A glimpse into the Abarth motor sport heritage… in racing we trust!
Grab a coffee, sit back and watch some great video footage of Abarth ‘back in the day’… this rare film footage captures Abarth himself along with many of the cars that carry the Scorpion badge. When we say Abarth has it’s roots in motor racing you’ll see here exactly why… Abarth tuned Fiat cars for race and road performance but also built and developed racing cars that competed worldwide – from Monza to Sebring, Nurburgring to Le Mans. When you drive an Abarth 500 or Abarth Punto today they have the same DNA running through them… there is no such thing as a pseudo ABARTH – they are the real thing and can trace their heritage back to the cars you’ll see in these wonderful videos. Enjoy!
And here some footage of motor racing legend Tazio Nuvolari who knew Carlo Abarth well; seen here in a very early Abarth Cisitalia
Tazio Giorgio Nuvolari (16 November 1892 – 11 August 1953) is to this day a motor racing legend in Italy; he was an Italian motorcycle and racing driver, known as ‘Il Mantovano Volante’ (The Flying Mantuan) or ‘Nivola’. He was the 1932 European Grand Prix Champion. Respected by his fellow drivers and peers; Dr. Ferdinand Porsche called Nuvolari “The greatest driver of the past, the present, and the future”. As with Carlo Abarth, Nuvolari started racing motorcycles and by 1925 he had won the 350cc European Championship. He continued to race motorcycles until 1930 while also racing cars but in 1931 he decided to concentrate fully on car racing and signed for Alfa Romeo’s factory team, Alfa Corse. In 1932 he took two wins and a second place in the three European Championship Grands Prix, winning him the title. He won four other Grands Prix including a second Targa Florio and the Monaco Grand Prix. Nuvolari then raced for Scuderia Ferrari, Maserati and Auto Union in a career that spanned the both World Wars – his final race was in 1950 when he finish first in class and fifth overall.
Cisitalia – Italian sports and racing car constructor. The name “Cisitalia” derives from “Compagnia Industriale Sportive Italia”. The business was founded in Turin in 1946 by Piero Dusio. Dante Giacosa had designed the classic Fiat 500 Topolino and used his Fiat knowledge to good effect when he designed the D46 which made its debut in 1946. The engine and suspension came from the Fiat but were modified for racing. Later, Dr. Ferdinand Porsche was commissioned to design and construct a full Grand Prix – the Cisitalia 360. The two-seater Cisitalia “202″ GT transformed postwar automobile body design; all the cars were handmade by the small team at Cisitalia which included Carlo Abarth. The SMM Nuvolari Spider was built and named after the class victory in the 1947 Mille Miglia – it was called the SMM for Spider Mille Miglia. In the 1947 Mille Miglia, the Cistitalia spider led most of the race, driven by Nuvolari, and finished second overall and first in class. A remarkable drive considering many of the other cars competing had much larger engines; to commemorate this future competition spiders were known as 202 SMM Nuvolari. The company struggled after the ambitious formula one car project and Cisitalia went into receivership in 1949 and was sold in 1952.
The Abarth connection: Abarth knew both Tazio Nuvolari and Ferry Porsche, and, with designer Piero Dusio he became involved in the Compagnia Industriale Sportiva Italia – CIS Italia; later becoming Cisitalia which also had the Italian Porsche Konstruktionen agency (1943–48). Abarth continued to work with Porsche on a number of projects in the future but his relationship with Fiat was what he became most recognised for following the founding of Abarth & C. with Cisitalia racing driver Guido Scagliarini in Turin on the 31st March 1949. Carlo Abarth really established his association with Fiat in 1952 when he built the Abarth 1500 Biposto using Fiat parts.