It was only nine years ago that Fiat launched the Abarth brand as its dedicated performance division. However the famed Scorpion has been around for a lot longer than that. The Scorpion marque has a long history of tuning Italian pocket rockets for both road and race. And now it’s launched a dedicated heritage division to manage its considerable history and inventory.
Abarth Classiche is a long-term project which involves the entire universe of the Scorpion brand. The new Officine Abarth Classiche program will be responsible, for the restoration of vintage Abarth vehicles and the certification of their mechanical authenticity. Similar to the Ferrari Classiche department, private owners of classic Abarths will be able to send their pride and joy to the factory for service, maintenance, and restoration at the hands of factory technicians and with the benefit of the company’s own archives.
All of this work will be undertaken in a dedicated workshop at the Mirafiori Abarth factory in Turin, they have also recreated company founder Carlo Abarth’s office at the workshop. Abarth Classiche will not only restore all Abarth brand vehicles, but models, including those branded Lancia which have raced after being developed and enhanced by Abarth technicians. From the Cisitalia 204, the Abarth “1500” based on the Fiat 1400, the prototypes designed by Ghia, the Abarth “2000” based on the Alfa Romeo 1900 Sprint right up to the Fiat 600 and the 750 based on the Abarth, the 500 based on the Abarth and the 750 Abarth designed by Zagato, the famous “double bubble”.
In the 1960s, the most prominent models were the 850 and 1000 TC, the small Abarth 595 and 695 also in the “SS” and “Assetto Corsa” versions, the “Monza Record” 750 Zagato and the large 2200 and 2400. Not to mention the super-sporty Abarth “1000 Bialbero”, Abarth-Simca “1600 GT” and “2000 GT”, the Fiat Abarth 2300 S coupé, the 850 OT and 1000 OT, and lastly the “monstrous” OT 1600. Others that can be added to the list include the OT 2000 and OT 1300 “Periscopio”, the “2000 Monoposto Record”, the OT 1000 Coupè, 1000 OTS and the OT 2000.
The 1970s are characterised by the Fiat 124, the Fiat 131, the Autobianchi A112 developed by Abarth, 58 and 70 HP, and the incredible 3000 Prototype, the single seaters and double seaters that raced in, and won, many competitions. But the story of the Scorpion doesn’t stop here: indeed, we cannot afford to forget the Lancia Rally (037), Delta S4 and all the integral versions of the Delta, in addition to the models used in the Fiat single brand races: Uno 70S, Uno Turbo with electronic injection, Fiat Cinquecento 900 and Sporting Kit. and will of course include Abarth-tuned Fiats.
However the Abarth Classiche program is also open to all the various Lancias, Alfa Romeos, Autobianchis, and Cisitalias worked on over the years by the Italian performance studio.
To ensure compliance with the original designs and mechanics, Abarth will rely on a full range of documentation, including technical drawings, which have recently been catalogued and digitalized. This will also prove useful for the purpose of certifying the authenticity of the mechanical parts (engine, gearbox, exhaust and suspension), and when defining the certification procedures, Abarth has called upon on the advice and experience of the ASI (Historical Italian Automotoclub) and FIVA.
Beyond restoration the Officine Abarth Classiche will also organize special events for owners of vintage Abarth machinery, and undertake a comprehensive Abarth registry. The launch of the Officine Abarth Classiche is only the beginning of a larger project that envisages the creation of the Abarth Register, designed to bring all the enthusiasts of the brand together with a series of activities ranging from the participations in meetings to vintage car races, managed by the Automobile Club d’Italia, through Aci Storico.
Abarth have also commissioned a book on the history of the marque. The story of the Abarth brand is composed of three volumes written by Sergio Seccatore and entitled “Abarth: the Scorpion’s tale”.