItaly
body stylistFranco Scaglione
engineersCarlo Chiti
engine90º V8
positionMid, Longitudinal
block materialAluminum Alloy
valvetrainSOHC, Valves per Cyl
fuel feed38 IDM Weber Carburettors
displacement2468 cc / 150.61 in³
bore76.2 mm / 3.00 in
stroke68.6 mm / 2.70 in
power156.6 kw / 210 bhp @ 7500 rpm
specific output85.09 bhp per litre
bhp/weight257.04 bhp per tonne
body / frameSteel Body over Tubular Steel Chassis
driven wheelsRWD
front tires185×15
rear tires185×15
front brakesVentilated Discs
rear brakesInboard Discs
curb weight817 kg / 1800 lbs
wheelbase2540.0 mm / 100 in
front track1422.4 mm / 56 in
rear track1371.6 mm / 54 in
length4394.2 mm / 173 in
width1625.6 mm / 64 in
height1193.8 mm / 47 in
transmissionColotti 5-Speed Manual
tran clutchSingle Dry Plate
top speed~241.35 kph / 150 mph

Auction Sales History

1963 ATS 2500 GT

Ultimately, only 12 chassis were built, including just eight complete cars, with the company constantly struggling with inadequate working capital. Volpi is reported to have left the organisation with the car offered here, numbered chassis 2004, along with the four remaining incomplete chassis, which he intended to develop into his own version dubbed the Serenissima using the Chiti-designed power plant, enlarged to 3.0-litres. Chassis 2004, which already had a 3.0-litre engine, also displayed the Serenissima badge on its nose, which was possibly added by Volpi later.

Auction Source: 2009 RM Auctions’ Automobiles of London