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From the Maranello Rosso Collection
1970 Abarth 1000 SE-018 'Cuneo Biposto Corsa' Sports-Racing Prototype
Chassis no. SE018/015

The 'Cuneo' or 'wedge'-shaped Abarth sports-prototype body design emerged in 1969 and was heavily influenced by the demonstrable aerodynamic performance of the Lotus Type 56 gas-turbine engined Indianapolis singe-seater Speedway cars of 1968. Design was by Abarth's long-faithful chief engineer Mario Colucci, a long-time advocate of central engine mounting ahead of the rear axle line in direct conflict with the philosophy of his boss, Carlo Abarth, who always preferred overhung outboard engine mounting, behind the rear axle.

Yet again, it was the Boss's views that prevailed in the first of the Abarth 'Cuneo' series of sports-prototype cars – the overhung-engined 2000 SE014 introduced early in the 1969 season. That September then saw the new prototype 'Cuneo'-bodied 3000 SE016 emerge, with mid-mounted V8 engine, followed in February 1970 by the launch of the 1000 SE018 as offered here –aimed squarely at inexperienced young drivers just aspiring to four-wheel competition. Its 982cc 4-cylinder twin-overhead camshaft engine was overhung behind the rear axle, its associated five-speed transaxle projecting ahead of it towards the cockpit. The power unit produced some 120bhp at a raucous 8,200rpm. Wheelbase of the multi-tubular spaceframe chassis was 1950mm and the little cars weighed-in at a mere 400kg – 882lbs. These little sports-racing projectiles were quickly nicknamed the Abarth 'Millino' and original sale price for an example such as this, now offered here, was Lire 7.8-million.

Upon inspection by a prominent marque expert, we can confirm that this 'Millino' appears to be correct and complete. Some effort has been made to protect the engine by sealing/covering the carburettors. In consequence the carburettors are free and the whole car looks "...pretty good". The car's engine is a correct to type, featuring an Abarth AH block (a specially-cast component resembling the standard-production Fiat block design but considerably stronger and capable of accepting larger bore diameters).

Unfortunately – as with so many of these Maranello Rosso Collection cars that we have been privileged to offer – very little information has been preserved concerning this 'Millino's precise early history. However, in 1970 'Millino' class victories included the Draguignan hill-climb, Coppa Belmonte at Avola, the Coppa Verona at Monza, the Coppa Primavera at Amalfi, and an important International class victory by Ruspa/Pelegrin in the might Targa Florio. The car has been on long term museum display and will naturally require re-commissioning.

This Lot is EU taxes paid and therefore in free circulation within the EU.

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Bonhams Collectors’ Car department