FCA Heritage is taking part in the 36th edition of Automotoretrò - which opens today at Lingotto Fiere and runs until Sunday, the event being held together with the ninth edition of Automotoracing - with models on show from Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Abarth, Lancia and Pininfarina.
The four-day event will include Director Roberto Giolito introducing major novelties in the operations of FCA Heritage, the Group Department dedicated to conserving and promoting the historic legacy of the Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Lancia and Abarth brands, the conference taking place today at the Lingotto Congress Centre.
FCA Heritage returns to Automotoretrò with a single large stand (the distinctive installation debuted at the last edition of the Turin Show), which hosts all four brands represented by the department, and where visitors will be able to admire four historic cars and two current models which link the cars of the past to those of the present.
The stand will display the final and most sophisticated evolutions of the Alfa Romeo Spider, Lancia Fulvia Coupé Montecarlo and Spidereuropa Pininfarina. Alongside them, a fascinating Fiat-Abarth 850 TC - soon to undergo complete restoration - and two absolutely new models, the Fiat 124 Spider, a tribute to the iconic car of the past which delivers a roadster experience and the Abarth 695 Rivale: the special series that brings together Abarth and Riva, two Italian brands with a shared excellence in attention to every detail and outstanding performances.
The Automotoretrò stand is a reproduction of a 'fifties garage', referencing objects and equipment all directly or indirectly related to mechanical work. Continuing this language, facilities such as the offices and storage space are contained in two large crates. The stand's design approach is based on the recovery of fundamental features from the 'heritage' world.
Fiat-Abarth 850 TC
Carlo Abarth is world-famous for his courage in transforming simple mass-market runabouts into brilliant racing cars capable of defeating all comers on Europe's top tracks. The Fiat-Abarth 850 TC is one of the milestones in Abarth's constant development work on the basis of the Fiat 600 D. With sophisticated technical changes to its setups but above all to its mechanicals, the 850 TC got up to 140 km/h due to its light weight (610 kg) and the 52 horsepower squeezed out of its engine, upgraded to 847 cc.
The car on display at Automotoretrò has a unique back-story, because it is not an 'ordinary' racing car, but one of the unmarked cars used by the Italian Finance Police in the fight against smuggling. A car which looks at first glance like a run-of-the-mill Fiat 600, but which can actually provide stunning performances. It is on show in its current condition, before planned thorough restoration by FCA Heritage.
Lancia Fulvia Coupé Montecarlo
With lines inspired by elegant Riva motor launches, the Fulvia Coupé set its seal on an era for Lancia, a period of daring design and countless victories. The 14,000 units built at the Chivasso plant, which laid the foundations for Italian rallying predominance, sowed the seed for the many wins by the Stratos, the 037 and all the Delta versions in the subsequent decades.
The Montecarlo version originated from the idea of creating a car to commemorate Munari and Mannucci's famous victory in the 1972 Montecarlo Rally. The car was inspired by the livery of the splendid 1.6 HF "fanalone", built on the basis of the production Fulvia Coupé series II, with 90 horsepower engine providing a top speed of 170 km/h. With no bumpers and matte black painted bonnet and boot, the Fulvia Montecarlo cars were a success within a success, to the point where production continued even after the restyling known as the 'Fulvia 3'.
The car being exhibited at Automotoretrò by FCA Heritage is from the second series, in the rare blue colour.
The 124 Sport Spider was one of the longest-lived of the Fiat cars built in the last century. Styled by Pininfarina in 1966, it enjoyed a dual career of unflagging success in Europe and America until 1985. Twenty years in which the curvy, compact Spider, created by shortening the chassis of the 124 sedan, was modified in response to the mechanical upgrading of various Fiat models, remaining in production for the States alone from 1975 onwards. In 1982, its ceaseless success and demand from the European market led Pininfarina to reintroduce the Spidereuropa, a reworking of the timeless convertible to suit European requirements, on this side of the Atlantic.
The car being displayed by FCA Heritage on its Automotoretrò stand is one of the first Spidereuropa Pininfarina cars to be built, in perfect, as-new condition. It has only done 10,000 kilometres: for its 105 horsepower two litre engine, little more than the running-in distance.
Alfa Romeo Spider
The icon of 'Italian style' convertibles, the Alfa Romeo Spider displayed on the stand belongs to the last version of this model to be built, launched in 1966 as the final work of Battista Pininfarina in person. There were three series during the car's thirty-year lifetime: 'cuttlefish bone', 'Kamm tail' and 'aerodynamic', before the 1990 restyling, also by the Pininfarina design centre, which restored the original purity of line.
Developed on the engineering base of the Giulietta/Giulia Spider cars, the Milanese convertible was fitted with the various evolutions of the Giulia engines: 1600, 1300, 1750 and 2000. In the final series, the two litre powerplant was modernised with the adoption of electronic ignition and injection.
The car on display, which has always belonged to FCA, was used for technical tests such as the custom-colour test, which makes it a virtually unique Alfa Romeo.