Welcome to 365 Days of Motoring

An Everyday Journey Through Motoring History, Facts & Trivia

Belt up and enjoy this 365-day ride as you cruise past the most momentous motoring events in history. Packed with fascinating facts about races, motorists and the history of the mighty engine, this is a must-visit web site for any car enthusiast.

Abarth

Abarth


A chronological day-by-day history of Abarth.

Thursday 31st March 1949

68 years ago

Carlo Abarth founded the Abarth & C. company with Armando Scagliarini (father of Cisitalia racing driver Guido Scagliarini) in Torino, Italy. With a Scorpio as the logo, the company made racing cars, and became a major supplier of high-performance exhaust pipes, that still are in production as Abarth. The marque has won over 10,000 individual race victories and set 10 world records.

Abarth logo

Abarth logo

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Friday 15th April 1949

68 years ago

Abarth, the racing car maker was founded by Carlo Abarth of Turin. Its logo is a shield with a stylized scorpion on a red and yellow background. The company built and raced sports cars and in 1952 began an association with Fiat, utilising their mechanicals on some vehicles. By the 1960s the company was competing regularly in hill climbing and sports car racing events, with Johann Abt one of their most successful drivers. During the late 1960s, of the 30 races he entered in an Abarth car he won 29, finishing second on the other. Carlo sold Abarth to Fiat in 1971 and they ended the racing operations. However, Abarth effectively became Fiat’s racing department, preparing their rally cars. By 1981 Albarth& C had ceased to exist, although Fiat continued to use the Albarth name for some of its performance cars. On 1st February 2007, Albarth remerged as Albarth & C. S.p.a., a 100% owned subsidiary of Fiat, specialising in the production and sale of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. Earlier this year the company was renamed FCA Italy S.p.a.

Abarth logo

Abarth logo

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Wednesday 23rd April 1952

65 years ago

The Abarth 1500 Biposto (Bertone) coupe, an experimental coupe designed by Franco Scaglione, who worked for Bertone at the time,was unveiled at the Turin Auto Show. It featured a futuristic design consisting of a central headlight, similar to the earlier Tucker Torpedo, and fins at the rear. Following the Turin Show, it was purchased by Packard and brought to Detroit, where it was used for design inspiration.The Biposto was given to motoring journalist Dick Smith in mid-1953 as his prize for suggesting a new Packard advertising slogan. Smith sparingly drove the car for two decades, before putting it into storage. It won the prestigious Gran Turismo Trophy at the 2010 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance and is featured in Gran Turismo 6.

Abarth 1500 Bertone coupe - 1952

Abarth 1500 Bertone coupe - 1952

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Monday 18th June 1956

60 years ago

Driving a Fiat Abarth 750, with bodywork by Bertyone, Carlo Abarth set a whole series of speed and endurance records on the Monza Track. He broke the 24hour record, travelling 2,352.8 miles (3,743 km), at an average speed of 96.3 mph (155 km/h).

Fiat Abarth 750

Fiat Abarth 750

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Wednesday 20th October 1965

51 years ago

Austrian-born Italian Carlo Abarth set the acceleration record over a quarter of a mile and over 500 metres on the Monza Track in Italy in a 105 bhp Fiat Abarth ‘1,000 Monoposto Record’ Class G. On the next day he set the same records for higher classes in a 200-cc Class E single-seater. It is said that he lost 30 kg (66 lbs) in weight at the age of 57 in order to get into the cockpit of the single-seater and drive his cars into the record book.

