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  Article Image gallery (23) 0040 Specifications  
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Country of origin:Italy
Produced from:1968 - 1969
Numbers built:50 (At least)
Internal name:SE010
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:January 30, 2019
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Click here to download printer friendly versionSwiss specialist Peter Schetty gave the all-new Abarth 2000 Sport Spider a resounding debut by winning the French Ampus hill-climb on April 7, 1968. Known internally as the SE010, the new sports racer was part of an ambitious plan to get an Abarth homologated for the Group 4 class, which required a minimum production run of 25 examples. The small Italian company managed to meet this criterium on April 1, 1969 and it is believed at least a further 25 examples were built of the SE010.

The design of the 2000 Sport Spider benefitted from the experience gathered racing the earlier SE04 or Sport 1000. Like its predecessor, the SE010 featured a spaceframe chassis. This was constructed from 22mm chrome-molybdenum tubing with further stiffening provided by double laminated fibreglass panels. Reportedly, the complete chassis weighed 47kg. At the front the SE010 featured double wishbone suspension, while the rear boasted trailing arms with reversed lower wishbones and top links.

In good Abarth tradition and like the company's road cars, the engine was 'hung out the back'. This was far from conventional for a sports prototype and even within Abarth this configuration caused quite a bit of debate between Carlo Abarth and chief engineer Mario Colucci. Abarth did not relent despite the 38/62 weight distribution. The engine used was the latest evolution of the familiar Tipo 236 four cylinder. This twin-cam unit was based on a Fiat production block and featured a custom head with four valves per cylinder. Equipped with a pair of massive Weber carburettors, it was good for 250hp by 1968.

Whereas the SE010's mechanicals were an evolution of existing designs, the fibreglass bodywork fitted to the 2000 Sport Spider was brand new. Gone was curvaceous design of the SE04 and instead a striking wedge shape was used. The nose was particularly recognisable with large intakes and the large covered headlights with two light units each. This earned the car the 'Quattre Fari' or four lights nickname. The design also featured a full width windscreen and cut-off tail. The completed machine tipped the scales at just 575kg.

Following its victorious debut, the 2000 Sport Spider continued winning and was raced with considerable success into the early 1970s. In addition to the 'stock' 16-valve engine, some customers also fielded an 8-valve version that was more suited to hill-climbs. Smaller engines were also fitted where required. One of the biggest successes was at the 1968 Nürburgring 500 km where three 1.6-litre engined SE010s managed to score a 1-2-3 victory with Peter Schetty claiming victory.

Even after Abarth released new rear- and subsequently mid-engined sports cars, the SE010 remained competitive. It remains as one of the great Abarth sports cars and was a great success both on the track and in hill-climbs.

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  Article Image gallery (23) 0040 Specifications