- The Abarth OT 2000. All pictures source: classicdriver.com

This 1966 Abarth had a clever piece of engineering

1w ago


I like Abarth, when they do something it is like they really know what they are doing other than just slap their badge on the cars. Back in the day they made a little monster with a spare tyre that was really clever.

The car is called the Abarth OT 2000, it is the Abarth version of the Fiat 850 Coupe. This car was a rear-engined that and had its spare tyre in the bottom of front boot/trunk. The tyre was actually held in place with a chrome belt to give the appearance of a front bumper.

The chrome belt looked like it was part of the bumper

When Abarth got a hold of the 850 coupe modifications to the engine were made and for that the radiator had to be located in the front boot/trunk. To accomodate the radiator in the front, the spare tyre was moved a little more in front than it already was. In fact, the spare tire was quite a bit ahead than the rest of the body.

...Spare tyre had two functions...

This made the folks at Abarth happy. You might be wondering why? This is because the front spare tire had two functions. First, it would act as a front bumper and second it would counter the weight of the 2.0 litre 4-cyliner rear mounted engine. The abarth had an engine output of 182 HP compared to the original Fiats 850’s 47 Hp.

what I love about this is back in the day, there were no front active aero you see on alfa’s, or ferrari’s and being a rear mounted engine while accelerating the car would lean back a lot. Around a corner it would feel like you had no traction. So having the spare tyre in the front put weight on the front of the car and gave you the traction when required and counted the leaning back due to the heavy engine. This is clever engineering, using everything you have including a spare tyre in a performance car - something you don’t get in many cars today.

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