04 Feb 2019
FCA Heritage Returns to Salon Rétromobile 2019
- One of the most important European events dedicated to vintage vehicles will be taking place at the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, from February 6 to 10.
- To celebrate the 70th anniversary of Abarth, FCA Heritage will be exhibiting a selection of classic cars that retrace the history of the special partnership between the brand with the scorpion badge and the other Italian brands of FCA.
- An Alfa Romeo 750 Competizione (1955), a Fiat Nuova 500 with Abarth "Record" tuning (1958), an Abarth 1000 Monoposto Record Classe G (1965), a Lancia Rally 037 (1982) will be on show, in addition to an Alfa Romeo 8C Spider (2010) for sale in the scope of the "Reloaded by Creators" project.
- They will be sharing the stand with the new Abarth 124 GT "70th Anniversary", representing the new range dedicated to this major milestone, and the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, the car that represents the new paradigm of the brand.
FCA Heritage - the department of the Group dedicated to protecting and promoting the history of Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Lancia and Abarth - will be at Salon Rétromobile, one of the most important international events dedicated to collectable cars and motorcycles, again this year. At the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, from February 6 to 10, the prestigious French event will be the opportunity for the general public to join the celebrations for the 70th anniversary of Abarth, that FCA Heritage is marking by putting on show a selection of fine classic cars originating from the partnership between the brand with the scorpion badge and the other Italian brands that now part of the FCA Group.
Visitors will be able to admire three extraordinary cars, built in limited editions or even as one-offs, such as the Alfa Romeo 750 Competizione (1955), the Fiat Nuova 500 with Abarth "Record" tuning (1958) and the Lancia Rally 037 (1982). They will be joined by the Abarth 1000 Monoposto Record Classe G, specially restored for the occasion, in which Carlo Abarth personally set the one hundredth record of the brand which bears his name, as a further tribute to this genius driver and entrepreneur. Finally, the line-up for the French exhibition will be completed by an Alfa Romeo 8C Spider (2010), a limited-edition model created by the Alfa Romeo Style Centre of which just 500 were made. The car is for sale by FCA Heritage with an Alfa Romeo Classiche Certificate of Authenticity in the scope of the "Reloaded by Creators" project.
These priceless rarities will be joined by the new Abarth 124 GT "70th Anniversary" created to celebrate the important milestone and the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, the perfect blend of the new Alfa Romeo paradigm and ultimate expression of "Meccanica delle Emozioni" concept.
Seventy years of Abarth
The selection of cars picked by FCA Heritage celebrates the major Abarth anniversary by telling the thrilling story of the bonds between the brand with the scorpion badge and the other Italian brands of FCA. The long string of successful collaborations consolidated the legendary status of Abarth as a top name in international motorsports. It all began in the post-war years, when the longing for a fresh start and the increasing availability of industrial technologies found fertile ground for new experimentation in the automotive industry. It was then, in 1949, that Carlo Abarth founded the racing team that carried his name putting his zodiac sign (Scorpio) in the badge. The business focused primarily on building cars with a racing attitude and later also on mechanical components for tuning models built by other constructors. As early as the 1950s, Abarth was getting to work on Fiat cars, creating the legendary tuned versions capable of breaking every kind of record on the racing track. During the same years, he developed tuning kits for standard production cars for Alfa Romeo and turned his attention to extreme experimentation building one-off prototypes. His time-honoured collaboration with Lancia was consolidated in the late 1970s and led to fifteen years of extraordinary racing successes in the world rally and endurance championships.
Fiat Nuova 500 with Abarth "Record" tuning (1958)
In 1957, Carlo Abarth decided to boost the image of the Fiat Nuova 500, a small car with performance ratings that were a far cry from those of a racing car. Its tiny two-cylinder engine was considered too small and not powerful enough to achieve worthwhile racing results. Abarth decided to demonstrate the qualities of the car by transforming it into a record-breaker. His tuned 500, with an engine producing 26 HP, generated a top speed of 118 km, ran for 168 consecutive hours on the Monza circuit and collected six international records. Important achievements like these were crucial in reasserting the success of the Nuova 500, making it one of the most famous cars ever produced.
The car on display - the very one used at Monza - was also the first ever Fiat 500 tuned by Abarth. It has been meticulously restored to its original configuration. This car has inestimable historic value and is a key milestone in the history of the Abarth brand and of motoring itself.
Abarth 1000 Monoposto Record Classe G (1965)
FIA had introduced new records over very short distances in 1964 and several years after his last race as a driver, at 57 years of age, Carlo Abarth decided to make an attempt on the Class G standing-start quarter-mile record on the Monza circuit.
