Barchetta (Italian pronunciation: [barˈketta]), which translates as "little boat" in Italian, is a term used by Italian car manufacturers for two-seat sports cars with either an open top or convertible roof.

The term was originally used for lightweight open-top racing cars of the late 1940s through the 1950s. Since the 1950s, the name barchetta has been revived on several occasions, mostly for cars with convertible roofs that are not specifically intended for racing.

Ferrari 166MM
1949 Le Mans-winning barchetta: Ferrari 166MM

1940s and 1950s

Rétromobile 2015 - Ferrari 212 Touring Barchetta - 1952 - 003
Ferrari 212 Touring Barchetta

The first use of the term "barchetta" was by the editor of the Italian sporting newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport, Giovanni Canestrini,[1] to describe the new Ferrari 166MM displayed at the 1948 Turin Auto Show. The name barchetta has been associated with the 166MM model ever since. The 166MM barchetta won the 1948 and 1949 Mille Miglia, and the 1949 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Targa Florio, the only car ever to win all three races in the same year. It also won the 1949 Spa 24 Hours. Motor Trend Classic rated the 166MM barchetta sixth out of the ten "greatest Ferraris of all time".[2]

Other barchetta versions of Ferraris include the Ferrari 212 Inter[3][4] and the Ferrari 250 MM (built by Vignale).[5][6][7]

In 1948, the Maserati brothers released the O.S.C.A. MT4,[8][9] a 1452 cc, 130 bhp (97 kW) barchetta.

In 1953, Moretti Motor Company began producing a barchetta version of the Moretti 750.[10][11][12][13][14]

Some barchettas have no windscreen, while others have a shallow, racing-type ("aero") screen.[15]


In 1966, Abarth released the Abarth 1000SP Barchetta, which had a very successful racing career[16][17][18]

The Fiat Barchetta was produced from 1995 to 2005. It is a mass-produced two-seat convertible which was intended as a road car, rather than for motor racing.

In 1991, the Maserati Barchetta was released as a racing car for a single-make racing series.[19] Seventeen cars were produced.

Ferrari 550 Barchetta Pininfarina

Ferrari revived the name in 2001 for their 550 Barchetta Pininfarina, which marked Pininfarina’s 70th anniversary. The car was first shown at the 2001 Salon de l'Automobile and 448 examples were built. It is "[i]n many ways...the legitimate successor to such legendary open Ferraris as the 166MM..."[20] Designed as a roadster for use on public roads and not as a full-bred racing car, the 550 Barchetta has a rudimentary convertible top "whose mechanism is said to require strength, skill, and patience."[20] The top is intended only for emergency use in a sudden downpour and the manufacturer advises against using it at speeds above 70 mph (110 km/h). The top "doesn't look as if it would survive the sacrilege of an automatic car wash."[20]

Bachetta concept cars include the 2005 Lamborghini Murcielago Barchetta,[21] the 2001 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato Barchetta[22] and the 2007 Bertone Barchetta Concept (based on the Fiat Panda 100 HP).[23][24]

In popular culture

"Red Barchetta" is a song by rock band Rush from their album Moving Pictures.


  1. ^ Capps, Don. Tales from the Thirties: Tripoli, 1933. Atlas F1 Magazine. Retrieved on June 25 2008.
  2. ^ "A Perfect 10: The Greatest Ferraris Of All Time". Motor Trend. Retrieved 2017-11-25.
  3. ^ "1952 Ferrari 212 Export Barchetta". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  4. ^ "1952 Ferrari Barchetta - Jay Leno's Garage". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  5. ^ "Ferrari 250 MM (1953)". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  6. ^ "1952 Ferrari 250 MM Vignale Barchetta". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  7. ^ "Ferrari 250 MM". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  8. ^ "Lot 258: OSCA MT4 Barchetta", Motorbase. Retrieved on June 25 2008.
  9. ^ "1954 OSCA MT-4 Sports Racer", by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide. Retrieved on June 25 2008.
  10. ^ "La Storia Della Moretti". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  11. ^ "Moretti". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  12. ^ "1953 Moretti 750 Sport Barchetta". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  13. ^ Keith Bluemel: "Moretti 750 Barchetta", Barchetta. Archived September 30, 2008, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on June 25 2008.
  14. ^ "Moretti Barchetta", Classic Cars. Retrieved on June 25 2008.
  15. ^ "Brooklands Aero Screen". Retrieved on June 25 2008.
  16. ^ "1966 Fiat-Abarth 1000SP Tipo SE04 Racing Sports-Prototype". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  17. ^ "Abarth 1000 SP". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  18. ^ 1966 Abarth 1000SP Barchetta, Retrieved on June 25 2008.
  19. ^ "Barchetta". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  20. ^ a b c Kacher, George. "2002 Ferrari 550 Barchetta", Automobile magazine. Retrieved on June 25 2008.
  21. ^ "Lamborghini Murcielago Barchetta". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  22. ^ "2001 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato Barchetta". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  23. ^ "Bertone Barchetta Concept". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  24. ^ "Bertone Barchetta". Retrieved 25 March 2018.

