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Abarth. Founder of the pure small sports car

ER Classics Desktop 2022

Carlo Abarth founded the company Abarth & C in 1949 together with Guido Scagliarini and was thus on the eve of a revolution. From apparently small engines in ditto cars, he would get a lot of extra horsepower. And all this thanks to almost microscopically applied technology in which every milligram counted. It did not miss its effect, and in addition to an untold number of records, it was also widely followed by other manufacturers.

It all started for the Austrian born in 1908 with the production of faster exhaust kits for Topolinos. And with that, the first possibilities became visible to develop fast little ones. Abarth would later also focus on its own models and fast versions of smaller cars. The 600 Fiat 1955 quickly became a source of inspiration for what would later become the Abarth 750 GT. In 1956, the sports car designed by Bertone immediately set records. Abarth had a taste for it. He constructed and prepared great performing and driving carts. Record after record came in the name of an Abarth creation, and the number of victories could not be counted.


Abarth also regularly released street versions based on existing series models (mass and short-run). Plenty of examples, but we will name a few. The 500 Abarth was already good for records before the sixties arrived. The Abarth-Fiat 850 TC and the OT versions based on the Fiat 850 (with the top version fitted with a 2 liter engine) were impressive in terms of performance. And the countless coupés in the 1000 cc-1300 cc class were also not to be missed. Not to mention all other smaller and larger creations. Abarth was later taken over by Fiat and then acquired the 124 Rally and the 131 Rally, which were a few sizes bigger than the little ones that Abarth transformed into small guns.

Small fast (sports) cars were often followed, and more and more manufacturers developed sporty top versions for their smaller series models. Examples abound and we will not mention them all. The sporty compact, the hot-hatch, the peppery coupé: As Rallye, GT / E, GTI, GT, RS, TI and Alpine. And as Abarth of course.

In the end, most manufacturers had a potent compact in their books, each one desirable and yet increasingly common sense. Always fun, and as a classic in good condition today, it is no longer affordable. For a handsome Simca Rallye or an NSU TT (S) you reach deep into your pockets. A Mini Cooper Mk and an Escort Mk1 Mexico or RS 2000 is no longer less than 30 grand, to put it mildly. A Golf GTI of the first construction years? For 20 to 25 grand you do a sharp case. Not to mention a later classic hot-hatch like a Delta HF Integrale. 40 mille you are just further.

Sporty little ones of classic quality. They are loved, as they were also received with open arms in the past. In the past, when they grew from compact circuit and rally racers to very fast family cars, bought by the family man who wanted much more than from A to B. But you hardly find that original and pure racing atmosphere that was contained in the original Abarth models. Lake.

Except for the Abarth 595 and Abarth 695, bearers of names from the past. And today. They are regularly offered as Edizione Limitata. Like the Tributo Ferrari a while ago. Such as the brand new Scorpioneoro, a tribute to the A112 Abarth “Targa Oro” equipped with large gold-colored rims. And like the Monster Energy Yamaha, with a big nod to the YZR-1 from the motorcycle manufacturer from Japan. Both with the 1.4 T-Jet engine, which delivers 165 HP. In carts, built on the basis of the immortal 500 Fiat 2007.Testosterone little ones who are completely crazy in the base and can be driven on the edge. Like an OT 2000 or a 1000 TC in the past. A pure combination of unadulterated, link and subtle.

The sight alone evokes a new Abarth sensation. That's what you want as a purist. Still. Because ze can still do it. It is not without reason that these special editions start with the name of a brilliant manufacturer. Because he, Carlo Abarth, was the founder of engineered sports cars in their purest form. With that almost microscopically processed technique, the influence of which reached very, very far.

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