Carlo Abarth devoted himself entirely to building up the ‘Scorpion’ legend. The Scorpion was the brand for his tuning company that took cute little Fiat mini cars and made them into tigers on the racing circuit. The most valuable of his little marvels were built by Zagato sporting flowing aluminum bodies with unique bulging roofs.
What it could end up looking like…
Kids just love them today. They are so cute. Today’s find is a real project on a Fiat Abarth 600 sedan or “Berlina”. Abarth produced a myriad of options for enthusiasts with their range of conversion boxes (cassetta di trasformazione) containing all the parts necessary to convert a standard Fiat. The kits were expensive, almost half the price of the car, but included everything necessary: crankshaft, camshaft, pistons, piston rings, intake and exhaust manifolds, valves, radiator, gaskets, carburetor, exhaust, filters, pipework, belts, tools, oil, chrome badges and instructions. Read More
Carlo Abarth saw an opportunity when the Fiat 600 was launched in 1955. Abarth developed a 750cc version of the 633cc engine and sold them to dealers to retrofit to stock 600s. Carlo also built complete cars in his factory for street and competition use. The best known of these were the lightweight Zagato-bodied cars. The 750 Abarth Zagato was introduced to the racing world in 1956. It was an immediate success in a variety of European events. It swept the first three places in the 750cc class at the 1957 Mille Miglia. Across the Atlantic, the 750GT, nicknamed the “Double Bubble” for the distinctive roof bumps, were successful on the U.S. circuits.
Frequent readers will know that we like Tribute car builds. If you can accomplish almost the same experience by building a car that performs and looks like the real thing, why not? Just don’t try to pawn it off on someone as the real deal. Tributes are somewhat different from Replicas. At least they are to us. A Replica is like a Volkswagen chassis with a fiberglass body. Ditto for Cobras. A recreation is a bit more rarefied than both. To us, a recreation is building a car to the exact specifications as the original and pretty much starting from scratch. No hard fast rules for any of these interpretations. Today’s neat Fiat Coupe is a Tribute to a Fiat Abarth 1300. Read More
Take one Fiat 600 chassis, add a smart business man who knew how to get the most out of a car, and you get an Abarth 750 Zagato. Carlo Abarth wore a few hats before he set out to build his own line or racing cars. He saw a void in the “drive to the track, race, and drive home” class and he set out to fill that segment with cars branded Abarth. By basing the cars on a Fiat 600 chassis, he was able to provide a capable racer at an affordable price. That strategy paid off as he maximized sales to privateer racers. Read More