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1950 Abarth 205A Berlinetta (Vignale)

Abarth 205A Berlinetta #205101 (Vignale), 1950
Abarth 205A Berlinetta #205101 (Vignale), 1950
Abarth 205A Berlinetta #205102 (Vignale), 1950 - Mille Miglia
Abarth 205A Berlinetta #205102 (Vignale), 1950 - Mille Miglia
Abarth 205A Berlinetta #205103 (Vignale), 1951
Abarth 205A Berlinetta #205103 (Vignale), 1951
Abarth 205A Berlinetta #205103 (Vignale), 1951
Abarth 205A Berlinetta #205103 (Vignale), 1951
Abarth 205A Berlinetta #205103 (Vignale), 1951
Abarth 205A Berlinetta #205103 (Vignale), 1951
Abarth 205A Berlinetta #205103 (Vignale) - Geneva'51
Abarth 205A Berlinetta #205103 (Vignale) - Geneva'51
Images: www.bernimotori.com
Rating:  10    -1    +11
Only 3 built (1950-51)
State of Art: 1950 Abarth 205-A by Vignale

No other words could describe better this Vignale-Michelotti masterpiece. This was the first street car built by Karl Abarth, after the Cisitalia-Abarth 204. This car followed the decision to build a gran turismo berlinetta for a wealthy clientele: a brand new chassis was built, along with an aluminium coach. The 205-101 had a heavily tuned dry sump Fiat 1100 B engine with a Cisitalia head, two Weber 32 DR SP carburetors and a Magneti Marelli MVE4 magneto. This engine was said to produce around 80 hp.

The three specimens made had chassis numbers 205-101/102/103. The first one was completed in march 1950, then joined the Coppa Intereuropa on 23 march 1950. The 205-101 arrived ended the race 1st in 1100 class, driven by Guido Scagliarini (co-owner of Abarth & C.). Abarth wanted this car to join the 1950 Mille Miglia as well, so it was provided with aerodynamics appendices before the race start: the stance was quite odd, especially for the time. Those appendices were made by Giuseppe Manera, an Abarth coachbuilder.

However, the car arrived fifth overall, behind an Alfa Romeo 2500 Sperimentale and three 2000 cc Ferrari: a great result for a debut. Apart of historical notes, the only word which come to mind is only one: masterpiece. Beautiful lines, perfectly balanced proprortions and exquisite details make this car stand out of the crowd of that period cars.

There is no period car which can boast of having better lines and proportions than this car, Including Ferrari or Maserati. Maserati itself three years later will make another design masterpiece, thanks to the pencil of Aldo Brovarone, the A6G 53. But this is another tale…

classicvirus.com


Austrian born tuning expert Carlo Abarth was one of an all-star team that was involved in Piero Dusio's ambitious Cisitalia project immediately after the War. By 1949, Cisitalia's financial position quickly worsened and Abarth decided to jump the sinking ship. As compensation for his efforts, Dusio gave him several examples of the latest '204' model in various states of completion. They were modified to the extent that a rebadging to Cisitalia-Abarth 204A was warranted. These cycle-fendered sports cars were raced with considerable success by the 'Squadra Carlo Abarth' in 1949. Encouraged by the good results on the track and funded by the ever increasing sales of his exhaust systems, Carlo Abarth established Abarth & C. to manufacture complete cars. The first of these made a victorious debut early in March of 1950 when Guido Scagliarini won the 1100 class in the Coppa InterEuropa at Monza. Fitted with a new coupe body, it was confusingly referred to as an Abarth 204A. Today it seems more likely that the car was actually the first of three Abarth 205s built around a brand new platform chassis. The 204s used a distinctly different tubular frame.

Both cars do share the Fiat sourced four cylinder engine. Fitted with Abarth's tuning kit, which consisted of a revised intake manifold, two Weber carburettors and a bespoke exhaust, the tiny 1089cc engine produced an impressive 83 bhp. The four-speed gearbox was also sourced from Fiat. The potent drivetrain was fitted in a very straightforward box-section steel platform chassis. Alfredo Vignale was commissioned to build the lightweight aluminium body. The beautiful design came from the pen of Giovanni Michelotti. Included, of course, were the three portholes on the front fenders that were typical for Vignale's bodies.

