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Lot 02: Fiat Abarth 1300 Coupe

Exceptional Motorcars and Motorcycles, Bonhams & Butterfields (18 August 2011)

Carlo Abarth, born Karlo Alberto Abarth in Austria, wnet to towrk at Carrozzeria Castagna in Milan as a youth, designing motorcycle frames. In his native Austria he took up motorbike racing, and became a five-time European champion, before leaving the sport after a serious accident. He moved to Italy for good in 1934, and took the Italian form of his first name, Carlo. In Italy, he fell in with the movers and shakers of the European motor industry: Anton Pich (Ferdinand Porsche's son-in-law), Tazio Nuvolari, Ferry Porsche, engineer Rudolf Hruska, and Piero Dusio, the latter responsible for Compagnia Industriale Sportiva Italia, better known as Cisitalia. It was with Dusio that Abarth got a good start in the industry, although the project he was assigned, the Cisitalia Tipo 360 four-wheel-drive Formula 1 car, was a notorious failure. After Dusio moved to Argentina in 1949, Abarth founded Abarth & C., giving it the logo of his astrological sign Scorpio. The company's primary focus was high performance exhaust systems, a product for which it is known today. In 1952, Abarth began a long association with Fiat, building the Abarth 1500 Biposto, a futuristic two-seat coupe styled by Franco Scaglioni. In addition to fielding racing cars and selling exhaust systems, Abarth began producing tuning kits, mainly for Fiats, and soon became the principal player in that market. Fiats that benefited from Abarth's heavy breathing included the 500 and 600, with displacements increased to 750, 850 1,000 and 1,300 cc. By the late 1960s, the Fiat Abarth line had become, according to the late British historian Michael Sedgwick, "intensely complicated." There were many derivatives of Fiat 850 coupes and spiders with larger Abarth-tuned engines, of which this car is one. This 1968 Fiat Abarth 1300 has its original AB204 3ngine. It recently underwent a complete restoration, including complete disassembly, professional body work and paint, and restored interior. The electrical and cooling systems were rebuilt, and the transaxle was disassembled for inspection and replacement of the speedometer gear. The car runs on Koni Red adjustable shock absorbers, installed as an NOS set, and the exhaust manifold and downpipe were ceramic coated. It has a new gear-reduction starter. It comes complete with ownership and service documents from 1973, including correspondence with the founders of the Abarth Register. A fun sports car with room for four, it is ideal for rally or tour. It will make a great addition to any collection.

Lot Details
Auction Exceptional Motorcars and Motorcycles
Bonhams & Butterfields, Quail Lodge, Carmel, California
Lot Number02
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)$46800
Condition rating
Registration number
Chassis number100GC00132481
Engine number0157856
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors