Open Roads, June | Lot 119
1976 Fiat 131 Abarth Rally Stradale
CHF170,500 | Sold
| Thörishaus-Bern, Switzerland
23 - 30 June 2021
- One of 400 road-going homologation specials built to comply with FIA Group 4 rally specifications
- Powered by 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine; five-speed manual transmission
- Rosso Arancio exterior over black interior
- Recently refurbished mechanically and cosmetically
- ASI certificate and FIVA passport
- Less than 50,700 kilometers showing on odometer at time of cataloging
The standard Fiat 131 could be accurately described as just another unremarkable family car, but the variant that was developed in partnership with Abarth and Bertone to be campaigned in the Group 4 Rally Championship was anything but ordinary. It brought untold publicity and success in the form of the 1977, 1978 and 1980 FIA World Rally Constructor’s titles, as well as the World Rally Drivers Championships in 1978 and 1980. Much to the delight of enthusiasts, it also brought 400 “Stradale” road-going versions to satisfy FIA Group 4 homologation requirements.
The alterations required to turn a bland sedan into an all-surface racing machine were significant and began with the chassis itself. Abarth engineers removed the rigid rear axle and replaced it with a fully independent Macpherson strut setup. They also developed a 2.0-liter twin-cam inline four-cylinder engine with a lightweight alloy 16-valve head, which sent power to the rear wheels through a five-speed manual transmission. The engine in the Stradale version breathed through a Weber double-barrel carburetor and produced a claimed 140 horsepower. Meanwhile, Bertone developed special bodywork, fitting a fiberglass hood and aluminum doors to reduce weight, and adding wheel arches to accommodate larger 15-inch wheels and tires, air intakes for cooling, and spoilers for additional downforce.
According to a copy of its original registration document, this Fiat 131 Abarth Rally Stradale was first sold to a resident of Ancona, Italy, with a plate number of AN 238087. The document lists five subsequent owners, all in Italy, with the car moving to Sirolo in 1978, back to Ancona in 1985, on to Villa D’Adda in 1997, then Momo in 2000, followed by Seregno in 2004.
The car is finished in Rosso Arancio with a black interior and has been under current ownership since 2019, during which service invoices indicate that it benefitted from more than 47,000 CHF in refurbishments by Blue Palm Service AG in Switzerland, starting in March 2019 and ending in July 2020. A comprehensive diagnostic inspection resulted in replacing the timing belt, tension pulley, and water pump, and removing and cleaning the carburetor. The engine and transmission mounts, rear suspension struts, right, front wheel bearing, rear brake calipers and pads, and muffler and mounting brackets were also replaced. The wheels were stripped and repainted and shod with new Pirelli tires. Blemishes in the bodywork were repaired and the rear fenders, left door, trunk lid and rear panel were resprayed. The front turn signal/position lights, taillights, and flasher relay were also replaced. Various other repairs and services were carried out, including replacing worn bushings and seals throughout.
The car was issued an Automotoclub Storico Italian (ASI) certificate on October 2000, and a Federation Internationale Vehicules Ancienes (FIVA) passport on August 2020. In addition to both of those, it is accompanied by factory manuals and service invoices.