|Engine||In-line 6-cylinder, 2279cc|
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A genuine GT car, the Fiat 2300S was both stylish and expensive when new but 'thanks in part to the high rate of attrition' is now an all but forgotten Italian thoroughbred. The elegant styling was the work of Tom Tjaarda (best known for the de Tomaso Pantera) of the Ghia studio, while the mechanicals were derived from its saloon sisters, albeit tweaked by Abarth to provide ample performance.
The 2279cc six-cylinder was breathed on and a different camshaft profile, 9.3:1 compression ratio and two twin-choke Weber 38DCOE carburettors resulted in an impressive output of 136bhp, pushing the 2300S to a top speed of around 200km/h. Inside, the big Fiat was as luxuriously equipped as one of the more exotic models from the likes of Maserati or Iso - from the Nardi wooden-rimmed steering wheel to the comfortable seats and rich carpeting, the 2300S spelled quality.
Sometimes described as a 'poor man's Ferrari', the 2300S remained in production from 1961 until 1968 and roughly 7,000 examples were built but the number of cars to reach Australia is tiny - it was more expensive here than an E-Type Jaguar when new.