1978 Fiat 131FIAT 131 ABARTH RALLY (FIAT FRANCE)
Year of manufacture1978
Registration no. TO P51474
Chassis no. 2031617
Number 33 of 46 built
Drove by the famous French pilot Jean-Claude Andruet
1 of the two works Fiat France
THE SPICY SEDAN
The Fiat 131 Abarth Rally was unveiled for the first time at the 1976 Geneva Motor Show. It owes its existence to breathe fresh life to the basic model which, introduced in 1974, struggled to reach the desired sales figures. The heads of Fiat thought that, while still winning, it was high time to retire the glorious Lancia Stratos and give space to the new berlina.
The successes didn’t delay: during the first year of its career, the spicy sedan won the 1977 World Rally Championship. This triumph was also confirmed in 1978, together with the victory of the Italian Rally Championship.
In 1979, due to budget cuts for the racing department, the 131 Abarth didn’t get significant results; however, it backs in the game in 1980 with the third title in the World Rally Championship.
Meanwhile, in Turin, engineer Limone was already working on a challenging project that would bring new victories: its name was Rally 037.
OUR #33 131 ABARTH RALLY
The car we introduce is number 33 of 46 built for the Abarth racing department. Our “TO P51474” raced with the colours of Fiat France in the care of the famous driver Jean-Claude Andruet assisted by his navigator Michèle Espinosi-Petit (called Biche). With this team, the 131 won the "Ronde Limousine" in 1978 and finished on the podium many times in different rally championships.
Remained in Fiat Auto’s ownership until 1983, it was then purchased by a private collector in Milan. Later, about ten years ago, it was bought by the current owner who restored it with care and dedication, respecting the original configuration.
4-cylinders in line 1,995 cc
235 hp at 7800 rpm
2 overhead camshafts and 4 valves per cylinder
Kugelfisher 7.5 mechanical injection
Dry-sump lubrication with mechanical pump and oil reservoir in the trunk
5-speed gearbox plus reverse
Copper clutch and over-sized flywheel
Limited slip differential
Front - independent wheels, stabilisers and anti-rollbar
Rear - independent wheels, swinging bars and anti-rollbar
Wheelbase 2,490 mm
Length 4,190 mm
Width 1,850 mm
Weight 980 kg