41.5 hp, 747 cc inline four-cylinder engine, two-barrel Weber carburettor, four-speed manual transmission, independent upper wishbone with transverse leaf spring in the front, coil springs and swing axle rear suspension, and four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 78.7 in.
• Hand-built Zagato body
• Welcome at a wide range of vintage events
• Well restored and maintained
Carlo Abarth’s company found its key growth opportunity with the launch of the Fiat 600 in 1955. Abarth developed a 750-cubic centimetre version of the 633-cubic centimetre engine, selling derivazione, or “derivation”, kits for dealers and garages to fit into stock 600s. In addition, he built complete cars in his factory for street and competition use. The best known of these were sleek, lightweight Zagato-bodied cars.
Making its début at the 1955 Turin Auto Show, the Fiat 600 Derivazione 750 Abarth Zagato was propelled into the racing world in 1956. Success came rapidly in a variety of European events, and it made an unmistakable statement when it swept the first three places in the 750-cubic centimetre class at the 1957 Mille Miglia. Across the Atlantic, the 750GT, nicknamed the “Double Bubble” for the distinctive roof humps, were equally successful on the U.S. circuits.
This Fiat Abarth 750 GT is an early example, as noted by the small tail lights and the shape of the rear engine lid. It has been well restored to a high standard and still presents quite well. It has been maintained since 2003 in a large collection that maintains a number of Zagato-bodied cars, a particular enthusiasm of the owner. An inspection reveals that the many small trim details unique to these cars are complete and in place, such as the alloy trim rings surrounding the headlamp covers, the ventilation flaps at the rear of the side quarter windows, and the distinctive Abarth Jaeger gauges; later, Abarth wheels were fitted.
The value that the Fiat Abarth 750 GT represents cannot be overstated. Any other hand-built, Zagato-bodied sports car with as impressive a competition reputation cannot be found. The Double Bubble is a welcome participant in vintage rallies and race and concours events around the world and is a fun drive on or off the track.