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Monday, February 06, 2017

FCA Heritage on show for the first time at Rétromobile

Fiat vintage cars
  • This is the first time that FCA Heritage, the department of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles responsible for promotion of the historical legacy of the Italian brands in the Group, will be present in the Salon Rétromobile in Paris (8-12 February 2017)
  • Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Lancia and Abarth will be exhibiting 8 vintage models
  • The Abarth 124 spider, symbol of the indestructible bond between past and present, will also occupy a key position on the stand
  • During the Salon, the website, dedicated to the history and legacy of these four Italian brands, will be online in French, to satisfy the interest of all brand heritage enthusiasts


In 2017, FCA Heritage, the department of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles responsible for highlighting the historic legacy of the Italian brands in FCA, will be participating for the first time at Salon Rétromobile, to be held in Parc des Expositions at Porte de Versailles in Paris this coming 8 to 12 February. For one of the major European events dedicated to the classic car and motorbike, FCA Heritage will be showcasing eight collection-standard models of the Fiat, Abarth, Alfa Romeo and Lancia brands on its entirely new 300 m2 exhibition stand. This stand will reproduce the very distinctive atmosphere of service garages in the Fifties, through the choice of materials and photographs illustrating the teams of people you would have found in mechanic's workshops of that era.


Each brand will be exhibiting two classic vintage cars, in each case matching a standard production model to its prototype, or to a derivative from a limited production run. The public will also be able to admire the rarity value of some unique prototypes, such as the Alfa Romeo 2600 SZ Prototipo from 1963, the Lancia Loraymo from 1960 or the Abarth 1000 Monoposto Record, and to rediscover classic production versions such as the Alfa 2600 Sprint from 1962, the Lancia Flaminia Coupé from 1958 or the Abarth 1000 Bialbero from 1963. For its part, Fiat will be showcasing a Fiat 500 D from 1964 and the popular and extremely rare Gamine version from 1968 developed by Vignale. A way of remembering that this year, 2017, marks the 60th anniversary of the mythical 'yoghurt tub'.


Novelties launched by the FCA Group are also able to draw their inspiration and their legitimacy from this rich and glorious history. The Abarth 124 spider, a new model that perfectly embodies the sporty spirit and technological excellence of the scorpion brand, will also be displayed prominently on the exhibition stand.


We should also point out that, in the wings of the Salon Rétromobile, an entirely new website will be going on line, one dedicated to the historical legacy of the Group: This portal, currently only available in Italian, will present a French version on the occasion of the Salon and is the online window display of the FCA Heritage department and the meeting place for everyone interested in history, events and initiatives dedicated to the classic models of the Italian brands in the FCA Group. On this site, the fans and owners of classic Fiat, Abarth, Lancia and Alfa Romeo cars will gradually be able to discover a range of new services, subscribe to a dedicated newsletter and also submit an online request for a certificate of origin. The owners of Lancia and Abarth cars will also be able to access the restoration and certification of authenticity services offered by FCA Heritage.


Exhibited models:


Alfa Romeo 2600 Sprint (1962)

The elegant lines of the 2600 Sprint are due to Giorgietto Giugiaro, at that time with Bertone, and they recapture the shapes of the 2000 Sprint, differing only through the addition of an air intake on the bonnet that renders the whole vehicle more aggressive. The style codes of this model then went on to achieve perfect maturity in the Giulia coupé GT from 1965, the famous Bertone coupé.
The engine of the 2600 Sprint is a light alloy in-line 6-cylinder unit with twin camshafts and a swept volume of 2584 cc. With its 3 double-body carburettors, it was capable of delivering 145 hp at 5900 rpm. This enabled the 2600 Sprint to achieve a top speed of 197 km/h. This model was equipped with a 5-speed transmission and 2 disc brakes, followed later by a version with discs all round. Its powerful six cylinders, with remarkable smoothness, made driving into a genuine pleasure, attested to by many first-hand witness accounts from the era, typically underlining the great comfort of its suspension, ease of use and the braking characteristics of the model.
Some versions were specifically equipped for and used by the forces of law and order (known popularly as 'The Panthers'), but the sporting career of the model was marginal because of its generous dimensions and its large engine, which made it into more of a grand tourer. A total of 6999 Alfa Romeo 2600 Sprints were produced.


