In 1966 the Fiat 124 Sport Spider forcefully bursts into the sports car market with an extremely elegant line and the world’s first twin-shaft engine driven by a toothed belt. Private drivers immediately appreciate its great road qualities and use it both in speed racing and in rallies. In 1970 the private individuals Alcide Paganelli and Ninni Russo win the Italian Rally Championship; in 1972 private individuals Lele Pinto and Gino Macaluso, assisted by the manufacturer, won the Mitteleuropean Championship (Mitropa Cup). In the same year, Abarth prepares the absolute weapon for the Squadra Corse, which becomes official. In three years of rallying at the highest level, the Fiat Abarth 124 Rally enters the legend, capturing numerous successes and winning the European Championship in 1975 and the Italian Rally Championship in 1974 and 1975. In 2016 the model long regretted by enthusiasts returns in a guise all new, very modern and technological, which in every way draws on the great tradition of the past. The book tells the evolution of the 124 Sport Spider in the various displacements and of the 124 Abarth Rally and summarizes their racing events in seven chapters. Finally, it covers the genesis of the new Abarth 124 from design to competitive debut. The texts are supported by over 300 images of the time and current, many of which unpublished, by detailed technical sheets, lists of “racing” plates and other important documents for the knowledge and correct conservation of the models.
The authors Elvio Deganello and Roberto Valentini shared the competences: Deganello – as well as an appreciated journalist, competent ASI technical commissioner – took care of the historical part; Valentini, who had the opportunity to follow the development of the 2016 model step by step, tells of this exciting new adventure in the world of rallying. The photographs from the Actualfoto archive are essential, allowing you to relive the competitions of the past.
Ruben Wainberg plays an important role, designer of today’s Abarth 124, who worked on this book with passion, dedicating himself to his graphic design, in collaboration with Patrizia Bisa, art director of La Manovella magazine. To follow the chapter of the stylistic transition between the old and the new Fiat 124 model, which is due to the skilful pen and inventiveness of Roberto Giolito, already author of a cult model like the new 500. Today Giolito is in charge of the Heritage sector of FCA and therefore represents the relationship between the great history of the brands that are part of the group and its present.
Just as announced in the title of the volume: “Abarth 124 past and present”. The book is written in Italian and English.