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ATS 2500GTS

Country of Manufacture: Italy    Vin #: 2006
Model Type: 2 Door Coupe
Body Designer: Franco Scaglione (built by Allemano)
Engine: ATS 2.5 liter V8 (2467cc)
Horsepower: (SAE) 260 bhp at 7700 rpm
Torque: 166 lb at 6000 rpm
Transmission: ZF 5 Speed Gearbox
Suspension:
Front- Independent, upper and lower wishbones, coil springs, anti-roll bar
Rear- Independent, upper and lower wishbones, forward facing torque arms, coil springs
Brakes:
Front- Dunlop discs
Rear- Inboard mounted Dunlop discs
Top Speed: 165 mph

History: The story of ATS, Italy’s first mid-engined sports car, began at Ferrari with the 1961 firing of Girolamo Gardini following his complaint to Enzo Ferrari about his wife’s erratic, meddlesome and disruptive involvement in company affairs and the effect it was having on morale. Gardini had been with Enzo Ferrari and his various racing ventures since 1942 and, as Sales Director, was highly respected within the Ferrari organization. Several other key employees, including engineers Carlo Chiti and Giotto Bizzarrini, managers Galazzi (foundry), Selmi (personnel) and Tavoni (competition), banded together in support of Gardini by writing a letter to Ferrari, which they all signed. This event, known as the "Palace Revolt", resulted in this entire group of key employees being fired. The six ex-Ferrari men immediately set out to seek financing to start their own Formula 1 and GT car venture. They eventually secured the financial support of Giorgio Billi, an Italian industrialist, Jaime Ortiz-Patino, a Bolivian tin magnate and Count Volpi, a 24 year old Italian aristocrat who had just inherited an immense fortune. In the new venture, Billi held 40%, Patino and Volpi 20% each and the 6 Ferrari men, the remaining 20% between them. The venture was a disaster from the beginning. There was constant bickering between Billi and Volpi and the underdeveloped Formula 1 car driven by Phil Hill, rarely finished a race. Conversely, the GT car, which debuted at the 1963 Geneva Motor Show, was a great success to the extent that it was highly praised in the press of the day for its very rigid and advanced space frame chassis, its handling and high speed performance. However, it was all for naught because Billi, who by now had bought out both Patino and Volpi, began having financial problems with his other ventures and eventually withdrew his financial support causing the whole venture to close in 1964.

Production: It is believed that only 8 cars were ever made. The eighth car was actually assembled by Alf Francis after the factory closed and was apparently given to him by ATS for services rendered for which he was not paid. This particular car, Vin # 2006, one of the two lightweight aluminum bodied (except for the front fenders) combination street/racing GTS's built, has the higher horsepower motor, four instead of two 42 DCN carburetors, a minimalist interior with racing seats and door pulls, Perspex rear windshield and sliding side windows instead of the power windows of the GT version.

This car took first place in its class when shown at Pebble Beach in 2001.


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