Alfa Romeo 2600 SZ Prototype (1963)

After the presentation of the 2600 Sedan, Sprint and Spider, the first prototype designed by Zagato appeared on the stand of the coachbuilder at the Turin Motor Show in 1963. The wheelbase was a shortened version of the 2600 Spider and the body was characterised by a streamlined and minimal structure, featuring a flashy and slightly recessed Kardon tail, just like in racing cars. The front of the vehicle was also unique, featuring a large-sized shield.
The same prototype- this time in yellow- was presented at the Alfa Romeo stand at the next edition, but the public had to wait until the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1965 to see the definitive vehicle. Here, the model presented had been further developed: the bodywork had been fully revamped, especially at the front which hosted an even larger badge, set higher up, the headlights became more vertical in shape, the engine bonnet clean and essential - with no leather laces or air intakes (now partially hidden behind the bumper bars). The prototype featured the same longitudinal, 6 in-line cylinder engine as the 2600 Sprint, with 145 hp.


Nuova Fiat 500 D (1964)

One month after the market launch of the Fiat 600D, Fiat started selling the Nuova Fiat 500 D. More than 640,000 of this vehicle were sold between 1960 and 1965. It differs externally from the Nuova 500 especially in its front and rear lights and its shorter opening roof in fabric. The cubic cc of its two-cylinder engine was increased to 499.5 cc (compared to 479 cc on the 500 N), adopting the stroke and bore of the Sport version of the engine which it replaced.
Its urban road handling and its reliable performance levels, along with its excellent road-holding, greatly assisted by accurate steering and superb braking, made this a highly appreciated vehicle, thanks also to its modest fuel consumption. Model exhibited: private collection


Fiat 500 Gamine (1968)

In the mid-Sixties, designers relaunched the fashion of neo-retro bodywork to draw in a young and non-conformist customer base, one with a feel for nostalgia and modernity.
In this spirit, Alfredo Vignale unveiled a tiny and extremely exclusive Spider at the 1967 Paris Motor Show: the Gamine. Created on the basis of a Nuova 500 F, this toy has retained all the technical characteristics of its forebear, differing only in terms of the following points: platform reinforced with steel tubes, transverse cross-members shaped as half-crowns that form the passenger compartment. Just 400 of the Gamine model were produced between 1967 and 1971. Model exhibited: private collection


Lancia Flaminia Coupé (1958)

This production car was unveiled at the Turin Motor Show in November 1958 while actual production only commenced in January 1959. We should also add that the 'Florida II', known to be the prototype of the Flaminia Coupé, was unveiled on the Pininfarina stand at the Geneva Motor Show in 1958.
From a technical point of view, the chassis of this Coupé is 12 cm shorter than that of the Flaminia saloon. In terms of engine power, the Coupé received three versions of the light alloy 6-cylinder unit: a 2.5 litre developing 119 horsepower, a version with a triple-body Solex carburettor developing 128 hp and a 2.8 litre developing 140 hp.
These standard or optional equipment items included disc brakes and, from 1960 onwards, air-conditioning. This level of equipment was extremely unusual to find on Italian models at that time. In 1961, a reversing light was added, while the mechanical specification was amended, with a one-part transmission shaft instead of the previous 2-part shaft. Top speeds depended on the choice of engine power: 170 km/h with the 2.5 litre engine, 178 km/h for the 3B version or 180 km/h with the 2.8 litre engine.
The body was designed and built by Pininfarina. This is a 2-door coupé with 4 genuine adult seats. The model is distinguished by its elegant, sporty and stylish lines with a hallmark air intake - a fairly substantial one at that - on the bonnet. The model was assembled at Pininfarina between 1959 and 1967. 5236 of these vehicles were built.


Lancia Flaminia Loraymo (1960)

This one-of-a-kind car was based on a chassis Flaminia Coupé V6 created by industrial designer Raymond Loewy, famous for the iconic Coca Cola bottle and the Lucky Strike cigarette trademark. American of French origin, Loewy had worked for Studebaker and a number of railway manufacturers. He designed the car for his personal use and had it made by Rocco Motto coachbuilder in Turin.
The vehicle, presented at the 47th edition of the Paris Motor Show in October 1960, in the dark amber metal colour that it continues to sport today, was named Loraymo, a word formed by combing part of the designer's name and surname, and which corresponded with the telegraphic address of the Loewy studio.
Its most obvious style features includes a large grille enclosed in a chrome-plated steel bezel doubling as a bumper. The position of the headlights, behind the radiator grille and the fog-lights protruding from the body give this vehicle a different look from the usual production models of the period. There is also a slight convexity in the central part of the body for a "Coca-Cola bottle" effect that improved the aerodynamic performance of the car. One also notes the absence of a boot lid opener: the boot could only be opened from the driver's seat. A final modern detail, taken up at a later date on the mythical Lancia Stratos, was the rear spoiler on the roof to reduce aerodynamic turbulence to a significant extent. This unique and functional prototype went on to be equipped with the 2.5 litre engine improved by Nardi, developing 150 hp.


