One-Off 1953 Abarth 1100 Sport Coupe by Ghia

- in Cars

With a nose like a jet airplane and streamlined bodywork to match, 1953 Abarth 1100 Sport by Ghia surely stunned the car community at this time.

1953 Abarth 1100 Sport Coupe by Ghia
Italy in the 1950s – wouldn’t you have loved to live during those incredible times? The automotive industry alone should be enough to make you want to travel back in time, and the 1953 Abarth 1100 Sport by Ghia does it for you.


1953 Abarth 1100 Sport Coupe by Ghia rear right three quarter
Now, nearly seven decades on we’re really starting to appreciate that era of automotive design more and more. Looking all futuristic, this vehicle is somewhat reminiscent of those flying car George Jetson used to fly to work; the streamlined bodywork of this project debuted at the 1953 Turin Salon.


Ghia subsequently sold the concept car to one Bill Vaughn in the US, who rebadged it as the Vaughn SS Wildcat. It was later advertised at the New York Auto Show in 1954 as a V8-powered car, which shows that people used to lie during the 1950s as well. If Vaughn did indeed re-power the car with a V-8, no photos of the installation survive, and the car never saw the limited production run that he envisioned.

1953 Abarth 1100 Sport Coupe by Ghia trunk
The concept car was then lost until 1982, when it was discovered by Russ Baer in a barn in Ashton, Maryland, and ultimately saved by longtime, beloved enthusiast, Pat Braden, both of whom helped to preserve the car and contributed to its history.

1953 Abarth 1100 Sport Coupe by Ghia motor
After completion of the restoration, the Abarth was exhibited at the 2015 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, where it won its class and was nominated for Best of Show, a remarkable achievement for a post-war automobile.


1953 Abarth 1100 Sport Coupe by Ghia interior


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