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Homepage. This page: More information sought on this unusual UK-registered Abarth sportscar.

Abarth 1300 OT Periscopio.

This is one of those old photos about which I've been able to find out a limited amount of information, but hope to uncover more by posting it to the site. A little research has identified this racy-looking sportscar as a 1966 Abarth 1300 OT Periscopio, or Fiat-Abarth 1300 OT Periscopio as it's also referred to (OT = Omologata Turismo). This car is registered RVC 70H, suggesting that its then-owner was based in or around Coventry, and had brought it to the UK in 1970. Did an individual bring it over and register it in their name, or given how many motor manufacturers were based around Coventry, did one of the British car manufacturers import it, perhaps for analysis? Hopefully this photo of RVC 70H will trigger a few memories with visitors to OCC over time.
The scene appears to be a workshop, with other cars also in view. To the left is a similar sports/racer on a trailer, the rear though isn't a match for the 1300 OT so has to be something else.
(Please click the thumbnail to view the full-size image.)
Fiat Abarth 1300 OT Periscopio in England
The above car was based on a re-worked Simca 1000 floorpan, fitted with various Fiat-sourced mechanical parts, a twin-overhead cam Abarth engine mounted in the rear, enveloped by a fibreglass body produced by Sibona & Basano in Turin. The Abarths proved to be very successful in motor racing. Did RVC 70H see much competition use in the UK, or was it instead put to use as a very entertaining road car?
A close look at the Abarth's roof will reveal a removable hatch. It was to here that a periscope air intake (hence "Periscopio") was fitted, not for the engine to breath better, but for fresh air to keep the driver cool in what proved to be a very hot cockpit. The high on-board temperatures experienced by drivers were due to a combination of cooling pipes running through the inside of the car, allied to tiny sliding door glasses which offered little in the way of ventilation.
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