The history of four world-leading Italian motoring brands
From the most emblematic models to the most successful, revolutionary people, and the most significant events, this section illustrates and celebrates the cornerstones of Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Lancia and Abarth.
Alongside its winning and well-known racing cars, Abarth produced a number of more elegant and sedate grand tourers, all converted from production models but with aesthetic refinements added by expert Italian coachbuilders.
In 1959 Karl Abarth decided to launch a range of grand tourers that were elegant and sedate but offered the typical high performance of Abarth cars.The project culminated in the Abarth 2400 Coupé Allemano, the last mechanical evolution of the flagship Fiat 2100/2300.
The range of elegant Abarths comprised three models: the 850 Coupé Scorpione, the 850 Spider Riviera and the 2200 Coupé and Cabriolet.The mechanicals for these last cars derived from the 6-cylinder Fiat 2100, but for the coachwork, Abarth commissioned the design to Giovanni Michelotti and the production to the Allemano studio.
In 1961 Fiat presented its new flagship model, the 2300 saloon, and Abarth used its mechanicals to upgrade his GT cars.In customary fashion, he increased the displacement of the 6-cylinder inline engine to obtain 142 HP at 5800 rpm by using lighter pistons, three Weber twin-barrel carburettors and a completely redesigned exhaust system ending in the characteristic Abarth twin tailpipe.
The Abarth 2400 Coupé Allemano is an authentic rarity of which only a handful were built. It was clearly close to Karl Abarth’s heart, because he kept one for his own daily use, as he had previously done with the 2200 Coupé.
The new body shape was an evolution of previous projects and style exercises, an astute blendof two designs suggested to Abarth by coachbuilders Ezio Ellena and Serafino Allemano.For the last 2400 Coupé, Karl Abarth chose the rear end design by Ellena and the front end design by Allemano, which was also tasked with assembling the vehicle until production ceased in 1962.
It is not known exactly how many of this last version were built, but probably only a few dozen were made. What is certain is that Karl Abarth kept one for himself, using it for daily commuting and for holidays in his native Austria with third wife Anneliese, as documented in a photo from the period. His fondness for the car is further demonstrated by the fact that in 1964, Abarth decided to display it on his stand at the Geneva International Motor Show, even though the model had been discontinued for two years.
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