When it comes to Italian cars, we love ’em all. Each marque has its own identity which sets it apart from the others, but possibly the least-understood of the lot (in our eyes) is Abarth.
Ferrari, Alfa Romeo et al have obvious widespread appeal, whereas the Fiat-based cars touched by the hand of Austrian-born Carlo Abarth have always attracted a more select audience. And that makes them really cool.
As if to make the point, Bonhams has lined up a delectable selection of 10 Abarths – all of which are to be offered at their sale at Revival later this month.
Let’s kick-off with the 1969 Abarth 2000 Sport Spider SE010 ‘Quattro Fari’ Sports Prototype (above). How fabulous is that? It was one of the most successful Sports Prototype racers of the Sixties, although Abarth had been producing outstanding cars since the fifties, like this 1959 Fiat Abarth 750 Bialbero ‘Record Monza’ Coupe (below) …
… the ‘Bialbero’ bit refers to the twin-cam jewel of a motor which, in 1000cc guise won races against 3800cc opposition in North America.
Or what about this 1978 Fiat Abarth Rallye 131 Supermirafiori Group 4 from 1978 (below).
Don’t you just want to jump in and drive it like you stole the thing? They claimed three World Rally Championships in 1977, ’78, and ’80 in the hands of such pilots as Markku Alen, Timo Salonen, and Walter Röhrl. But somehow they’re not remembered for their competition success as much as they are recalled with such fondness by people lucky enough to have driven the hot, road-going equivalent back in the day… before the vast majority of them succumbed to the inevitable outcome of having been constructed using sub-standard Russian steel.
Winding back to the Sixties and in 1962 Abarth produced this 131-MC Spider Tubolare 100 Sport (above). It featured a super-lightweight ‘birdcage’-style frame and a typically-Italian screaming 1000cc motor. Another engineering jewel just begging to be driven.
We could go on, but we think we’ve made our point. Whilst historic Ferraris, Maseratis, and Alfa Romeos will always make the headline-grabbing sales at auction, collectors targeting little Abarth Fiats will wear the smile of someone who’s secured something that’s under-the-radar cool. The cars at the Revival sale on Sept 13th are actually part of the famous Collezione Maranello Rosso, of which Bonhams successfully sold 10 other items (including the world record Ferrari 250 GTO) at Quail Lodge in California last month.
Here’s a quick guide to the lots and their estimated prices, and you can see some lovely big pictures of all the cars in our gallery above.
– 1959 Fiat Abarth 750 Bialbero ‘Record Monza’ Coupe – estimated at £70,000 – 120,000
– 1961 Fiat Abarth 850 TC Nurburgring Corsa Berlina Four-Seat Competition Saloon – estimated at £20,000 – 30,000
– 1961 Fiat Abarth 1000 Bialbero ‘Record Monza’ – estimated at £90,000 – 150,000
– 1962 Abarth 1000 Sport 131-MC Spider Tubolare – £110,000 – 150,000
– 1965 Abarth Simca 2000 GT Corsa ‘Campionissimo Europa Montagna’ – Estimated at £180,000 – 240,000
– 1967 Abarth 1300OT Periscopica Coupe – Estimated at £180,000 – 220,000
– 1969 Abarth 2000 Sport Spider SE010 ‘Quattro Fari’ Sports-Racing Prototype – Estimated at £180,000 – 250,000
– 1970 Abarth 2000 Sport SE014 ‘Europeo Montagna’ Coupe – Estimate at £110,000 – 160,000
– 1973 Fiat Abarth 124 Rallye Two-Seat Rally Competition Coupe – Estimate at £50,000 – 80,000
– 1978 Fiat Abarth Rallye 131 Supermirafiore Group 4 Specification World championship Rally Competition Saloon – estimated at £35,000 – 50,000