After its spectacular Monza debut, the 204A / 205 Coupe was shown during the 1950 Turin Motor Show. It was the first time Abarth displayed his cars at this most important show. A second example was finished shortly after and both were raced in the major Italian events that season. The third example was completed early in 1951 and was more luxuriously appointed as the two racing cars. Fitted with a slightly larger version of the four cylinder engine, it was shown during the Turin shown in 1951. Prized at the level of a two-litre Ferrari, Abarth struggled to find customers for his small Coupes and in the end only three were built.

The huge expenses of the racing efforts weighed heavily on the fledgling company and Abarth decided it was wise to cease racing and focus on developing the successful exhaust systems for the foreseeable future. The platform chassis first used on the 205 would serve on as the basis for several show cars and eventually the Abarth 207 racing car introduced in 1955. Amazingly all three Abarth 205s have survived and are in the hands of caring owners. They remain as the first in a long line of Abarth racing cars that made their mark on small-displacement racing for several decades.

Wouter Melissen - www.ultimatecarpage.com
Coachbuilder: Vignale
1950 Abarth 205A Berlinetta (Vignale), 1952 Cunningham C3 Coupe (Vignale), 1952 Volvo Elizabeth I (Vignale), 1953 Alfa Romeo 1900 Sprint (Vignale), 1953 Alfa Romeo 1900 SS (Vignale), 1953 Fiat 8V Coupe (Vignale), 1953 Fiat 8V Spider (Vignale), 1954 Aston Martin DB 2/4 (Vignale), 1954 Fiat 8V Coupe Corsa (Vignale), 1954 Fiat 8V Demon Rouge (Vignale), 1954 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith Special Saloon (Vignale), 1955 Alfa Romeo 1900 SS 'La Fleche' (Vignale), 1955 Nardi Raggio Azzurro I (Vignale), 1956 Fiat 1100 Desiree (Vignale), 1956 Fiat Multipla Spiaggetta (Vignale), 1957 Abarth 750 Coupe Goccia (Vignale), 1957 Lancia Appia Convertible (Vignale), 1957 Triumph TR3 Speciale (Vignale), 1958 Nardi Raggio Azzurro II (Vignale), 1958 Triumph Italia 2000 Coupe (Vignale), 1959 Fiat 1800/2100 Coupe (Vignale), 1959 Maserati 3500 GT Spyder (Vignale), 1960 Fiat 600D Speciale (Vignale), 1961 Chevrolet Corvette Kelly (Vignale), 1962 Fiat 600D Record (Vignale), 1962 Lancia Flavia Convertible (Vignale), 1962 Maserati Sebring (Vignale), 1963 Daihatsu Sport (Vignale), 1963 Ford Cougar II (Vignale), 1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Spider (Vignale), 1964 Fiat 850 (Vignale), 1965 Fiat 850 Coupe Sportivo (Vignale), 1965 Opel Kadett Convertible (Vignale), 1965 Opel Kadett Coupe (Vignale), 1966 American Motors Vignale AMX Prototype (Vignale), 1966 Maserati Mexico (Vignale), 1967 Fiat 124 Coupe Eveline (Vignale), 1967 Fiat 125 Samantha (Vignale), 1967 Jensen Nova (Vignale), 1968 Ferrari 330 GT Shooting Brake (Vignale), 1968 Matra M530 Sport (Vignale), 1969 Fiat 850 Dart (Vignale), 1969 Maserati Indy (Vignale), 1969 Tatra T613 (Vignale), 1970 American Motors AMX/3 (Vignale), 1970 DeTomaso Studio City Car (Vignale)
Comments
Daniele
Sunday, November 6, 2016
Bellissima ,vista quando ero bambino me ne sono innamorato.
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