This ex-works Fiat 124 Abarth isn’t ideally suited to the rutted and bumpy Forest Rally Stage situated near the top of the Goodwood hillclimb. The limited space in the wheelarches, and the short wishbones, limit the available suspension travel, meaning that it’s much better suited to the tarmac surfaces it competed on exclusively in period.
Alongside some world rally rounds, the 124 was used in the national Italian championship. The curvy sports car is powered by an 1800cc twin-cam engine that drives through a dogleg five-speed gearbox. It’s still in that original specification now, so what’s it like as a fish out of water on the non-tarmac Goodwood stage? ‘It’s still great fun, but we have to take a lot of care,’ says driver Bill Gwynne.
Bill has driven the car many times during current owner Mick Wood’s 20-year ownership of the car. ‘He likes to co-drive,’ says Bill, ‘and he’s good at it, too.’ Not that there’s any need for a passenger on the Forest Rally Stage.