With a sleek body designed by Franco Scaglione and mechanicals by ex-Ferrari virtuosos Carlo Chiti and Giotto Bizzarrini, the ATS set the motoring world reeling with the first mid-engine Italian sport and GT car. Chiti and Bizarrini were part of the 'palace revolt' at Ferrari, which resulted in Enzo's firing of six key employees in 1961 over complaints of his wife's meddling. The six ex-Ferrari men immediately set out to seek financing to start their own Formula One and GT car venture. The GT car, which debuted at the 1963 Geneva Show, was a great success in that it was highly praised for its very rigid and advanced space frame chassis, its handling and high-speed performance. Unfortunately, however, the investors withdrew financial support, and the project collapsed. Only a few cars were completed by the factory. This example was the Paris show car, and was completed as the factory closed. Apparently, it was only used on the show circuit, as it only shows 900 km. It is in completely original condition, with original tires, interior, trim, and most of the exterior paint. The drive train includes the original engine ad ATS factory transaxle; one of perhaps only a very few constructed, other cars having been fitted with ZF units.
In 1961, Enzo Ferrari fired six employees, including engineers Carlo Chiti and Giotto Bizzarrini, after they complained about his wife's meddling. They immediately started their own company, ATS, to design and built Formula One and GT cars. Their Chiti/Bizzarrini-engineered, Franco Scaglione-designed 2500 GT debuted at the 1963 Geneva Motor Show.
With its ATS-designed 220 horsepower aluminum overhead-cam 2.5-liter V8 mounted behind the cockpit and driving a five-speed competition transaxle, the 2500GT was the first Italian mid-engine sports car. The chassis was a sophisticated tube-frame design with four-wheel independent suspension, disc brakes and rack-and-pinion steering. Weighing in at just 1800 lb., the 2500GT was capable of 150 mph.
Unfortunately, the fledgling automaker's financing collapsed the following year with fewer than a dozen cars under construction and only four or five believed to have been completed. All were essentially race cars. Car number 3, shown here, was the Paris Salon show car and was the only one built (as the factory was closing) with a complete interior for everyday driving. Purchased by its current owner in 2003, it is completely original and unrestored but has undergone an exhaustive 2,000-hour conservation effort to put it back into running order and preserve its current state.