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

type Series Production Car
released at 1963 Geneva Motor Show
built at Italy
body stylist Franco Scaglione
coachbuilder Allemano
engineers Carlo Chiti
production 8
engine 90º V8
position Mid, Longitudinal
aspiration Natural
block material Aluminum Alloy
valvetrain SOHC, Valves per Cyl
fuel feed 38 IDM Weber Carburettors
displacement 2468 cc / 150.61 in³
bore 76.2 mm / 3.00 in
stroke 68.6 mm / 2.70 in
compression 9.2:1
power 156.6 kw / 210 bhp @ 7500 rpm
specific output 85.09 bhp per litre
bhp/weight 257.04 bhp per tonne
redline 9000
body / frame Steel Body over Tubular Steel Chassis
driven wheels RWD
front tires 185×15
rear tires 185×15
front brakes Ventilated Discs
rear brakes Inboard Discs
curb weight 817 kg / 1800 lbs
wheelbase 2540.0 mm / 100 in
front track 1422.4 mm / 56 in
rear track 1371.6 mm / 54 in
length 4394.2 mm / 173 in
width 1625.6 mm / 64 in
height 1193.8 mm / 47 in
transmission Colotti 5-Speed Manual
tran clutch Single 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