Abarth Corse SpA

Carlo Abarth was a successful motorcycle racer in the 1920s and after the war he formed a partnership with Rodolfo Hruska to sell Porsche cars in Italy. His first step was to approach Cisitalia and ask them if they would build a Formula 1 chassis which had been designed by Ferdinand Porsche. The result was the Cisitalia Type 360. It was not a success and Cisitalia ran into financial trouble. In April 1949 Abarth established Scuderia Abarth in partnership with Armando Scagliarini - the father of Cisitalia driver Guido Scagliarini - and set up a workshop in Turin. The company adopted a scorpion logo - Abarth's star sign. They ran Formula 2 cars in 1950 for Franco Cortese but then concentrated on tuning Fiats and Porsches until the late 1950s when the Fiat 600 appeared and Abarth began modifying these to produce rear-engined sportscars both for road use and for competition. There were also Abarth coupes fitted with Fiat engines. The cars scored hundreds of wins in small classes in touring car racing, rallying and GT competitions. Abarth also fitted his modified Fiat engines into Simca chassis with some success. In 1964 Abarth returned to single-seaters with a Formula 2 car which was driven by Hans Herrmann, Geki and "Tiger" but without much success. There were rumors of a Formula 1 project but it never materialized and Abarth became increasingly linked with Fiat, becoming its competition department in July 1971. Abarth sold of his other sporting programs to Enzo Osella, who later set up his own team, and the company turned its attention to rallying Fiat products. Between 1973 and 1981 Fiat Abarths won a total of 21 World Rally Championship events and three Manufacturers' titles (1977,1978 and 1980) with the Fiat 124 and 131 models.