Page 1 of 2 Next >> Carlo Abarth is best known for his Fiat-based road and racing cars but also had a hugely successful collaboration with French manufacturer Simca during the first half of the 1960s. One of the first products of this partnership was the Abarth Simca 1300 GT of 1962, which was based on the recently introduced Simca 1000. Fitted with a slippery, lightweight body and an enlarged engine, the small machine was immediately successful in its class.
At the 1963 Geneva Motor Show, Abarth provided a first glimpse of what was to come with the introduction of the Abarth Simca 1600 GT and 2000 GT. While these, larger-engined cars used the same Simca-derived underpinnings as the 1300 GT, they featured a newly developed engine. Of these two, the smaller-engined 1600 GT was not developed further as it would be forced to run in the same 1,301 - 2,000 cc class as its bigger brother.
Compared to the Simca derived engine, the new Tipo 236 straight four was slightly longer and importantly used five instead of three bearings to support the crankshaft instead of the three featured in the production engine. Equipped with dry-sump lubrication, a pair of 45 mm Webers and twin-spark ignition, the new two-litre unit produced 177 bhp in road-going trim. The racing engines were fitted with 58DCOE/3 carburettors, which were the largest Webers ever made, and were good for over 200 bhp.
The new engine was mated to a modified Simca gearbox, which was uprated from four to six speeds by Abarth. The steel platform was derived from the Simca 1000 as was the trailing arm suspension. The 2000 GT or 'Due Mila' was fitted with the latest evolution of the signature Abarth body, which featured a new raised 'duck-tail' to clear the longer engine. It also improved engine cooling and increased downforce. Clothed in aluminium, the road going Abarth Simca 2000 GT tipped the scales at just 740 kg. Page 1 of 2 Next >>