1966 Fiat Abarth 1000 SP

Progressing more and more towards sports prototypes, Abarth launched the 1000 SP Barchetta during an April presentation in 1966.

Like the previous Abarth 1000 racers, the 1000 SP used the familiar twin-cam 1-liter engine that was derived from Fiat 600D and radically tuned to produce 105 bhp. It was placed in a low tube-frame chassis that reflected the same construction techniques engineer Mario Colucci used for Abarth’s earlier tube-frame racing cars.

This engine was mounted infront of the rear axle and supported by a complex chassis. The main difference between the 1000SP and all the earlier tube-frame Abarths was the twin radiators that were positioned at either side of the engine and fed by air intakes on both sides of the cockpit.

The resulting body was a dramatically low, distinguished by its flattened profile and wrap-around Perspex windscreen. It was made from fiber glass and both front and rear sections could be flipped open for easy access top the running gear.

The 1000 SP conformed to the Appendix J Group 6 regulations for prototypes up to 1000 cc. It made a debut appearance at the 14th Coppa della Collina at Pistoia in May, 1966. Driven by Anzio Zuccchi the car placed a respectable fifth in class.

Months later, the new 1289cc engine was fitted in a similar chassis and appropriately called the 1300 SP. Two liter variants showed up in 1967.

While production sports cars took the bulk of Abarth victories, the 1000 SP racked up a number of victories from 1966 until 1971. It often took class victories in the 1000cc prototype category, including class wins at famous circuits like the Nürburgring, Mugello, Vallelunga, Monza and Targa Florio. These were complemented by the countless local hillclimbs it often won.

Bibliography and Further Reading

Bibliography and Further Reading

Braden, Pat & Schmidt, Greg. Abarth Fiat Simca Porsche Street Race Record, Osprey, United Kingdom: 1983.
Cosentino, Alfred. Abarth Guide, Nigensha Publishing, Japan: 1984.
Greggio, Luciano. Abarth, the man, the machines, Giorgio Nada Editoire, Italy: 2002.

Story by Richard Owen for Supercars.net


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