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Morello Auto


**Morello Auto **
since 1950

The Morello Auto was founded in 1949 in Palermo by engineer C. Morello thanks to funds provided under the Marshall plan.
the core business of the new carmaker was to create coupes with luxurious interiors but also parcels in consumption and engines below 2000 cc to avoid incurring unfavorable taxation applied to higher displacements by the Italian government.

The first model was produced in 1950 with the name of Panormus 1100, the Phoenician name of the ancient Palermo, and it was a two-seater coupe with a space frames chassis and the aluminum body.
It fitted a 1.1 L engine that delivered 40.3 Hp at 4000 rpm named 77/40.

The Panormus 1100 was produced from 1950 to 1955 when it was replaced by the Panormus 1300


in 1955 the Panormus 1300 was marketed, the main aesthetic differences with the previous model were the addition of a chrome on the lower part of the door and a chrome on the front bonnet.

The heart of the car was the new 1.3L engine called 92/48 which resulted in the adoption of Drum (2LS) front brakes

The Panormus 1300 was sold from 1955 to 1959.


In 1959 the Panormus 1300B was put into production characterized by a radical restyling of the front and rear part of the body and the introduction of the AM series radio.

The engine was a 1.3L 4-cylinder that increased the power up to 52hp and lowered consumption.

The Panormus 1300B was sold until 1963.


In 1963 the Tauromenion 1600 model was presented, which maintained the bodywork of the previous Panormus but saw the introduction of numerous innovations such as the monocoque galvanized steel frame, the front and rear McPherson suspensions and the disc brakes in the front wheels.

The new 1.6 L engine named 118/76 was mounted transversely but the traction remained RWD

The 1600 was sold from 1963 to 1969


In 1969, Morello put the Akragas 1700 model on the market, which featured a completely new body compared to the previous range and the adoption of galvanized steel in the chassis.
As for the mechanics there was the adoption of disc brakes on all four wheels, the return to the front of the Double Wischbone suspension and the adoption of hydraulic steering.
As for the interiors, the finest leather was used and a luxury AM radio was installed.

The new 1.7-liter engine named 131/84 was the first to adopt mechanical injection.


In 1972 the 1700B was presented, namely the middle age restyling of 1700, aesthetically characterized by the retractable headlights and more ergonomic seats and more expensive upholstery that led to an increase in comfort and prestige.

moreover a 1.7 L engine re-phasing and a new profiling of the bottom led to a drop in fuel consumption to 11.4 l / 100 km and acceleration from 0-100 down from 12.9s to 12.5s

The 1700B was sold from 1972 to 1975


In 1974 the CEO of Morello decided to diversify the range, while waiting for the new Katane light sport luxury coupe scheduled for the following year, through the Salso HTS (hatck Sport) model a premium 2-seater car with good performance but also suitable for city use.
The Salso HTS was equipped with a monocoque with corrosion-resistant steel frame and panels and with MacPherson (front) and Torsion beam (rear) suspensions.
From a mechanical point of view the front engine was mounted transversely, for the first time Morello did not use the central engine, the transmission was FWD.
The brakes were solid disc (front) and drum (rear) there was hydraulic power stering.
The interiors were premium and there was one Stereo8 tape (8 track in game).
The Salso HTS was equipped with a slightly refined version of the 1.7L engine previously mounted on the 1700B.

the HTS Salso was sold from 1974 to 1980


In 1975 the engineers and designers of Morello designed a car model totally different from the 1700B and they called it Katane 1900.
The main novelties were the introduction of a corrosion resistant steel chassis and the application of a black fiberglass strip in the lower part of the doors.
As for the interior, the seats were covered with luxurious cowhide and the Stereo8 system was installed.

The heart of the car was the new 2.0 L engine called 155/90
which led to an improvement in consumption and improvement in acceleration.

The Katane 1900 was sold from 1975 to 1981.

Moreover, from 1900 a racing version was obtained powered by a turbocharged 2.0 L engine approved for group 4.


In 1976 from Katane 1990 was derived the 1904 sport version that complied with the regulation of Group 4 class 8 of the FIA regulation.
The 1904 was equipped with front and rear air intakes to promote the undertray and an wing at the rear.
The interior obviously consisted of two sports seats.

The 1971 cc engine was supercharged with a single turbo and was branded with the name 217/150 (TS, touring sport).
acceleration from 0-100 was 8.59s better than that of the road model which was 10.40s.

