Many try but few cars reach automotive iconic status or become household names – the Mini Cooper (the original one!), the Land Rover, VW Beetle (again the original one!) and the FIAT 500 – so much so that if you say you drive a ‘500’ pretty much everyone knows what you mean… but for the car enthusiast the Fiat Abarth 595 is THE one; the car often seen in car collections sitting alongside the super rare and highly collectable. Abarth himself is a fascinating character who became a legend in his own lifetime; a success full motorcycle racer who designed and built his own bike [so the first Abarth was a motorcycle] before becoming involved in the ambitious CisItalia motor racing project and subsequently starting his own company in 1949. Yes, Abarth was a tuning company that worked with manufacturers including Porsche, Renault and Simca although the link with FIAT is now part of history but Abarth was also was a manufacturer of some of the most desirable cars ever – who could argue that the 205 is one of the most beautiful cars ever made? The original Fiat Abarth 595 was born in 1963 – the first Abarth to carry the now famous white paintwork with red stripes – and became the first of a series of Abarth cars that would go on to dominate European Touring car races, hillclimbs and class victories at races including Le Mans and Sebring. But it doesn’t stop there… Abarth cars set numerous speed and endurance records in ‘streamliners’ and in later years were the engineering genius behind the legendary Fiat Abarth 131, Lancia 037 and Lancia Delta Group B rally cars that dominated rallying in their day.
Nowadays Abarth is a car that carries the DNA and spirit of the originals – we’re lucky to be able to work with this brand and drive these fabulous little road-rockets on a daily basis… it is very unusual to drive one and not smile – pure fun 🙂