1969 Lombard 850 Grand Prix

1300

Summary

  • Year of manufacture 
    1969
  • Car type 
    Coupé
  • Chassis number 
    100GB.1171046
  • Engine number 
    124A0000254352
  • Lot number 
    20
  • Drive 
    RHD
  • Condition 
    Used
  • Exterior brand colour 
    Red
  • Interior brand colour 
    Black
  • Number of doors 
    2
  • Number of seats 
    2
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
    Red
  • Gearbox 
    Manual
  • Drivetrain 
    2wd
  • Fuel type 
    Petrol

Description

DESCRIPTION
Founded by Carlo Francesco “Francis” Lombardi, a former World War One flying ace who previously established AVIA (Azionari Vecellese Industrie Aeronautiche) in 1938 to build light aircraft, the company changed direction to focus on the automotive industry after World War Two, specifically modifying Fiats. Based on the Italian manufacturer’s rear-engined 850 platform, the Lombardi Grand Prix debuted at the 1968 Geneva Motor Show featuring attractive Kamm-tail styling by Giuseppe Rinaldi. The first Grand Prix model utilised the 850’s in-line four-cylinder engine and four-speed gearbox but later versions were powered by the uprated 850 Sport’s unit developing 47 horsepower. The diminutive Lombardi has classic Italian lines of the period, with pop-up headlamps, a long bonnet and short rear deck – early versions used a standard engine panel but later cars came with a louvered cover. Maintaining the 850’s rear drive layout, the Grand Prix used a transverse leaf spring on the bottom with A-arms at the front and coil sprung semi-trailing arms at the rear. Weighing just over 700 kilograms, the Lombardi enjoyed a decent power to weight ratio and feels fast at any speed, thanks to the laid-back seating position and the cabin is surprisingly roomy. Popular with various Italian tuners, the Lombardi was modified by Turin-based OTAS (under whose name the car was marketed in North America), Giannini Automobili of Rome and - of course – Carlo Abarth, whose Scorpione derivative was powered by either a 903cc unit or, in SS guise, a modified 1300cc engine from the 124. Further changes to the Scorpione saw Girling disc brakes added on all four wheels, special coil-sprung front suspension, a front-mounted radiator and unique engine and nose panels. Only a handful of Lombardi’s Grand Prix made it to Australia and very few survive worldwide, rarely coming on the open market. These engaging ‘pocket rockets’ are guaranteed to turn heads at any car show, but are best enjoyed from behind the wheel.

HISTORY
- Rare two-owner Lombardi Grand Prix
- Superbly restored and upgraded to 1300 Abarth spec
- Same owner for the past 34 years

Originally sold to Tony Brancalion, the Sydney Lombardi and De Tomaso importer based on Military Road, Cremorne, this 1969 Lombardi Grand Prix was brought up to Abarth specification at his Europa Garage workshop in nearby Neutral Bay, using a Fiat 124 pushrod engine bored out to 1300cc with Abarth timing gear and a special bellhousing to match the original 850 gearbox. Further mechanical improvements include high compression pistons, lightened and balanced con rods, special cam shaft and modified cylinder head. A new inlet manifold was fabricated to accommodate twin 40mm side draft Dell’Orto carburettors, along with an Ansa muffler, a new radiator and a steel cross member added underneath the engine to strengthen the mounts. The current owner, a passionate Italian car collector and enthusiast, bought the Lombardi from Brancalion back in 1984 and spent a number of years returning the car to its former glory. The comprehensive restoration included refurbishing the body, interior and all mechanical components and we are advised no rust was found in the car when stripped to bare metal. A new windscreen was fabricated and various trim items sourced from Italy, resulting in what must rank as one of the finest Lombardi restorations anywhere. Rarely driven since completion and currently on non-transferable historic plates in NSW, the Lombardi remains in immaculate condition throughout and would be a fabulous addition to any collection of Italian cars, perfect for the many club events and rallies held around Australia.

Note: Shannons advise that all potential buyers research all vehicles before purchase to authenticate originality.