Abarth (Italy) 1950-1971.
Abarth is an Italian racing car maker founded by Italian-Austrian Karl (Carlo) Abarth in Turin in 1949.
In the 1960s, Abarth & C. S.r.l was quite successful in hillclimbing and sports car racing, mainly in classes from 850cc up to 2000cc, competing with Porsche 904 and Ferrari Dino. Hans Herrmann was a factory driver from 1962 until 1965, winning the 500km Nürburgring in 1963 with Teddy Pilette.
Later, Johann Abt was promised by Carlo Abarth that he could drive a factory car for free if he won all the races he entered—which Abt nearly did, winning 29 of 30, the 30th being a second.
Along with its racing cars, Abarth produced high-performance exhaust pipes. Later, Abarth diversified in producing various tuning kits for road vehicles, mainly for Fiat. Abarth was also associated in producing sports or racing cars with Porsche and Simca.
Abarth was sold to Fiat on July 31, 1971, and the racing team sold to Enzo Osella. Abarth became the racing department of Fiat, managed by famed engine designer Aurelio Lampredi.
Some models built by Fiat or its subsidiaries Lancia and Autobianchi were co-branded Abarth, the most famous being the Autobianchi A112 Abarth. Abarth also prepared Fiat Group's rally cars like Fiat 124 Abarth and 131 Abarth. In the 80s Abarth name was mainly used to mark performance Fiats like Fiat Ritmo Abarth 130 TC. The name was almost forgotten in 1990s and in 2000s it was used like a trim/model level on FIAT cars, like the FIAT Stilo Abarth.
In 2007 Fiat Automobiles SpA relaunched the brand with the Grande Punto Abarth and the Grande Punto Abarth S2000. The brand is to be seen as a separate division to the main Fiat brand in a similar way that the Renault Sport brand is to the mainstream Renault. It is based in the Officine 83, part of the old Mirafiori engineering plant. The company CEO is Luca De Meo, who is also the CEO of Alfa Romeo and Chief Marketing Officer of the Fiat Group.
(text source: Wikipedia)
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