1965 Abarth Simca
Year of manufacture1965
Number of seats2
From the Maranello Rosso Collection
1965 Abarth Simca 1300 GT Corsa 'Long-Nose World Champion' Coupe
Coachwork by Beccaris
Registration no. Not registered with DVLA (previously registered in Italy: CT122837)
Chassis no. 130S/00047
Engine no. 238040001
Rumours of a collaborative agreement between Abarth and the French company of Simca began to circulate in 1961. Late in 1961 the Simca company which had been founded by Italian entrepreneur Enrico Teodoro Pigozzi, launched its most successful model the Simca 1000. This was its first rear-engined car and also a neat four-door saloon whose chosen power unit was Fiat 600-derived, emerging as a 944cc 4-cylinder providing 35bhp in standard form.
Carlo Abarth's old Viennese sparring partner, Rudi Hruska, had become a technical consultant to Simca, and regularly brought Abarth's successes with its Fiat-based cars to the company boss's attention. The idea of competition success reflecting credit upon the source-vehicle manufacturer really appealed and Abarth was then invited to become a promotional partner. Abarth was to produce a Gran Turismo car using Simca 1000 components as its base, and hence the 'Simca-Abarth' or 'Abarth-Simca' the terms are interchangeable - 1300 emerged.
Carlo Abarth's team designed a completely new engine for the new venture, using the tried and tested broad architecture of the 1288cc twin-cam 1000 Bialbero while the new model's floor pan, transmission, steering and suspension were drawn from Simca 1000 production, while the body matched the latest Fiat-Abarth Coupe configuration.
The Simca-Abarth 1300 was launched in February 1962 at a list price of Lire 3,300,000. The cars proved capable of running rings around the rival Alfa Romeo Giulietta during 1962, and the subsequent 1600 variant with 138bhp at 7,800rpm and with Girling disc brakes all round was capable of 240km/h 149mph. These were rocket ships, indeed.
But still there was a further step that the Simca Abarth series would take. Abarth's 1963 racing record included a staggering 535 victories, of which 90 were scored alone by the Simca Abarth 1300s such as this part-unassembled example now offered here.
The body design of the new Franco-Italian Gran Turismo Coupe was also influenced by the latest small-capacity GTs styled in-house by Mario Colucci at Abarth's famous Corso Marche factory, and built "just around the corner" there by Odoardo Beccari's specialist carrozeria.
It had dry-sump lubrication and a rev limit of 7,200rpm, and its claimed power output was 125bhp at 6,000rpm. With its floor-pan, transmission, steering and suspension all derived from the Simca 1000. Weighing-in at barely 630kg 1,388lbs - the new model was capable of 230km/h 142mph. Its list price upon introduction in February 1962 was Lire 3,300,000 and in both International and national competition it instantly became the 1300cc class car to beat...
The example offered here chassis 130S/47 has been examined by a leading Abarth specialist and as an early competition model is described as being reasonably complete. The car is supplied with an engine although it is not installed. Missing items noted are the hand brake calipers (reproduced at 1000 Euros per pair) and dynamo. The seats are un-mounted and this vehicle has not been used nor worked upon for many years.
Today this Abarth-Simca 1300GT is being offered as seen, with considerable potential up-side once fully restored and re-assembled, and with its individual history fully established. The car has been on long term museum display and will naturally require re-commissioning. We are also pleased to advise prospective purchasers that the car is EU taxes paid and therefore in free circulation within the EU.