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Overview

Karl Abarth was born in Austria in 1908, but his family moved to Italy just after the First World War.  He became a serious motorcycle racer in the late 1920s and developed into a world-class rider who was five times Champion of Europe.  Since Italy was in need of sporting heroes to match German achievements, he was more or less adopted by the Fascists, who induced him to stay in Italy.

In October 1939, Abarth was severely injured in a race in Yugoslavia and when he was released from hospital he stayed in the country where he worked on engines.  At the end of the War he turned to his old friend, Ferry Porsche, who employed him in his design studio.  Abarth thus became involved with the Cisitalia project and when Cisitalia's patron, Piero Dusio, left Italy in 1949 Guido Scagliarini (a Cisitalia driver) persuaded his father to set up Abarth in business.

At first he continued the Cisitalia competition programme, and then began making dual-purpose Tipo 204 sports-racing cars under his own name.  These were not immediately successful, although Nuvolari won the last competition of his career, a hill climb, in an Abarth.  From the beginning Scuderia Abarth made tuning accessories, mainly for Fiat engines, but Abarth silencers became available for many cars.

Models produced by Abarth

1000 SP

1966-1970

2000 Barchetta

1968-1969

207-A

207-A

1955-1955

750 Zagato

750 Zagato

1956-1965

Autobianchi A 112

Autobianchi A 112

1971-1985

Bialbero

Bialbero

1961-1961

Fiat 124 Rally

Fiat 124 Rally

1972-1975

Fiat 131 Rally

1976-1978

Fiat 2200 Spider

1960-1961

Fiat 500

Fiat 500

1957-1971

Fiat 595

1963-1972

Fiat 600

Fiat 600

1955-1971

Fiat 695

1963-1971

Fiat 850

Fiat 850

1964-1970

Fiat 850 Bialbero

1960-1963

Fiat 850 Coupe

1959-1961

Fiat 850 TC

1960-1965

Fiat OT 1000

1964-1965

Fiat OT 1300

1966-1968

Fiat OT 850

Fiat OT 850

1964-1966

Fiat OT Spider

1965-1967

Fiat Ritmo 105 TC

1978-1984

Fiat Zagato 750 GT

1956-1961

OT 1300

OT 1300

1966-1966

Simca

Simca

1962-1965

Simca 1150

1963-1965

Simca 1300

1962-1966

Type-232

1964-1964