Bizzarrini S.p.A. was an Italian automotive manufacturer in the 1960s founded by former Alfa Romeo, Ferrari and Iso engineer Giotto Bizzarrini. The company built a small number of highly developed and advanced sport and racing automobiles before failing in 1969. Notable models include the 5300 GT Strada and the P538S.

Originally Prototipi Bizzarrini s.r.l., the name was changed to Bizzarrini S.p.A. in 1966. The Bizzarrini marque has been revived with a number of concept cars in the 2000s.

De Tomaso Guarà

The De Tomaso Guarà is a sports car and the last project the founder and owner Alejandro de Tomaso put into the market. Presented at the 1993 Geneva Motor Show, the Guarà was initially available in coupé body-style. Later a roadster and an open-top barchetta bodystyle became available. The latter corresponds to the coupé but without roof and proper windscreen; a small air deflector protects the passenger and the driver from the passing wind and the car had to be driven while wearing a helmet.

Ferrari 166 Inter

The Ferrari 166 Inter was Ferrari's first true grand tourer. An evolution of the 125 S and 166 S racing cars, it was a sports car for the street with coachbuilt bodies. The Inter name commemorated the victories claimed in 166 S models by Scuderia Inter. 38 166 Inters were built from 1948 through 1950. Note that both the 166 S and 166 F2 were also called "166 Inter" in the days that they were actively raced by the Scuderia of the same name.

The 166 Inter shared its Aurelio Lampredi-designed tube frame and double wishbone/live axle suspension and 2420 mm wheelbase with the 125 S and 166 S. It was replaced by the 2.3 L 195 Inter in 1950.

The first Ferrari GT car debuted at the Paris Motor Show on October 6, 1949. It was an elegant coupé designed by Carrozzeria Touring of Milan who had previously created a number of similar Ferrari and Alfa Romeo models. Customer sales soon started, with 166 Inter models becoming the first Ferraris to be purchased for the road rather than the race track. As was typical at the time, a bare chassis was delivered to the coachbuilder of the customer's choice. Majority used Touring with coupé or barchetta style. Carrozzeria Ghia produced one-off coupé designed by Felice Mario Boano. Others were built by Stabilimenti Farina, who penned coupés and cabriolets. Bertone bodied one cabriolet. Vignale also joined in with seven bodyworks, presaging their designs of the coming decade, foreshadowed those companies' later involvement with Ferrari.

The 2.0 L Gioacchino Colombo-designed V12 engine from the 166 S remained, as did its chassis, though the wheelbase would eventually grow from 2,420 mm (95 in) to 2,500 mm (98 in) or even 2,620 mm (103 in). Output was 90 PS (66 kW) at 5600 rpm with one carburetor and top speed of 150 km/h (93 mph).

Ferrari 166 S

See also the 166 Inter GT car

See also the 166 MM Berlinetta Le Mans

See also the Ferrari-Abarth 166 MM/53The Ferrari 166 S was an evolution of Ferrari's 125 S sports race car that became a sports car for the street in the form of the 166 Inter. Only 12 Ferrari 166 S were produced, nine of them with cycle-fenders as Spyder Corsa, soon followed by the production of the Ferrari 166 MM (Mille Miglia) which was made in much larger numbers (47) from 1948 to 1953. The 166 MM was an updated 166 S and went on to score many of Ferrari’s early international victories, making the manufacturer a serious competitor in the racing industry. Both were later replaced by the 2.3 L 195 S.

Ferrari 195 S

See also the 195 Inter grand tourerThe 195 S was a racing sports car produced by Ferrari in 1950. Introduced at the Giro di Sicilia on April 2, 1950, it was similar to the 166 MM also run at that race. The two cars, one open and one closed coupé, shared that car's 2,250 mm (89 in) wheelbase but sported an enlarged 2.3 L (2341 cc/142 in³) version of the Colombo V12. These two initial cars were forced to retire, but three came to the Mille Miglia of that year, with the event won by the 195 S Touring berlinetta of Giannino Marzotto with Serafini's Touring barchetta in second place.

Ferrari 275 S

Ferrari 275 S was a sports racing car produced by Ferrari in 1950. It was the first Ferrari powered by a new Aurelio Lampredi-designed V12 engine, created as a large displacement alternative to the initial 1,5 L Colombo V12, used in supercharged form in Ferrari 125 F1. Formula One regulations allowed for up to 4.5 L in naturally aspirated form.

Ferrari 348

The Ferrari 348 (Type F119) is a mid-engine V8-powered 2-seat sports car produced by Italian automaker Ferrari, replacing the 328 in 1989 and continuing until 1995. It was the final V8 model developed under the direction of Enzo Ferrari before his death, commissioned to production posthumously.

Ferrari 360

The Ferrari 360 (Type F131) is a two-seater, mid-engine, rear wheel drive sports car manufactured by Italian automotive manufacturer Ferrari from 1999 to 2005. It succeeded the Ferrari F355 and was replaced by the Ferrari F430 in 2005.

Ferrari 375 Plus

Ferrari 375 Plus was a sports racing car produced by Ferrari in 1954. Model competed internationally, winning many important races, including 24 Hours of Le Mans, Carrera Panamericana, 1000km of Buenos Aires, Agadir GP or Silverstone.

Ferrari 550

The Ferrari 550 Maranello (Type F133) is a front-engine V12 2-seat grand tourer built by Ferrari from 1996 to 2001. The 550 Maranello marked Ferrari's return to a front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout for its 2-seater 12-cylinder model, 23 years after the 365 GTB/4 Daytona had been replaced by the mid-engined Berlinetta Boxer.

In 2000, Ferrari introduced the 550 Barchetta Pininfarina, a limited production roadster version of the 550, limited to just 448 examples. The 550 was replaced by the upgraded 575M Maranello in 2002.

Ferrari P

The Ferrari P was a series of Italian sports prototype racing cars produced by Ferrari during the 1960s and early 1970s.

Although Enzo Ferrari resisted the move even with Cooper dominating F1, Ferrari began producing mid-engined racing cars in 1960 with the Ferrari Dino-V6-engine Formula Two 156, which would later be turned into the Formula One-winner of 1961.

Sports car racers followed in 1963. Although these cars shared their numerical designations (based on engine displacement) with road models, they were almost entirely dissimilar. The first Ferrari mid-engine in a road car did not arrive until the 1967 Dino, and it was 1971 before a Ferrari 12-cylinder engine was placed behind a road-going driver in the 365 GT4 BB.

Fiat Barchetta

The Fiat Barchetta (Italian pronunciation: [ˈfiat barˈketta]) (Type 183) is a roadster produced by the Italian manufacturer Fiat from 1995 to 2005. "Barchetta" in Italian means "little boat", and also denotes a type of open-top sports car body style.

Lancia Aprilia

The Lancia Aprilia (1937–1949) is a family car manufactured by Lancia, one of the first designed using wind tunnel in collaboration with Battista Farina and Politecnico di Torino, achieving a record low drag coefficient of 0.47. The berlinetta aerodinamica was first shown in 1936.Production commenced in February 1937, the month in which the firm's founder died: this was the last of Vincenzo Lancia's designs, featuring four pillarless doors. The first series (mod. 238, 10,354 units, 1937–39) featured a 1,352 cc V4 motor providing 47 bhp (35 kW). The second series (mod. 438, 9,728 units, 1939–49) had its engine capacity increased to 1,486 cc which provided 48 bhp (36 kW). A Lusso model of this second series was also offered as well as a lungo (lengthened) version (706 made, 1946–49). A total of 20,082 cars and 7,554 additional chassis for coach built bodies were produced in Turin along with about 700 in France.

With the Aprilia Lancia followed their tradition of offering cars with the steering wheel on the right even in markets seen by other manufacturers as left hand drive markets. Outside the UK and Sweden customers increasingly picked the optional left hand drive versions, however.

Special designs include those by Ugo Zagato (1938), a Carrozzeria Touring convertible, the army's Torpedo militare (World War II), a Luigi Pagani-tuned barchetta bodied by boatbuilders Riva di Merate on a pre-war chassis (1946), a Bertone convertible (1947), one of Michelotti's first, while at Vignale (1949).

Lancia D24

The Lancia D24 was a sports racing car introduced by Lancia in 1953, and raced in the 1953 and 1954 seasons. It kept the overall layout of its predecessor the D23—that is a tubular space frame chassis, double wishbones/De Dion suspension, transaxle transmission and a barchetta body—but had a large 3,284 cc V6 engine. The V6 produced 265 hp (198 kW), giving the car a top speed of 260 km/h (162 mph).

Some of the D24's most significant overall victories are those by Juan Manuel Fangio in the 1953 Carrera Panamericana, by Alberto Ascari in the 1954 Mille Miglia, and by Piero Taruffi in the 1954 Targa Florio.

