Dutch Barchetta? The Gatso 1500 Sport
Fiat Chassis? Check. Hot Rodded 1.5 Liter Fiat straight-6 with and inline overhead cam? Check. Coachbuilt aluminum bodywork? Check. So far, so good, right? That description is basically the formula for every perfect little Italian sportscar. The wrench in the works in this very unique case is that the coachbuilt bodywork isn’t Italian in design, it’s Dutch.
This 1948 Gatso 1500 Sport is a fantastic little racer designed and built by Maus Gatsonides; the inventor and Dutch racing and rallying prodigy. He was a race winner before his 20th birthday, and when the time came to create his own racing car, it sure looks like he did a right good job of it. The Fiat chassis was shortened for greater maneuverability. The high compression Fiat 6 banger was good for 55hp at 5,500 rpm. The experimental French-made brake drums were lightweight and finned for greater cooling (although their fragility would be this car’s downfall).
After Gatsonides was forced to sell off this brilliant little car during financial hardship, the car largely disappeared until a Maserati collector happened on it quite by chance in 1974. A 16 year restoration followed, and now this amazing little racer is available in The Netherlands for €148,000.
These swooping curves in the bodywork and lovely little proportions make for a beautiful little gem of a car. I find it hard to even look at it without imagining whipping through autumn leaves on a narrow country lane. She’s lovely.
Read more about Gatso cars here.