1963 Abarth Simca 1300 BerlinettaSOLD
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The Abarth Simca 1300 we offer on behalf of its private British owner is chassis number ‘0128’, dating from 1963. A later, Kamm tail version, it is thought to be one of the chassis bought from the factory to the UK by British agent Radbourne Racing when Abarth cleared out all its Simca cars and parts. Tony Castle-Miller, the well-known UK Abarth specialist, spent over ten years searching for the correct parts before selling the car as a project to Judge Parker in Richmond, Virginia. It was finally finished with the correct, twin plug 1300cc engine and exhibited at the 2004 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.

The car returned to the UK in 2006 in the hands of the present owner. He had the engine completely rebuilt, with new, reprofiled cams, solid billet steel crank, valves and pistons. The final drive was found to be very low, allowing a top speed of just 95mph, which suggested the car had been used primarily for hill climbs. A new Abarth crown wheel and pinion set have been fitted, giving a more useable 125mph top speed at 7,000rpm in 4th gear, and a rare limited slip differential is fitted. The rev limiter is set at 7,200rpm but the dyno reading (132bhp as shown by power and torque graphs provided with the car) gives a higher revving potential, probably to 8,000rpm.

A roll cage to current specification is fitted and period Campagnolo wheels shod with Dunlop L section racing tyres accompany the car, whilst correct Abarth pattern Campagnolos with Avons are fitted for road use. A spare, 25 litre fuel tank is provided for shorter events and the original Abarth straight through exhaust system is fitted, but a silenced version (102db) is included. The car has been rewired and a digital distance/ speed readout is provided as no speedometer was originally fitted. In total, some £35,000 have been spent by the present owner to bring the car up to racing standards, but it is now being sold to make way for something tamer and more suited to touring events.

The subject of an excellent five page article in the May/ June 2006 issue of British magazine Auto Italia, this rare, giant killing Italian racer is ‘on the button’, UK road registered and ready for action. It is guaranteed to provide much entertainment to its next driver.

Reference Number 12172

as of 8/11/2007

Overview
Car 1963 Abarth Simca 1300 Berlinetta
VIN 0128 
Exterior / Interior Color      Blue /      Black 
Configuration Left Hand Drive (LHD) 
Transmission Manual Shift 
Options Interior: Wooden steering wheel 
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Known History

The dawn of the 1960s saw Carlo Abarth’s eponymous company enter the most successful period of its history, leading to the claim later that decade that Abarth had won more races than any other manufacturer in existence.

 

Late in 1961 the decision was taken to design a sports/ GT car capable of dominating its class in the World Sports Car Championship and being sold as a road car to offset its development cost and facilitate homologation. What would have been surprising, however, had this idea not originated in the fertile minds of Carlo Abarth’s ‘can do’ engineers, is that this new model was to be based on the humble underpinnings of the Simca 1000 saloon. Abarth had, of course, been creating bespoke racing cars using highly modified FIAT chassis and engines for years, but Abarth now needed something larger than FIAT’s then-current 600 model as a starting point. Simca, who had enjoyed close ties with FIAT since the war and whose boss Enrico Pigozzi was a great fan of Abarth’s cars, had just launched the new 1000 saloon, and Pigozzi was well aware of the publicity value of a high performance spin-off and so offered his new model to Carlo Abarth as a basis for the Torinese concern’s latest racer. It was agreed that Abarth would effectively become a Simca test company and Carlo’s engineers set to work developing the unlikely little 1000 saloon into the world beating giant killer it would become under the Abarth Simca title.

First unveiled to the press in February 1962, the Abarth Simca (note how for this car the Abarth name unusually comes first) stood out as the firm’s first model to feature its own power unit. Based on Abarth’s Bialbero unit, it boasted twin overhead camshafts, bore and stroke of 76mm x 71mm, dry sump lubrication and a prodigious 125bhp at 6,000rpm. Simca contributed the pressed steel chassis, suspension and four-speed gearbox, whilst the slippery and curvaceous berlinetta body was the work of Carrozzeria Beccaris in Italy. Early cars featured a round tail but this was soon updated with a Kamm treatment which improved high speed handling.

 

Even before its official homologation the factory had the Abarth Simca out racing, the new model sweeping the board with 1st-2nd-3rd overall at the Monte de la Lure hillclimb in April 1962. Homologation was granted on 8th October that year, and the same month Hans Hermann and Lucien Bianchi took class honours at the Paris 1,000Km on the high speed, banked Montlhery circuit.