In 1955, the President of Lancia presented a D24 to President Juan Perón of Argentina who raced it nationally in the blue and yellow national livery. It was returned to Italy in the 1980s and restored by the Count Vittorio Zanon. This is one of just two D24s in existence; the other is in the Lancia Museum.

Maggiora (manufacturer)

Maggiora was an Italian coachbuilder from Moncalieri near Turin. They produced the Fiat Barchetta and the Lancia Kappa Coupé which was designed by Centro Stile Lancia. In 2003 the company was closed.

The company was formed in 1925 as Martelleria Maggiora by Arturo Maggiora as a high quality car body maker - a coach builder or 'Carrozzeria'. Their work has graced many Fiat and Lancia cars like the early Fiat 1100 Viotti Giardiniettas and the Lancia Flaminia Tourers. The company was grown and extended, with several Abarth and Cisitalia bodies produced. In 1951 it moved to Borgo San Pietro Moncalieri where car like the Glas (BMW) GT (1963), Glas V8 (1965) and the Maserati Mistral (1963) were built. Rocco Motto was a team leader at Maggiora until 1932 when we opened his own workshop.Maggiora merged with Sanmarco and Lamier to form IRMA SpA in 1991 - later a major supplier to the Ducato range. Maggiora SRL took over the old Lancia factory in Chivasso north of Turin in 1992, and produced there from October 1992 to 1994 the last Integrale Evoluzione. The new capacities in the Lancia factory were later used to produce the Fiat Barchetta - at around 50 bodies a day. Some complete cars were produced here too (including the rare Kappa Coupe).

In addition many design studies, prototypes, special orders e.g. were produced by Maggiora, these have included soft top Unos and Cinquecentos, special Integrales, a Barchetta Coupes, a Puntograle, the Lancia Thesis Coupe prototype.

Maserati Barchetta

The Maserati Barchetta is a mid-engine, racing car, like the 350 and 450S, that was designed by Carlo Gaino of the "Synthesis Design", an Italian design house.

The Barchetta was designed and developed for the one-make racing series Grantrofeo Barchetta which was held 1992 and 1993 throughout Italy and Europe. It featured sixteen races in total, most of them in Italy. The Barchetta had a backbone chassis made of aluminium which was unusual for a Maserati automobile for a time considering that the cars offered by Maserati had a steel unibody construction. It had a Formula 1 suspension geometry and body panels made of carbon fibre which resulted in a total weight of 775 kg (1,709 lb). The Barchetta was one of the last Maserati models built under De Tomaso ownership.16 examples of the racing model were produced by hand at the De Tomaso factory in Modena, plus two prototypes (one racing-corsa, one street-stradale model). It featured a mid-mounted Maserati AM501 V6 engine displacing 1,996 cc and was shared with the local 2.0 L engine offered in the Italian market on the Biturbo and the Ghibli. The engine had a peak power output of 319 PS (235 kW; 315 hp) at 7,250 rpm. The engine was mated to a 6-speed manual transmission manufactured by ZF Friedrichshafen and having straight cut gears. These modifications allowed the car to attain a top speed of 290 km/h (180 mph). Having a true open top design, driver protection was only provided by a small air deflector.The central-frame concept was carried over in the De Tomaso Guarà, but the frame was around 130 mm (5.1 in) longer because it was fitted with a larger V8 engine.

This was thought as a way to inject much needed excitement and enthusiasm for Maserati that saw its reputation badly ruined by years of exciting but maintenance sensitive products, eventually culminating in Maserati's withdrawal from the North American market at this time.

Pagani Zonda

The Pagani Zonda is a mid-engine sports car produced by the Italian sports car manufacturer Pagani. It debuted at the 1999 Geneva Motor Show. By 2018, a total of 140 cars had been built, including development mules. Both 2-door coupé and roadster variants have been produced along with a third new variant being the barchetta. Construction is mainly of carbon fibre.

The Zonda was originally to be named the "Fangio F1" after Formula One champion Juan Manuel Fangio, but, following his death in 1995, it was renamed for the Zonda wind, a regional term for a hot air current above Argentina.

Red Barchetta

"Red Barchetta" is a song by the rock band Rush, from their 1981 studio album Moving Pictures.


Siata (Società Italiana Auto Trasformazioni Accessori in English Italian Car Transformation Accessories Company) was an Italian car tuning shop and manufacturer founded in 1926 by amateur race car driver Giorgio Ambrosini.

Siata initially sold performance parts to modify and tune cars manufactured by Fiat. After World War II, the company began making its own sports cars under the Siata brand until its eventual bankruptcy following the first Arab oil embargo in the mid-1970s.


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