Carlo Abarth

Carlo Abarth

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Saturday 31st July 1971

45 years ago

Abarth & Co. the racing car and car maker founded by Carlo Abarth of Turin in 1949, was sold to Fiat. The acquisition was only made public by Fiat with a press release on 15 October. Under Fiat ownership, Abarth became the Fiat Group's racing department, managed by engine designer Aurelio Lampredi.[11] Abarth prepared Fiat's rally cars, including the Fiat 124 Abarth Rally and 131 Abarth. In December 1977, in advance of the 1978 racing season, the beforehand competing Abarth and Squadra Corse Lancia factory racing operations were merged by Fiat into a single entity named EASA (Ente per l'Attività Sportiva Automobilistica, Organization for Car Sports Racing Activities).[17] Cesare Fiorio (previously in charge of the Lancia rally team) was appointed director, while Daniele Audetto was sporting director; the EASA headquarters were set up in Abarth's Corso Marche (Turin) offices. The combined racing department developed the Lancia Beta Montecarlo Turbo Group 5 racing car (1980 and 1981 World Sportscar Championship winner) and the Lancia Rally 037 Group B rally car (which won for Lancia the 1983 World Manufacturers' Championship). On 1 October 1981, Abarth & C. ceased to exist and was replaced by Fiat Auto Gestione Sportiva, a division of the parent company specialized in the management of racing programmes that would remain in operation through to the end of 1999, when it changed to Fiat Auto Corse S.p.A. Some commercial models built by Fiat or its subsidiaries Lancia and Autobianchi were co-branded Abarth, including the Autobianchi A112 Abarth, a popular "boy racer" because it was lightweight and inexpensive. In the 1980s Abarth name was mainly used to mark performance cars, such as the Fiat Ritmo Abarth 125/130 TC. In 2000s, Fiat used the Abarth brand to designate a trim/model level, as in the Fiat Stilo Abarth. On 1 February 2007 Abarth was re-established as an independent unit with the launch of the current company, Abarth & C. S.p.a.,controlled 100% by Fiat Group Automobiles S.p.A., the subsidiary of Fiat S.p.A. dealing with the production and selling of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. The first model launched was the Abarth Grande Punto and the Abarth Grande Punto S2000. The brand is based in the Officine 83, part of the old Mirafiori engineering plant.[19] The CEO is Harald Wester. In 2015 Abarth's parent company was renamed FCA Italy S.p.A., reflecting the incorporation of Fiat S.p.A. into Fiat Chrysler Automobiles that took place in the previous months.

Carlo Abarth and Company

Carlo Abarth and Company

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Wednesday 24th October 1979

37 years ago

Carlo Abarth (70) died. Best know for his tuning of Fiats, Carlo Abarth was a successful motorcycle racer winning the European Championship five times. Abarth began working for Cisitalia as the technical and racing director lining up the Porsche designed single-seater, mid-engined and four-wheel drive Cisitalia Formula 1 car on the grid. Unfortunately the spiralling cost of the F1 car ended the Cisitalia Corporation and Abarth took the sports cars from the team, rebadged them Abarth Cisitalias, and continued to enter them in races.

Carlo Abarth

Carlo Abarth

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Wednesday 26th February 1997

20 years ago

Giuseppe Bertone, called "Nuccio", famed automobile designer and constructor died aged 82. After racing Fiats, O.S.C.A.s, Maseratis, and Ferraris, Bertone moved to construction, agreeing to build his first car, a series of 200 MGs, at the 1952 Turin Motor Show. He drew attention at the Paris Motor Show that year with an Abarth concept, and was chosen to design the replacement for the Alfa Romeo Disco Volante. These so-called BAT (Berlina Aerodinamica Technica) cars used the Alfa Romeo 1900 Sprint chassis. Two years later at Turin, Bertone introduced the Storm Z concept based on a Dodge chassis alongside his latest BAT concept and a prototype of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint, which would become the company's main product for the coming years. Bertone built more than 31,000 bodies in 1960, including Fiat 850 Spiders, Fiat Dinos, Simca 1200S coupes, the Alfa Romeo Montreal, and Lamborghinis. His 100th design was a special Ford Mustang, introduced at the 1965 New York Auto Show and commissioned by Automobile Quarterly.

Giovanni Bertone (left) with his son Giuseppe

Giovanni Bertone (left) with his son Giuseppe "Nuccio" Bertone (right)

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Tuesday 25th September 2007

9 years ago

Abarth, the firm that found fame tuning Fiats for racing, was officially relaunched as a car company in its own right in Turin, Italy. The event saw the production edition of the brand’s first new road model in 25 years, a 150bhp 1.4 litre Abarth Grande Punto. The evening event also marked the grand opening of the marque’s first official dealership. This dedicated showroom was set to be the first of 100 in Europe.

Abarth Grande Punto

Abarth Grande Punto

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