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Abarth Replica: tribute or fake?

Abarth Replica
ER Classics Desktop 2022

That is one thing. It just depends on how you look at it: Resembling something that you are not. Is that nice, funny or sad? We have talked about kitcars, replica cars, re-creations and such.

And how real is a plastic Ford GT40 'replica' with a Renault V6 under the hood? Difficult, difficult, difficult ... Because the emotional charge that is attached to such a 'fake' can be the full, honest 10o% positive. While the subject itself looks rather uninhibited on the original.


Nice or fake?

The shaded area only becomes tricky when such a look-a-like takes its work very seriously. If such a replica does its very best to look like the original. Pretending he's a real one. That symptom certainly occurs when it comes to derivatives of 'cheap' cars that have come to look like their most exclusive variants. For example, many classic Mini's have been converted into Cooper S models. Almost real. And there are a lot of Shelby Mustangs.

Fraud-sensitive classics

The same is and is being done with Fiat 500s and 600s. Those friendly free-range animals tend to evolve smoothly into Fiat Abarth's. And a real Fiat Abarth is worth considerably more than its mild sky-blue painted citizen nephew. 'Upgrading' regular Fiats to Abarth 'looks and specs' is already an old sport. The approach varied from sticking a few stickers to a complete - and expensive - conversion.

It has since been discovered that there is an even cheaper basis for the growth to the Abarth factor.

Zastava as Abarth replica

Through a cooperation agreement with Fiat, Zastava received numerous licenses for the local production of Fiat passenger cars and trucks. The Fiat 600 was built in Italy since 1955, the Zastava 600 was an unchanged license building. Its production began on October 18 on 1955. The cars were initially assembled from CKD kits until the parts were manufactured locally. The Yugoslav version followed the evolution of his Italian sister.

In 1961 the 600D was presented with an engine of 767 cc. In 1962 the so-called 'suicide doors' expired and the name was upgraded to Zastava 750. The car was then almost identical to the Fiat 600. For a long time, developments at the Yugoslavian factory were similar to those of Fiat. Differences arose from 1970, when Fiat stopped the production of this model.

The Real Abarths

The Abarth Fiat 600 was built between 1955 and 1971. The bodywork remained basically identical to that of the Fiat 600, but the engines had cylinder contents of 750, 850, and even 1000 cc (respectively 767, 847, or 982 cc) and considerably more power. These Abarths were mainly used as racing cars. And my favorite Abarth was that of Scalextric. But then I was young.

Such an Abarth wannabee can be lovingly and beautifully made. It can look very much like the original. And what about Abarth? They are still there as rescued units, new old stock and reference. This applies to the technical parts and the bodywork components, including emblems. And then of course there are the stickers and sticky letters.

With this type of Abarths, think of amounts between the 6.500-7.500 euro for Zastava ~ copies, 20.000-30.000 euro for 'almost real copies'. Don't forget that many Abarth items were once sold separately. So 'almost real' can be close to 'original' or at least time original.

The prices for a real Abarth TCR are currently considerably higher. But realize that 80% of the offer is not pure Abarth. Realize that the fact that it proves nothing if there is 50 times Abarth on such a Fiat (or Zastava).

Or that the cars make it less fun? No. But the price must be in balance with reality.

The purchase of this type of 'fraud-prone' classics requires a serious piece of homework for the purchase.

 

Abarth
Almost real

Abarth

Abarth

9 Comments

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  1. Ihnen schint entgangs zu sein, that man in the 60ern everything von Abarth kaufen konnte. Motorumbaukits, Fahrwerke und Auspuffanlagen. Viele Autos sind damals zu Rennwagen become umgebaut. Im Übrigen sind die Selbstmördertüren erst Ende 1963 ausgelaufen. Ich bin im Besitz eines Rennwagen aus dieser Zeit. There comes aus der Tschechien und ist ein originaler Fiat. There was damal schon umgebaut.
    Wenn sie schon einen Paint article, then machen sie sich vorher schlau.

  2. Nothing wrong with a replica as long as you know when you purchase it. Not everyone can drive and pay originally.

  3. Well, if fake papers are involved, it will of course become a criminal. So far Abarth or Fiat, Seat and Zastava.
    On topic: on the other end of the spectrum, I think Pur Sang from Argentina has perfect reproductions of the pre-war Bugattis. Craftsmanship that deserves respect.

    • we said at “La Venezia” a real Italian ice cream parlor (car crazy!)
      “Anyone who drives a FIAT has lost his brain, but drives Abarth that is in a class of its own!
      saluti, anthony

  4. To speak to the father of “our” Peter Ecury: 2 donkeys know more than 1 donkey! ??? Nice story again Dolf!

  5. there is a large collector of abarth in lier in belgium, worth a visit.
    I myself have a fiat grande punto evo abarth

    mvg

    • Hello, yes I know that company in B, fine. If someone likes to drive a little further to Château de Savigny-lès-Beaune. I can't judge if they are real, but it's a nice Abarth collection. Not for sale.
      Ciao, J.

  6. Dear editors
    A nice article about replica Abarths. Largely true. There are some comments. An original Abarth has a lighter body (thinner metal) and can be recognized by a number of things unless the car was made by a true connoisseur. We recently received a call from a Swiss who wanted to buy a real 1000 TC in France. He had discovered that the car had already been sold by us and asked for the history. Shame for him it was a replica. The car came from a well-known Italian collector who turned the 600D into a narrow TC. He sold it to his cousin living in the Netherlands, for which we resold it to a Dutch trader. He did nothing with it and we bought the car and found a new owner in the Netherlands. This owner changed the car to a wide version with the characteristic of two single webers. After a few years this owner asked us to sell the car and we found a buyer in France. He had some problems with the state and the Abarth ended up in Belgium. Hence it was probably sold to France with fake papers and is now for sale there.
    We also build replicas but with original papers such as Fiat, Seat or Zastava, although the latter does not sound so good with an Abarth.
    We now know that we are building replicas in Italy and we have noticed that this market is being closely followed /
    it is therefore important to inform well about the history and consult a connoisseur.

    Ger Dunkirk
    Scorpione Abarth Parts

    • Dear Ger, That is a valued response from 'the source'. Glad we agree, and as a specialist you always know better about the hat and the brim. And so we also learned something. Because that of that thinner record was unknown here 🙂

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