1964 Abarth

Type: Simca 2 Mila Corsa (2000 GT)

  • Serial No. 1360067
  • Four-cylinder in-line engine, double overhead camshafts, 1946 cc (119 cubic inches), 204 hp at 7200 rpm.

“Over seven thousand victories!” crow devotees of the small cars bearing the scorpion logo of Carlo
Abarth. The expatriate Austrian founded an Italian racing dynasty in the spirit of Modenese neighbor Ferrari,
by using racing to prove and promote his products. Unlike his illustrious contemporary, who crafted
fabulous thoroughbred automobiles, Abarth’s empire was based on selling speed equipment, conversion kits
and complete “Abarthized” Fiat mini-cars to budget-minded performance fanatics.

In 22 years, Abarth created over 200 distinct models. This unparalleled proliferation of cars,
predominantly based on Fiat products, reflected a glorious Italian defiance of rational manufacturing
discipline. While Abarth’s output was largely “hot-rodded” sedans, only modestly different from their Fiat
and Simca siblings, a few world-class racers were brilliantly confected from the same plebian mechanical
components to such good effect that Abarth totally dominated international small displacement racing during
the 1960s.

One such example, the Abarth Simca series was produced under contract with that French
manufacturer to create a performance image. Abarth combined the Fiat-derived Simca 1000’s economy car
chassis, suspension and transmission with sleek bodywork and all-Abarth engines to produce a potent GT
competitor. First introduced in 1.3 liter form in 1962, the Simca promptly won that class of the World
Manufacturers’ Championship. Alas, the two liter version, added in 1963, garnered only frustration as its
192 horsepower regularly destroyed the transmission. Nevertheless, when sprint speed mattered over
endurance, the two liter could humble Porsche and Ferrari, as it did in winning the 1964 European Hill Climb
Championship. With Chrysler’s acquisition of Simca in late 1964, Abarth’s contract ended, though he
continued to build Simca-based racers for some years. In 1971, Abarth sold out to Fiat, who cancelled the
racing program in favor of another new subsidiary, Ferrari.

 

Photos – Peter Harholdt

Stats

Year
1964 Abarth
Type
Simca 2 Mila Corsa (2000 GT)
Serial No
1360067
Engine
Four-cylinder in-line engine, double overhead camshafts, 1946 cc (119 cubic inches), 204 hp at 7200 rpm.
Wheelbase
82 inches
Weight
1455 pounds

Did you know?

Briggs Cunningham imported the first Ferrari to race in the US and you can see it in the museum. Learn more

Collier Collection