The manufacturer ATS (acronym of Automobili Turismo e Sport) was founded in 1962 by Engineer Carlo Chiti in collaboration with Romolo Tavoni and Giotto Bizzarrini in Bologna, Italy. Together with three prominent men, all the technicians of the Ferrari F1 racing team that collected of victories in the World Championship of the time, in direct disagreement with the thought of Enzo Ferrari, formed this new project in an attempt to mount an Italian competitor versus Scuderia Ferrari, together with the financial support of Count Giovanni Volpi, wealthy Venetian businessman already owner of Scuderia Serenissima and already Ferrari’s customer.
- Introduced at: 1963 Paris Auto Salon
- Designed by: Franco Scaglione for Allemano
In 1963, the ATS began with two cars in the Grand Prix of Belgium under the leadership of the World Champion Phil Hill and Giancarlo Baghetti, the best Italian talent of the period. Both retired for transmission problems, the championship was unfortunately not the most exciting in terms of results due to the constant lack of funds for the development of a car that was born with good credentials to become, thanks to Chiti, sporting landmark for years to come.
In March of the same year was presented at the Geneva International Motor Show also the 2500 GT coupe road built in two versions. Engineered by Chiti and Bizzarrini was designed by Franco Scaglione and assembled by Allemano. The 2500 GT with steel body and a 2.5-liter V8 engine derived from the F1 was credited with 220 hp while the “GTS” was the lighter version of 750 kg with aluminum body and engine power increased to 245 hp. Both version had a tubular steel and for the first time in the world a sports car road coupe had the engine installed in the rear middle.
The 2500 GT was produced as the “Type 100″ to counter the Ferrari that possessed only the front engine. Despite its attractive line that got a lot of supporters and its dynamic quality, while offering the futuristic layout of mechanical breathing in ‘all the more’ great builders of the World, because of the known lack of additional funding from Count Volpi was made in less than 15 cars actually completed that are now disputed by collectors all over the world.
In 1964, after only two years as a result of internal disagreements between investors and technicians, ATS unfortunately closed its doors but with the satisfaction of having enclosed under one name the best Italian automobilistics minds of the time, which helped to create and consolidate years after, famous names, from Lamborghini to Autodelta, from Iso to Bizzarrini, from Alfa Romeo to the stables of the 80 F1.
ATS walked in history as a small brand that contributed to change the history of Italian sports cars and more.
ATS 2500 GT other specs
- Wheelbase: 2,502 mm
- Length: 4,331 mm
- Width: 1,613 mm
- Height: 1,181 mm
- Coachbuilt by Allemano
- 5-speed transmission by Colotti