1966 Abarth 1000 TC Corsa

  • 1966 Abarth 1000 TC Corsa
  • Genuine works-built car
  • Rebuilt to 1970 Group 5 specification
  • Restored by marque specialist Middle Barton Garage

This original factory-built Abarth ‘semi-pendolare’ 1000 TC was manufactured in 1966 but has been restored to iconic wide-body 1970 Group 5 specification. The ground-up, bare-metal rebuild was carried out by leading marque specialist Middle Barton Garage between 2008 and 2010, and the result is a spectacular little road-racer.

The history file includes a full photographic record of the rebuild, which involved stripping the car to a bare shell and fitting new front and rear wings, rear quarter panels, and inner and outer sills.

The original Abarth suspension features double wishbones and coilover dampers at the front, while Abarth A-arms and adjustable dampers are used at the rear. Rose-jointed anti-roll bars are fitted at both ends, and all the suspension bushes were renewed as part of the restoration. Braking is via the correct Girling discs with three-pot calipers.

Inside, a powder-coated roll cage has been installed, plus an extinguisher system, Cobra racing seats, full Sabelt harnesses and Jaeger instruments. The whole car was completely rewired, too.

The Abarth A112 1050cc engine has been rebuilt and bored out to 1075cc. It’s fitted with a PBS eight-port cylinder head and twin Weber 40DCOE carburettors, plus a race camshaft. In 2018, it was dyno’d at 95bhp, and it drives through a four-speed straight-cut gearbox and a limited-slip differential. Uprated driveshafts were also specified.

The Campagnolo wheels are shod with Avon tyres – 205/60 R13s at the rear, 185/60 R13s at the front – and the entire car has been put together with painstaking attention to detail. The original Abarth chassis number is clearly visible stamped into the panel on the left side of the engine bay, and everything about this 1000 TC Corsa is period correct and as-homologated.

Since the restoration was completed, the Abarth has taken part in the Vernasca Silver Flag hillclimb, as well as competing across the UK in the hands of well-known ‘Abarthisti’ Phil Jones. The paperwork includes plenty of invoices from Middle Barton Garage as testament to its ongoing care, and this Abarth 1000 TC Corsa is now being offered for sale by the Classic Motor Hub as a car that is guaranteed to provide endless entertainment whether it’s used on the road or the track.

Model history

Born Karl Abarth in Austria in 1908, the founder of the eponymous company first made his name racing motorcycles and moved to Italy during the 1930s. By the end of World War Two, he was an Italian citizen and had changed his name to Carlo, and during the 1950s and ’60s the Abarth company became famous as a supplier of performance modifications for production Fiats as well as a manufacturer in its own right.

Motorsport was central to the Abarth ethos, and its cars chalked up countless victories with drivers such as Hans Herrmann, Mauro Bianchi and Giancarlo Baghetti. Its development of the Fiat 600 series was particularly successful and, after the 850 TC model had racked up numerous wins, Abarth introduced a 1000cc model with its own specially cast engine block.

As power increased and the specification became more extreme, the rear-mounted radiator was ditched in favour of a front-mounted unit covered by a glassfibre bodywork extension, and the engine cover was propped open by an ever-growing amount to improve cooling and also lower drag.

The cars gradually became less Fiat and more Abarth during the 1960s with disc brakes all round, five-speed gearboxes and ever-expanding bodywork, and if you ask an enthusiast to picture an Abarth in their mind’s eye, chances are they’ll visualise something like the 1000 TC.

The Abarth 1000 TC remained competitive in the European Touring Car Championship even into the 1970s. In 1971, however, Carlo sold his company to Fiat and Abarth started a new era as the Turin manufacturer’s sporting arm. The fact that it’s still a name that evokes performance and sporting success is due to legendary models such as the 1000 TC.

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