Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Millecinquecento Abarth

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

This might not necessarily be the first car that pops into your mind when you think of Abarth-tweaked Fiats...
The 1500 (Millecinquecento) was a rather sensible offering from Fiat in the 1960s, aimed to appeal to small families and sales reps - an Italian alternative to the Ford Cortina, if you will. It was a solid and dependable thing, and sold rather well in period. But of course, there was always an enthusiasm for go-faster parts across the spectrum, and Fiat and Abarth were keenly intertwined at this stage - and so it was that the tuner began to offer kits of upgrade parts to owners, in order for them to craft their own Abarth 1500s.

The car you see here is owned by Guy Harman, and may be familiar to some from its various competitive outings at Goodwood. It's a 1962 model that had enjoyed a lot of competition use in Denmark before being imported to the UK in 2012; it was taken in its road-rally state to renowned retro fettlers CCK Historic in order to freshen things up. They made it fully FIA-compliant before turning their experienced hands to optimising the handling - lowering the suspension and playing with the spring rates, tweaking the camber, banding the 4"-wide steel rims to a more helpful 6"... they also threw in an LSD and a fuel cell (with super-cool filler poking through the bootlid), and gorgeously handpainted the Abarth emblems on the wings. Pretty snazzy, huh? And a wonderful car for making enthusiasts scratch their heads and say 'Er, it's an Abarth, but... um...'

Spotted at 72MM - click here for more photos.


D Valentine said...

Well done on a fabulous restoration!
Its great to see another Fiat 1500 Abarth.
Your car is the only other i know of.
I too own a Fiat 1500 Abarth.
The car i purchased in 2015 is a 1964 Fiat 1500 Abarth Historic Touring car.
The vehicle has never been road registered and has been a race car all its life.
It came with Australian CAMS Historic log book.
The 1964 Fiat has a 178hp race engine.
Some of the racing engine modificatons are:
Special racing rods with modified bolts and modified racing domed pistons, modified crank, modified block and welsh plugs, modified cross flow alloy cylinder head with porting, polishing, larger valves, double valve springs, flowed,equalized with lead head gasket, Abarth custom high flow ram tube inlet manifold with twin dual webber side draft carburetors and modified exhaust manifold and exhaust, modified high volume oil pump and gear,modified oil feed as well as modified pulleys,distributor ,generator,lightened and balanced flywheel and racing clutch,all balanced and tuned.
Gearbox is Abarth modified racing type.
Abarth steel 6x13 wheels.
It has full alloy roll cage etc etc.
I would be interested in corresponing with you via email to discuss our cars.
I can be contacted at:
Again, you have a very nice well presented Fiat there, Well done!

juice said...

Very kind comments, although I'm afraid it's not my car! The owner and restorer names are mentioned in the post, they're the ones you need to talk to. (I have no connection with them personally.)