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  Fiat Abarth 1000 Monoposto da Record      

  Article Image gallery (28) E 1351 Specifications  
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Country of origin:Italy
Produced in:1960
Introduced at:1960 Turin Auto Show
Designed by:Pininfarina
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:December 27, 2017
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Click here to download printer friendly versionCarlo Abarth was keen to show off his company's capabilities in many different ways. Setting new records with his small displacement Fiat-based engines was one of them. To get the best possible results, Abarth collaborated with the likes of Bertone and Pinin Farina to create the most aerodynamic body shape. At the 1960 Turin Motor Show, Abarth and Pinin Farina launched their latest record racer, which served to both highlight the introduction of Abarth's new twin-cam engine and Pinin Farina's new range of slippery designs.

Developed using the wind tunnel at the Turin Polytechnic University, the new record racer featured a design that was lower and longer than its predecessor. This very slippery and very thin aluminium body was tightly draped over a purpose-built, mid-engined single seater chassis. Trailing-arm suspension was used on both ends with a transverse leaf spring at the front and coil springs at the rear. Fitted with a fighter-like canopy, the cockpit was so compact that a steering wheel with only half a rim could be fitted.

Although built to promote Abarth's new 982cc, twin-cam or Bialbero four cylinder engine, Pinin Farina also built a pair of smaller 'Monoposto da Record' fitted with the earlier 500 and 750 cc engines. The new, one-litre engine featured two chain-driven camshafts with the intake ports placed between the two camshafts. These were fed by a pair of twin-choke Weber carburettors. The engine was of course fitted with the intake and exhaust manifolds that were Abarth's bread and butter. The tiny engine produced a hefty 84 bhp and was mated to a four-speed manual gearbox.

Following its Turin Motor Show debut, the cars were sent to Monza for record runs. On September 22, 1960 several distance and speed records were set by Umberto Maglioli with the smaller engines. A week later Abarth was back at Monza, now with the car powered by the one-litre engine. Fitted with a high compression head, it produced a staggering 108 bhp. Abarth tagged nine of its best drivers for a 72-hour non-stop record run.

The final part of the long distance attempt was run on dreadful conditions and Abarth entrusted the car to his favourite driver, Maglioli. Even he could not prevent the car from spinning out near the end. Water had seeped in and the car could not be restarted. The records would still stand if the driver pushed the crash across the line. A valiant effort from Maglioli with Abarth pushing him on behind in another car saw the 1000 Monoposto break the 72-hour average record by almost 3 km/h at 186.867 km/h.

His point made, Abarth focused their attention on circuit racing with both production-based and purpose-built competition cars. This makes the 1000 Monoposto da Record the last in a long line of successful Fiat Abarth record breakers.

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  Article Image gallery (28) E 1351 Specifications