Fiat Abarth 1000 Monoposto Record (1960)

The vehicle, fruit of the partnership between Fiat, Abarth, Pininfarina and Turin Polytechnic University, presents a brand new tubular bearing structure and bodywork that is the result of detailed studies in the wind tunnel.
To show off the reliability and enormous power of the new 1000cc twin cam, Carlo Abarth decided to line the monoposto up on the track at Monza from 28 September to 1 October 1960, to set new records in international class G (from 751 to 1100 cm3). No fewer than nine drivers took turns behind the steering wheel, and in the course of just three days, they set the new international records for the 12 hours, the 2000 miles, the 24 hours, the 5000 km, the 5000 miles, the 48 hours and the 10,000 km. The feat continued until 1 October when the Fiat Abarth 1000 monoposto broke the world record for the 72 hours, travelling 13,441.4 km at an average speed of 186.687 km/h.
The monoposto was entirely made in the Abarth plant in terms of the chassis, engine and the mechanical parts. The body was designed by Pininfarina.


Abarth 1000 Bialbero (1963)

Even if the design and performances of the 1000 Bialbero are those of a real racing car, the wheeled chassis and most of the mechanical parts derive from the popular vehicle that motorised Italy in the 1950s, the Fiat 600. For this reason, the Bialbero is the emblem of the sharpness and ability of Carlo Abarth to develop designs and this enabled Fiat to showcase the potential for development of its models.
The engine cylinder head with twin cam - created in collaboration with Mr Gioachino Colombo, engineer - was installed by Abarth on the cylinder block of the 600 with no need for any particular changes. The first twin-cam ('Bialbero') engine - with a displacement of 747 cc - was unveiled in 1957. In autumn 1960 the version with displacement incremented to 982 cc made its début, installed for the very first time in the record-breaking single-seater exhibited at Rétromobile. In that same year, Abarth presented the new 1000 Bialbero racing sedan with Zagato bodywork at the Turin Motor Show. In 1961, the partnership between Abarth and Zagato came to an end and in the three years that followed, the vehicle underwent a series of aerodynamic modifications and bore the sobriquet "Carrozzeria Abarth" (Abarth Coachbuilder).
The vehicle exhibited at Rétromobile is one of those created, from 1963 onwards, by coachbuilder Sibona & Basano, which carried out an accurate restyling operation, mainly on the nose and tail - which were extended - and widening the mudguards so that larger tyres could be mounted. The vehicles with this new look of theirs, enabled Carlo Abarth to win its second consecutive title as World Champion GT Manufacturer in the Class 1000 category. The four-cylinder engine, with almost a litre of displacement, and a power of 104 hp at 8000 rpm enables the vehicle to reach a maximum speed of approximately 220 km/h. Model exhibited: private collection.


New Abarth 124 spider

The new Abarth 124 spider renders homage to the history of Carlo Abarth and perfectly embodies the essential values of the Scorpion brand: performance, savoir-faire and mechanical excellence.
To deliver exceptional dynamic performance, this two-seater roadster is equipped as standard with a mechanical limited slip differential. Most of its weight is concentrated between the axles, and the engine is installed behind the front axle to assure optimum agility and an exceptional driving feel.
Sophisticated mechanical components and the use of specialist materials have made it possible to limit the weight to just 1060 kg, which translates into a weight-power ratio of 6.2 kg/hp and optimum distribution of weight, which in turn is the key to the exceptional responsiveness and agility of this vehicle.
Under its bonnet, the 1.4 litre turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol engine is equipped with MultiAir technology. It achieves a power rating of 170 hp (i.e. about 124 hp per litre) combined with a torque rating of 250 Nm. It achieves a top speed of 232 km/h and it can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.8 seconds with a 6-speed manual gearbox. Moreover, since the engine note is an indispensable element on any Abarth vehicle, this car is equipped as standard with a Record Monza exhaust with bi-modal system, capable of modifying the flow of exhaust gases as a function of engine speed, of guaranteeing a constant level of torque and of generating that hallmark engine growl.



Turin, 6 February 2017

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