Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Abarth 1000 GT Duck Tail Bialbero

This is no Fiat Abarth - the car you see here was built eight years before the Fiat buyout, at a time when Carlo Abarth was building low-volume racers and hillclimbers for discerning clientele; these cars created a brand halo for Abarth & Co's tuning kits for mainstream cars which, ultimately, is where the Fiat tie-in grew.
The 1000 Bialbero debuted at the 1961 Turin Motor Show and was an instant cult hit, helped by its near-total dominance of racing in the 1,000cc class that year. It was yet more successful in '62, and the following year saw a number of upgrades. The car you see here represents this evolution: an extended engine cover to improve stability, a new Collotti five-speed transaxle, a slightly raised top speed.
This particular example has an interesting history, having been sold from the floor of the Earls Court Motor Show to Sir William Keith Murray, who raced it for a number of years before selling it to the chairman of the GB Abarth club, who immediately moved it on to a US collector. It was restored in 1986, then sold on again to a new owner who rekindled its past of regular racing, before going on to set the Land Speed Record in the one-litre GT class at Bonneville; a record it holds to this day at 121.872mph.
It's now for sale in its original trim, complete with plexiglass windows, Koni dampers, Girling disc brakes, Abarth finned sump, competition gearbox and Campagnolo wheels - if you you've got deep pockets, dig out $225,000 and click here...

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