Lot 207

Miami 2024

1965 Abarth 695 SS Assetto Corsa Radiale

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$47,600 USD | Sold

United States Flag | Coral Gables, Florida

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Chassis No.
110F 0835654
Engine No.
ABA 206 1/83041
Documents
US Title
  • Astonishing performance care of Italy’s most winning competition concern
  • Offered from 29 years of dedicated single-owner care
  • Rare example of an authentic Abarth built at the Abarth factory
  • Unique 695-cc Type 106 Radiale engine rebuilt in 2006; less than 100 miles accrued since
  • The last of five examples factory-equipped with the Radiale engine, and possibly the only example in the US
  • Upgraded with larger wheels and front disc brakes for improved performance
  • Documented with Italian libretto, 1995 bill of sale, restoration invoices, and owner’s correspondence and research
Please note that this lot is titled as a Fiat.

After a brief career as a racing privateer during the interwar era, Carlo Abarth came to the attention of the greater motorsports world when he was appointed the sporting director of Cisitalia in 1947. When Cisitalia went into receivership a year later Abarth managed to acquire the manufacturer’s assets, and in 1949 he founded his eponymous concern Abarth & C. The company soon became famous for its competition successes, both with proprietary standalone models and collaborative efforts utilizing other manufacturers’ chassis.

Over the following decades, no manufacturer participated in more racing classes and in more countries than Abarth, and it is no exaggeration to consider the company the most successful competition concern of all time, as it went on to claim 10 world records, 133 international records, and more than 10,000 victories. Key to this prodigious output was Abarth’s relationship with Fiat, which commenced in 1952 with the creation of the Abarth 1500 Biposto. Fiat went on to officially provide chassis to Abarth for the build of uprated competition variants, which in turn achieved numerous racing wins.

Perhaps no models better epitomized the symbiosis between the micro-sized competition builder and Turin’s mass-market manufacturer than the 595 and 695 SS. Based on the rear-engine Fiat 500 that first appeared in 1957, this platform underwent several evolutions, utilizing special monoblock liners, competition pistons, and revised camshafts to significantly enhance performance. By the time the 695 SS appeared in 1964, engine displacement had been increased from the original 500 cubic centimeters to almost 700 cubic centimeters, nearly tripling the original engine’s horsepower output.

The most highly developed version of the model was the 695 SS Assetto Corsa Radiale, which was named for a Weber-carbureted experimental hemispherical engine head dubbed the Radiale. The body of this variant was modified with attractive fender flares that accommodated wider Elektron magnesium wheels, while the chassis was available with optional performance equipment including front disc brakes, reinforced suspension, close-ratio gearbox, and a limited-slip differential. Despite being built in sizeable numbers, perhaps only 150 examples of the 695 SS remain in existence today, and they beautifully exemplify Abarth’s core principles of efficient minimalist design driven by high-power performance modifications and an athletic chassis, ingredients that proved to be a truly winning formula.

According to correspondence from the prior owner, who cited the Abarth Register in Italy; and as later confirmed by the consignor in a conversation with former Abarth technical director Mario Colucci, no more than five examples of the 695 SS Radiale engine were originally built by the factory. This car is equipped with the last of those five engines. As the other four examples are believed to be in Japan, this car is potentially the only 695 SS Radiale currently in the United States.

In 1995 the Abarth was acquired by the consignor from the second owner, an Italian enthusiast who had recently refurbished the car to the racing-specification Assetto Corsa configuration, including a stiffer suspension, lighter bucket-style competition seats, replacement of glass with lighter Plexiglass, and further weight-saving measures. Under the consignor’s careful conservancy, the 695 SS has been fastidiously maintained and sympathetically refreshed as needed over the last 29 years, including a documented rebuild of the engine in 2006 by the Modena-based engine specialists at Officina Gozzoli, after which the car accrued less than 100 miles.

It is important to recognize that this 695 SS is an authentic Abarth built at the company’s Turin factory, and unlike some cosmetically similar cars it is not a factory-conducted upgrade or a privately modified replica. Equipped with front disc brakes, this intoxicating speed demon is well-maintained and prepared for spirited driving enjoyment. The car is impressively documented with an Italian libretto, 1995 bill of sale, restoration invoices, and owner’s correspondence and research.

An ideal candidate for presentation at concours d’elegance and Italian car shows, the Radiale also promises to delight its next caretaker with its torque-happy power delivery and spry handling through road courses and gymkhanas, delivering the purest essence of Carlo Abarth’s competition philosophy.