Story by Sean Smith
Story and photos by Roberto Motta
Last week Roberto Motta described the rally successes of the X1/9 prototipo: This week he photographs two of these rare Fiats and wonders where the rest are…perhaps you can help!
The Fiat X1/9 provided a good basis for a new rally car: mid- engine, good weight distribution, excellent handling, a strong 16 valve engine and top speed of 200 km/h were the makings of a winner.
However, the Protoipo’s history is still shrouded by some mysteries. 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, the author 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.
There are many images of this car, but no one has confirmed the chassis number.
The second mystery is about #23005; was really built? If so, where is the chassis today?
Any reader that has some information or documentation that can help to solve the mystery can send a comment to VeloceToday.
Story and color photography by Roberto Motta
The Fiat Abarth X1/9 prototipo made a brief, but impressive, appearance in the rally World during the 1970s, but as soon it was competitive, it became the victim of Fiat politics. The history of the Fiat Abarth X1/9 prototipo started at the end of ’73 season, when the Fiat’s Rally Competition department began work on the project that would replace the 124 Abarth Rally.
The Competition department was manned by Renzo Avidano, Abarth’s Director, Giulio Lampredi, the engine designer, Mario Colucci, chassis expert, Giorgio Pianta, the test driver and Gino Macaluso, one of the best Fiat Rally Team’s co-driver and future Fiat Sport Director.
The first car used for the project was the Chassis 128 AS 0000133 and registered with the license plate number TO H29040. The car featured here is one of the Fiat X 1/9s used in the press presentation, on November 26th, at the Targa Florio’s roads.
By Brian Winer
A VT contributor recently drove a Fiat 500c but admitted later that the speed was lackluster because he failed to press the “Sport” button. Recently, I rectified that by not only driving a 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth hatchback, but driving the diminutive car on a race track at the limits of the tires, the car, and the driver.
The occasion was the annual Track Days sponsored by the Motor Press Guild. These track tests are a little like speed dating—five minutes to get to know each gal. You tend to like the last one you were with, until the next one. During the busy day, we also were able to test drive the Fiat Abarth’s competition so were able to get some idea of where the new Fiat stood with its peers.
An Abarth High in the Low Countries
No one in the low countries quite compares to Guy Moerenhout, a enthusiast and garage owner with a distinct taste for things Abarth. In fact, there is probably no one in Europe with an Abarth inventory of parts, knowledge and cars under one roof, with 3500 square meters of space located in Belgium.
The official address is Guy Moerenhout Racing, Industriestraat 1-2500, Lier Belgium, between Antwerp and Brussels. We might add that there is a threefold purpose to Guy’s place–to sell cars, parts, as a garage and now, Guy is the proud owner of the “Abarth Works Museum” under the same huge roof in Lier. And if you are anywhere in the area, be sure to drop by–you will be amazed! [Read more…] about Abarth Guy
Last week we received the latest edition of Classic and Sportscar magazine, a bit late but always nice to see our VeloceToday ad in the back pages. When I picked it up, an insert fell out–and when I looked down on the floor to see what it was, a familiar set of eyes peered back at me.
Did I know this man? Maybe it’s a Wanted by Scotland Yard poster, or someone is lost, like the kids on the milk cartons. But as it came into focus I could tell it was Karl Abarth.
[Read more…] about Advertising Abarth
Photo FIAT Auto press
FIAT Abarth 500 Assetto Corse is a real baby racer
Story and photos by Roberto Motta
Coming soon to a Chrysler dealer near you? That would be great, for the Abarth 500 Assetto Corse would make an neat showroom package. Abarth has come back to the track with its new baby 130 mph supersportscar that is named after the famous line of Abarth “Assetto Corsa” (race trim or race ready) models built in the 1960s. [Read more…] about New Abarth Assetto Corse Takes to the Track
1964 Fiat Abarth 850TC, owned by Andrew Schank.
The 21st Annual All Italian Car and Motorcycle Show
By Brandes Elitch
October 12, 2008
The San Francisco Bay area has many car events, but if you have an Italian car, chances are your favorite is the Italian car show held in Alameda, a charming town just fifteen minutes east of the Bay Bridge. [Read more…] about Bay Area Italian: Tutto Non Originale