The temptation to make a personal contribution to the history of the brand that bears his name by setting the one hundredth record in person was irresistible. To achieve the goal, Abarth put himself on a strict diet (it is said he only ate apples) and lost the 30 kilograms of weight he needed to get into the cockpit and race without weighing down the car too much.
In October 1965, the Abarth 1000 Monoposto Record Classe G, powered by the one-litre twin cam engine, broke the standing start quarter-mile and 500 metre records, beating its powerful rivals BMW and Porsche.
The single-seater that the constructor-driver drove for this feat was derived from the Formula 2 car built the previous year with improved aerodynamics (front and windscreen) and engine. The Class G had a 982 cm3 engine, tuned with two Weber 40 carburettors and two overhead camshafts.
Alfa Romeo 750 Competizione (1955)
The story of the partnership between Carlo Abarth and Alfa Romeo for creating the 750 Competizione, named after the project number of the Giulietta, was kept secret for a long time. The aim of the project was to create a Sport category car based on the Giulietta to be used by Alfa Romeo to return to racing after the maker retired following the 1951 championship victory.
Carlo Abarth, who had always admired Alfa Romeo engines, had already supplied the auto maker with tuning kits for production cars and was eager to become involved in the project. He therefore accepted the challenge with enthusiasm and built a chassis similar to that of the 207/A. The bodywork was entrusted to the style and skilful craftsmanship of Mario Boano.
The car he created had a light alloy, twin spark, twin cam 4-cylinder engine with displacement boosted to 1488 cm3.
Although the car was successfully tested and had good dynamic qualities, the project was abandoned when Alfa Romeo decided against a return to racing. As a consequence, the 750 Competizione on show is a one-off, with a very different look any other Alfa Romeo of the period.
Lancia Rally 037 (1982)
The partnership between Abarth and Lancia, previously limited to the production of a few aftermarket accessories to boost the engine and suspensions of the Aurelia B20, created by Abarth in the mid-1950s, was consolidated after Fiat acquired Abarth. The brand became part of the Fiat racing department and was put at the service of all the brands of the Group. This partnership, reflected by the Abarth SE037, was the beginning of the glorious season of the Lancia Rally in the 1980s.
With its perfect combination of bodywork styled by Pininfarina and mechanics developed by Abarth, the car was engineered to replace the famous but ageing Fiat 131 Abarth Rally in international rallying. Based on the central concept of the Lancia Beta Montecarlo and equipped with a Fiat 2-litre, 16-valve twin cam engine, the 037 street-legal version generated 205 HP. It had a top speed in excess of 220 km/h and went from 0 to 100 km/h in less than seven seconds. The car on show is one of the 200 made to obtain Group B type-approval.
The racing version debuted at the Costa Smeralda Rally in April in 1982 and competed officially in the 1983 season, dominating the world championship from the very first race (the Monte Carlo Rally won by Walter Röhrl). That year, in spite of the fierce competition from the new four-wheel drive Audi Quattro, the Lancia Rally Gr. B won the World, European and Italian Championships driven by the then twenty-five-year-old Miki Biasion.
Alfa Romeo 8C Spider (2010)
Launched in 2008 and derived from the 2006 Alfa 8C Competizione, the fascinating Alfa 8C Spider is a limited edition of which just 500 were built. Made by the Alfa Romeo Style Centre, the convertible super car confirmed the excellence of the brand in this body type, following in the steps of some of the most beautiful spiders in the motoring history, like the 1950s Giulietta Spider or the legendary Duetto Spider made famous in 1967 by the film "The Graduate" starring a young Dustin Hoffman. On the outside, the Alfa 8C Spider stands out for the sculpted surfaces that perfectly encase the engineering and mechanical excellence of Alfa Romeo with a slender line that expresses all the beauty of a veritable work of art in motion that harks back to the glorious past of the brand while also actualising its values of technology and emotion into the future. The peculiarity of the car was its retractable top, equipped with an electro-hydraulic system for automated actuation. More in detail, the top is characterised by a fabric made with two overlapping materials. The outer fabric is multi-layered with high resistance to atmospheric agents, while the inner fabric has high-capacity soundproofing for the passenger compartment.
The car is equipped with a powerful 4.7-litre 8-cylinder engine that develops 450 HP, paired with a 6-speed robotic gearbox. In the best Alfa Romeo tradition, the 8C Spider has a transaxle layout which ensures the best weight balance and distribution. The engine is located in a retracted position while the gearbox is arranged at the rear in a block with the differential and with hydraulic actuator.
Turin, 4 February 2019