Most of the OTAS Grand Prix are sold in the USA. Because of the pollutionlegislation the number of cubic centimeters of the engine was reduced to 817cc.
The other name of the OTAS, 820, derives from that. The cooling system, another weak point, became a real nightmare on the Californian highways.
The OTAS was sold in the USA by John Rich Motors in Glendale, California. Beside the OTAS, John Rich imported Abarths and it seems to be that John Rich requested Carlo Abarth to build this car with a bigger engine, the Abarth Scorpione.
Another strange point about this car is that I found a postcard on which the car is said to be the "OTAS Tigre" and it says it is a car made by the Siata International car company. The company was located in Newark, New Jersey. According to Robert Maselko the name Tigre might be derived from the fact that the OTAS emblem on the nose depicts a tigre. The spider version is, again according to Robert Maselko, also sold by Siata International.
This following article is sent to me by Mavis Walters. Thanks!
On the internet are just a few places were some information can be found.
- Etceterini & Friends Market Place (English), (in cache)
- Forum about Francis Lombardi based cars (English)
The next three pictures are from a "little bit" rebuild OTAS. The engine-conversion is not original but done by one of the owners. Mavis Walters sent me a lot of pictures about OTAS and Scorpiones, including the logo. Thank you very much, Mavis!
|The car seen from the front.||The car seen from the rear. The engine-compartment lid is reversed!|
|A Fiat 124 TwinCam-engine is shoehorned into the engine compartment!||This car was owned by Bob Rogers. Take a look at it at his homepage|
|An OTAS 820 on a show for little cars somewhere in the USA.||The interior is different from the Grand Prix. Look i.e. at the light- and whiper switches at the left of the steering wheel instead of on the center pot.|
|An OTAS-drawing||This picture is taken from "World Cars Annual 1970".|
|The frontview of an OTAS which is for sale at a swapmeet in Orange County, California.||And the rear.|
|Another OTAS for sale at a swapmeet in Orange County, California.||An OTAS at a swapmeet in Whittier, California.|
|Another OTAS at a swapmeet in Whittier, Californi|