Most people associate Abarth with Fiat, but a very successful liaison was also formed with Simca. The French company was partly owned by Fiat, and when they wanted to appeal to a younger market with a more sporting image, they turned to the Italian giant for help.
Fiat in turn went to Abarth, who received sponsorship from the larger company. A deal was struck whereby Simca shipped floor pans of their 1000 Sabour to Abarth, who then cut 4″ out of the chassis and built handsome lightweight aluminum bodies around them.
The engine was an all-Abarth 1300cc four-cylinder twin-cam unit which produced up to 140 bhp and was mounted in the rear, while suspension was nearly stock Simca 1000, incorporating a transverse front leaf spring with telescopic dampers and upper wishbones and rear semi-trailing arms a la Porsche.
With this car, Abarth won the World Championship for Makes in 1962. The racing version of the Abarth Simca was developed throughout the 1960s, and the winning design was found to be more than a match for its competitors. In two-liter, 202 bhp specification, the Simca Abarth was easily able to beat the Porsche 904 on the track and won the European Mountain Climb Challenge outright.
1963 Abarth Simca 2000 For Sale
Details: Seller Fantasy Junction is asking $110,000. Car is located in San Francisco Bay area.
Seller Comments: “Assembled post-period. Long time California based vintage racecar and road car. Over 24 years of historic racing including Monterey Historics, Wine Country Classic, HMSA, and CSRG club events.”
“1498cc Fiat 124 engine recently rebuilt by PBS and dynoed at 110hp. Campagnolo wheels, fire system, bolt in roll bar, Veglia gauges, two sets of wheels and Hoosier racing tires.”
“Lots of character, performance and great looks. Street registered and titled in California. Years of documentation and invoices.”
Sports Car Digest Comments: The May – August 2008 Cars That Matter price guide suggests a $64,200 – $189,000 range for the Abarth Simca 2000.
This very neat car has great lines and loads of character, although we would have a few questions regarding its provenance; the biggest question concerns the “assembled post-period” comment. With 24 years of racing history, are we to assume it was built in 1984 instead of 1963? That alone wouldn’t stop us from buying the racer, but that AND the lofty price tag would steer us towards something else.
Abarth Simca 2000 Photos
[Source: Sports Car Market; Fantasy Junction]