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|Abarth 1000 GT Duck Tail Bialbero|
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|1963 Abarth 1000 GT "Duck Tail" Bialbero|
Engine No. ABA 229/1334
Red with Black Interior
During the 1950’s and 1960’s, Carlo Abarth’s “Abarth & Co.” was building highly developed and very potent small-bore racing specials and GT cars which were intended primarily to be “magnets” to his lucrative business selling speed equipment and appearance accessories for otherwise rather normal cars from major Italian car manufacturers such as Alfa Romeo, Fiat and Lancia, along with Ferrari, Maserati and others.
The 1000 Biabero first publicly appeared at the 1961 Turin Motor Show. It was built alongside the 700 Biabero which shared the same chassis and engine design. The main difference between the two, aside from engine size, was the use of disc brakes on the 1000.
1961 was a successful season for the 700/1000 coupes, with the latter doing particularly well in the 1000cc class which it won almost every time out. In 1962, 1000 Biabero production continued alongside a new Simca-powered model called the 1300 GT. One of the highlight victories that year came at the 500 kms of the Nurburgring where 14 Abarths were entered and won the event outright. This gave Abarth the 1962 Manufacturers Championship title for Division 1 (up to 1000cc cars). For the rest of the year, Biaberos often won sub-class victories and dominated the Italian Championship sub-classes.
The success of the Biabero in 1962 motivated Abarth to improve the model for 1963. Most of the changes were made to the shape of the body which was extended at the engine hood to improve stability, and along with a new Collotti five speed transaxle, top speed was now 210 kph. These improvements helped Abarth again secure the Division 1 Championship.
Before the end of 1963, a long nose variant was introduced with a new body from Sibona & Bassano. It featured a fiberglass, front-opening hood that replaced the fixed aluminum unit. This feature was standard in 1964, with a slight power increase to 104 bhp @ 8000 rpm and a top speed of 220 kph. Although the model was updated, focus shifted in 1964 to the larger displacement cars, especially after Division 1 was increased to 1300cc.
Reputed to be a back-up works entry at the 1963 Targa Florio in Sicily, this particular example is documented to have been sold from the floor of the Earl’s Court Motor Car Show to Scotsman Sir William Keith Murray. After many years of owning and driving the Abarth in England and Scotland, Murray subsequently sold the then unrestored GT to Abarth restorer and head of Great Britain's Abarth Club, Tony Castle-Miller. Following acquisition, Castle-Miller sold the Bialbero almost immediately to American Abarth expert and collector, Judge Parker in still unrestored condition. Parker restored the car for the 1986 Abarth reunion at Sebring where it was seen in public for the first time since the 60's.
Mr. Parker sold the Abarth in the summer of 1986 and it was quickly entered in the Grand Bahaman Grand Prix held in the same year. Thereafter the car was used sparingly until 1991 when renowned Italian Racecar Specialist and Historian Peter Krause prepared it for an assault on the one litre Grand Touring World Land Speed Record at the Bonneville salt flats in Utah.
In 1992 this Abarth GT set and still holds the World Land Speed Record for one litre Grand Touring cars with a speed of 121.872 MPH. Following its successful Bonneville land speed record run, the car was carefully reconditioned and entered at the "Legends of Daytona" event in 1993 as well as the Sebring Vintage Grand Prix. Additionally, this Bialbero was invited to the first and prestigious Amelia Island Concours de Elegance where it won the Amelia Award to be presented by Sir Stirling Moss. During 2010, it was sympathetically reconditioned. The car now reflects the superb order appropriate for its little more than 5,000 miles on the odometer. Still present it the sculptured 10 gallon competition gearbox, Abarth finned seven quart oil sump with external oil filter, Plexiglas windows, Koni dampers, Girling 4-wheel disc brakes, correct 3-spoke Abarth steering wheel, and five Campangnolo road wheels. Although beautifully restored, prior to aggressive track or street use, final sorting and adjustments should be carried out. We invite any seriously interested party to view the car in person.
With interesting period Motor Show history, and a World Land Speed Record at Bonneville, this Abarth 1000 GT will appeal to the Italian competition car collector looking for a diverse addition to his existing collection. It’s beautiful condition makes it equally at home on a show field or in the paddock. Eligible for a growing number of historic race, rally, and show venues, and always the recipient of positive attention, the Abarth offered is well suited as a global event car for its next custodian.
This Abarth 1000 GT is accompanied by a State of New Hampshire title, and an older V5 document, along with select records for ownership and work performed going back to the mid 1970s.
Sold on the 21.11.2012
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