Porsche Abarth Carrera GTL

Piloted by drivers of the calibre of Moss, Hill and Bonnier, the Abarth-bodied 356B Carrera is one of the most desirable cars in the world. London dealership Fiskens is offering for sale a 1960 example, raced in period and at the Goodwood Revival.

The model’s name comes from the celebrated Carrera PanAmericana road race and was a very limited run of specially bodied coupés powered by the 1598cc dohc Carrera motor already used by ‘regular’ high-performance 356s. The lightweight all-alloy bodywork was hand built by Abarth in Turin under the then racing rules that allowed special bodywork on a production chassis - as long as the weight was not less than 95% of the original.

The more streamlined, lower profile gave the small car a useful performance advantage at Le Mans, the Targa Florio and Goodwood, where top Grand Prix drivers scored significant class victories for the German company. No two Abarth Carreras were alike, each chassis varying slightly in profile and trim. Perspex was substituted for glass in all areas bar the windscreen, and alloy componentry abounded.

Lightweight bucket seats were standard equipment, as was a roll-over bar and 21-gallon fuel tank. Even with such small engines the cars were capable of 135 – 140mph. The raised, heavily louvred rear is a characteristic of the model, the shape reprised in the current 997 model Porsche 911.

Between 1960 and 1963, the Porsche Abarth Carrera GTL was a regular ‘giant-killer’ on the circuits. For example, World-Champion-to-be Graham Hill drove a works car to 4th overall at the 1960 Goodwood Tourist Trophy (and 6th the following year), while Strähle/Pucci/Linge finished 6th overall in the 1961 Targa Florio.

The example offered by Fiskens, having competed extensively in period, was later owned by the legendary Porsche works driver Jürgen Barth, before passing into the Glasel collection.

During their custody, and with subsequent owners, this well-known Porsche has been enjoyed at many events, including The Goodwood Revival, The Gentleman Drivers series and on the Cento Ore with Gregor at the wheel, while being maintained to the highest standard by Martin Greaves and engine specialist Knebel (which has carried out a rebuild).

For further information please contact the Fiskens team on +44 (0)20 7584 3503 or CLICK HERE to see the car in the Classic Driver car database. .

Text: Classic Driver
Photos: Fiskens

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