Photos by Robert Catt
VeloceToday reader Robert Catt emailed is late last week. “A Fiat Abarth X1/9 prototipo is on a roundabout near Goring, Worthing (UK) on Thursday November 2, 2017, sadly to say burnt out. I think it has only been there a couple of days. No doubt West Sussex or Worthing Police are aware.”
Worthing is a large seaside town in England, with borough status in West Sussex. It is situated at the foot of the South Downs, 10 miles west of Brighton, and 18 miles east of the county town of Chichester.
We thought it looked familiar and searched our archives for similar Prototipo X1/9s. But first look at the rest of Robert Catt’s photos of the fiery Prototipo in the UK.
But is it a prototipo?
Well, we thought this was a close dead ringer for one of the Fiats tested by Roberto Motta for VT March 10, 2015. But Motta took a close look at the photos provided by Robert Catt and found the seats too large and the roll bar not right. We noted the difference in the engines, particular the cam covers. “Could be a replica, and I think that #0023003, the subject of my earlier article, is still owed by Macaluso’s son.”
However, the Prototipo’s history is still shrouded by some mysteries, as Motta related in the 2015 article. “For example, we are not sure how many chassis were really built. The first car was the chassis #128 AS 0000133. This car is still in Italy. Then in the summer of 1974, Abarth prepared five new chassis with a numerical sequence from #128 AS 0023001 to #128 AS 0023005. The first three chassis numbers were definitely registered on September 4th, 1974.”
Some years ago, Motta endeavored to photograph three of these cars. All these car were found in Italy, near Torino:
#23001 Deila’s car which can be seen below.
#23002 Seen in a Volta, Italy, work shop.
#23003 Macaluso’s car and the first subject car here.
#23004 Legend says that in the chassis series, there was the ‘stradale’ and another spare chassis that was never used in race events. Some think #23004 would have been the stradale chassis, but I never seen the car. Reportedly, this car was in the Al Cosentino workshop, and some years ago the car was sold. Cosentino claims to have bought at least one, but never provided the chassis number.
So, what is the X1/9 Prototipo found on the roundabout in the UK last week? One of the missing cars, a modification of an existing one, or a nice replica? Bet we find out so stay tuned.
Photos by Roberto Motta