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Heritage pays tribute to the history of Abarth with two special projects
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Heritage Hub

A captivating exhibition in celebration of Abarth’s first 75 years

Turin, March 27, 2024

On the occasion of the Scorpion’s birthday, Stellantis’ Heritage team has put together a temporary exhibition which features some invaluable Abarth rarities belonging to private collectors and the company’s permanent collection. 
Held at the Heritage Hub, the exhibition provides visitors with an immersive experience into the constant evolution of the Italian brand with its 75 years of design, technology, and sporting achievements.
In addition to the models on show at the museum’s entrance, the exhibition will allow visitors to admire various other important Abarth vehicles, some of which are usually found in the museum’s main thematic areas and other invaluable models which are less centrally located.

Abarth will be turning 75 in a few days' time. This important milestone in motorsports is yet another record of the Italian brand, which is still fueling the dreams of fans worldwide today more than ever. For the occasion, the Stellantis’ Heritage department has decided to put together a temporary exhibition within its Heritage Hub, making use of its own invaluable company collection and the classic cars of private collectors who have agreed to show their vehicles off.

Located at the entrance of the museum in Turin, the exhibition features 38 models from private collections and Stellantis’ Abarth vehicles: from the first 500 tuned by Carlo Abarth—the one with which he set six speed and endurance records on the Monza circuit in 1958—to the legendary 1960s’ Abarth 1000 SP, and the brand-new Abarth 695 75th Anniversario which pays tribute to the Scorpion’s history and the famous 1.4 T-Jet engine, whose displacement (1,368 cc) inspired the 1,368 models produced for its limited-edition run.

The exhibition dedicated to the Scorpion brand continues in the interiors of the Heritage Hub, where classic Abarth cars are kept. These areas are often visited less often as they are located far from the museum’s main thematic areas. The exhibition is the perfect occasion to admire these true gems of world motorsports as this captivating show highlights their uniqueness in terms of design, technological innovation, and sporting achievements. And to make this anniversary even more exciting, the Heritage team has created and prepared a small yet big surprise for the exhibition’s visitors.

The show dedicated to Abarth will be open to the public for about three months, starting from April 12th,  with the purchase of a ticket for a guided tour of the Heritage Hub. Further information, bookings, and purchases are available at the following link.

«Telling the story about the key stages of Abarth is an opportunity to rediscover the record-breaking cars, the revolutionary tuning kits and legendary races that marked the technological progress and motorsport accomplishments of the brand, - explained Roberto Giolito, Head of Stellantis Heritage. “All this belongs to the past and to the present of Abarth, together with the commitment and pride of the people who over time have worked in the factories and offices and on the race tracks, with a little extra something. Besides sporting satisfaction, for the engineers and technicians of the brand with the Scorpion badge, races are the tough proving grounds where the most innovative technological solutions can be tested in the most adverse conditions before carrying them across to the street-legal Abarth models. Celebrating this anniversary means remembering the invaluable people, the sporting achievements and the technological heritage of Abarth as well as consolidating that indissoluble bond that unites various generations of customers under the banner of the founder's mission of maximum performance, craftsmanship and constant technical refinement.  All of this can be clearly seen in the exhibition we have set up in our Hub, with all of its emotions and technology, which we are certain will be appreciated by both the brand’s most seasoned experts and young fans of the most audacious sporting accomplishments». 

The birth of a legend

The legend of the brand with the Scorpion badge started on March 31, 1949 when Carlo Abarth (1908-1979) founded Abarth & C. with driver Guido Scagliarini. Their first car was the 204 A derived from the Fiat 1100. It commanded attention on April 10, 1950 when Tazio Nuvolari drove it to win his last race, the Palermo-Monte Pellegrino. Since then, the history of Abarth has been full of racing and industrial records, always in the spirit of the founder to combine maximum performance, craftsmanship and constant technical refinement.
One of Carlo Abarth’s greatest ideas was to supplement racing activities with the production of his famous tuning kits for mass-production cars to increase power, speed and acceleration. Noteworthy components of the kit were the exhaust pipes, which, over the years, became a true icon of the "Abarth style". In the space of just a few years, Abarth & C. went global. By 1962 it was producing 257,000 exhaust pipes, 65% of which were destined for export markets. The pinnacle of success came at the end of the 1950s and in the 1960s. For example, with the Fiat Abarth 750 designed by Bertone in 1956, the brand broke the endurance and speed record. On June 18th on the Monza racetrack, it broke the 24-hour record covering 3,743 km at an average speed of 155 km/h. Then, from June 27th to 29th on the same circuit, it racked up a number of records: the 5,000 and 10,000 km, the 5,000 miles and also the 48 and 72 hours. The same vehicle was designed by Zagato in two different versions: the Fiat Abarth 750 Zagato (1956) and the Fiat Abarth 750 GT Zagato (1956). The roar of the car reached the ears of Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jr., son of the president of the USA, who rushed to Italy to personally sign an exclusivity contract for the distribution of these vehicles with Abarth.
In 1958, Abarth completed a true work of art on the new Fiat 500, completely transforming the small utility car and enhancing its potential to the maximum. In the same year, the brand intensified its partnership with Fiat, as Fiat committed itself to awarding Abarth cash prizes based on the number of victories and records that the team achieved. This event formed the basis of the impressive winning streak that was to come: 10 world records, 133 international records, more than 10,000 victories on the track. The legend continued to grow more and more, becoming a household name. The 1960s were the golden decade for Abarth. "Abarth" became synonymous with speed, courage, performance and development. And the list of vehicles which engraved the name of Abarth in the history of motor racing is a long one: from the 850 TC, which was victorious on all the international circuits including the Nürburgring, to the Fiat Abarth 1000 Berlina and the 2300 S that strung up an extraordinary series of records on the Monza track despite the harsh weather conditions. In 1971 Abarth was wholly taken over by the Fiat Group and the legend continued with the Fiat 124 Abarth, winner of the 1972 and 1975 European title, the 131 Abarth, world rally champion in 1977, 1978 and 1980, and the Ritmo Abarth. Sadly, Carlo Abarth passed away on October 24, 1979 during the Scorpio season—his astrological sign and the inspiration for the badge on his cars.

The rebirth in 2008 and the Scorpion’s latest releases

The glorious past was actualized again in 2008 when the brand was relaunched with a new line-up created for motorsports enthusiasts, like the Abarth Grande Punto (2007) and the Abarth 500 (2008); in addition to tuning kits for each car, there was also the racing versions of the Abarth Grande Punto Rally Super 2000 and the Abarth 500 Assetto Corse. Since then, new models have been launched thick and fast: the Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari (2010), the Abarth 595 Yamaha Factory Racing (2015), the Abarth 695 Biposto Record (2015), the Abarth 695 Rivale (2017), the Abarth 124 spider (launched in 2016), the Abarth 124 GT and the new Abarth 595 range (both introduced in 2018). Then in 2020, the legend of the Scorpion continued with the Abarth "70th Anniversary" range on Abarth 595 and Abarth 124, in addition to the new Abarth esseesse 595 and Abarth 124 Rally Tribute. This brings us to the recent past with the debuts in 2022 of the Abarth 695 Tributo 131 Rally special series and the New Abarth 500e—completely electric, faster, and more thrilling in both city and rural driving. Yet again in 2022, to highlight the brand’s increasing international presence, Abarth continued its global expansion with the Brazilian launch of the New Abarth Pulse, the historic brand’s first SUV. Abarth was proud to go beyond European and Asian borders once again with the introduction of the Abarth Fastback one year later. Lastly, the new 695 75th Anniversario—which will be on display at the Heritage Hun exhibition—made its debut earlier this year and a new partnership was announced with Stellantis Motorsport for the creation of the most powerful mass production Abarth ever: the 240 HP New Abarth 600e which will be produced in a limited run of 1,949 models in the Scorpionissima launch version. This is the most challenging and high-performing project developed by the brand in recent years. Once again, Abarth has reached its founder’s one true objective: “To transform the ordinary into the extraordinary”.

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