Reader Project: 1949 Motto 1100 Sport


After seeing our post on the Fiat-Gilco 1100, Peter Zobian wrote in to share his journey to save this beautiful 1949 Motto 1100 Sport. The lovely little barchetta is built around a Fiat 1100 with Cisitalia performance mods on a Gilco frame with this shapely aluminum coachwork by Carrozzeria Rocca Motto of Turin. Peter says that Rocco Motto crafted a number of barchettas with this configuration, but this is the only example with this particular styling. The car was discovered by Chrysler engineer Paul Farago and designer Virgil Exner when they were in Italy working on the Chrysler-Ghia show cars. Naturally, they brought it back to Detroit. Wouldn’t you?


Peter found the car in 1973 after several years of modifications. In the time since, he has somehow tracked down the original engine (with the desirable Cisitalia head) and gearbox, and most of the original parts.

After 38 years, it’s easy to imagine this beautiful machine becoming just another basket case, but Peter has gathered enough parts that he’s ready to restore and save this little marvel from the barn. Hopefully this post will serve to keep Peter motivated—not that he needs my help with that, he’s doing that just fine on his own. More importantly though, Peter’s project keep the rest of us hopeful that just because a car has been neglected in the past and hidden away, that doesn’t mean it’s fate is rust and scrap.

Thanks, Peter, for sharing this wonderful project (and keep us posted as she comes together!). Do you have a project that you’d like to share? Let me know.

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