1904 was produced from 1976 to 1981


In 1981, Morello put the 1900B on the market, which was nothing but a 1900 revised in the safety equipment and with the addition of the catalyst to the engine.
These slight changes under the body led to an increase of 3 points of safety and reliability and a halving of emissions (from 9999 to 4142) and a decline in consumption of 0.1L / 100Km and an increase in power of 8 hp .
the 1900B came out of production in 1986.

The real novelty of 1981 was the agreement established between the Morello and the FBA, the biggest car manufacturer in Brazil, to create the sporty version of the Rio de Janeiro model.
The agreement was born from the FBA’s need to advertise itself internationally and Morello to reach the production volumes needed to deploy the car in the Group A races.
In the photos we see the version created for the Rally races of the N1 category.


Despite its small engine, the N5-spec Rio looks and feels like a pukka rally car through and through. I really wish it would have been better off with a larger turbocharged I4 under its bonnet, though.


abg7 thanks for the appreciation given to the beauty of my car. I was wrong to write N5 instead of N1 category that admits engines up to 1400cc.


In 1987 the Zancle 2000T model was born
which presents several changes compared to the previously produced model.
From a mechanical point of view, there was a return to the Double Wishbone suspension both at the front and rear, but with the new air springs and adaptive dumpers and for the first time the Geared LSD differential was fitted.
As far as aesthetics are concerned, the aluminum rims became standard and a luxury cassette system was installed.

Another innovation was the introduction of the turbo engine, the result of the experience gained with the Rio de Janeiro, in the line of production of the Morello series which gave rise to the 173/111 engine, a 1984cc SOHC engine with, for the first time , head and block in aluminum.

the 2000T was produced from 1987 to 1990.


In 1987 the collaboration between Morello and FBA was renewed, which led to the birth of the Sao Paulo which was approved for the N4 and A7 categories, both with a maximum of 2.0 litres displacement, and was powered by an In-line 4 cylinders turbo engine. EFI.


In 1991 the Zancle 2000 TB was presented
from the aesthetic point of view was a facelift of the previous model only the front and rear air intakes changed.

from the mechanical point of view was installed variable hydraulic steering but the real innovation was in the engine a 2.0 l turbo with EFI single point that increased the performance of 9hp and 13 Nm and led to a drop in consumption, compared to 2000 T, from 11.5 at 10.9 L / 100 Km

the 2000 TB was marketed from 1991 to 1994


In 1995, after the successful collaboration in the motorsport sector, Morello and FBA signed a partnership.
The FBA provided the chassis and bodywork of its Recife model, a 2-door / 4-seater with standard equipment, which then Morello re-powered with its 2.0 L turbo and put premium equipment.
The final model that came out of the Morello assembly line was called Himera FSP (family sport premium).
The Himera FPS, compared to Recife, in addition to the premium interior was equipped with a premium cd player and had the ABS and the Electric steering.
The engine named 198/127 was the same mounted on 2000TB but with the new EFI multipoint system that led to an increase in performance and an increase in fuel economy.
In addition, the Morello also made the sport version of the Recife produced by the FBA.


This is the rally’s version of the FBA Recife.


in 1995 the Tauromenion I6 model was produced, a 2-seater coupe with luxurious interiors.

The real experimentation was the turbocharged 6-cylinder engine, the first designed by the engine department of Morello Auto, entirely in aluminum and with VVT-intake, this was also a novelty.

From a mechanical point of view the only novelty was the pushrod rear suspension.


In 1999, Morello made the I6B model which was a massive facelift of the previous model I6, plus the ESC system was added.
The 2.0-liter turbo engine was the same as the I6 but with new-concept VVLs that made it cheaper in fact the car’s consumption dropped from 9.5 to 8.3 L / 100KM


In 2000, Morello sold the Platani 1800 model, which was the first 4-door / 4-seater hatchback produced by the automaker.
La Platani drew inspiration from the FBA Manaus but compared to the South American car was distinguished by:
The chassis in AHS steel and for the panels in fiberglass.
The presence of the front lips and side skirts.
The wheels of 15 "aluminum wheels.
The advanced automatic transmission with 5 speeds.
Premium interior with CD player.

In addition, the engine was built entirely by Morello and was called 176/135 it was for the car manufacturer of the return of a motor aspirated in series production.