This record-breaking Abarth is coming up for sale and you need it | Top Gear
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This record-breaking Abarth is coming up for sale and you need it

'Monoposto' racer is a slice of 1960s excellence. Here's why

  • This Monoposto was actually built by Pininfarina on behalf of Fiat-Abarth, and made its premiere at the 1960 Turin Motor Show. And as you can expect, many jaws were left gaping.

    It's officially dubbed the 'Abarth 1000 Bialbero Record Car 'La Principessa' , and was built for speed. And records. Fiat-Abarth approached Pininfarina to design a car using the wind tunnel at the Turin Polytechnic. The engine they used for this 1960 record-breaker was a 1.0-litre four-cylinder engine that produced a nice, clean 100bhp. Yeah, downsizing in 1960. Those frantic little horses fed the rear wheels (with a four-speed gearbox on board) all packaged into that astonishing streamlined body.

    It stood 1.2m tall, 1.55m wide and 4.56m long and featured a drag co-efficient of just 0.20, which, if you enjoy understanding things like drag co-efficients, is (we're told) quite remarkable.

    But no, what you really want to know is fast. The idea was to build a machine capable of sustaining the highest speed over the longest distance to set a new world record. And the little 1.0-litre Fiat delivered. It set nine world records, including one where it travelled 10,000km with an average speed of 118.7mph, along with another record of a straight 72-hour run at 116mph. Talk about punching above your weight.

    Now, this very car is being offered up by Gooding & Company at its Pebble Beach auction, and remains fully unrestored. In fact, it's the first time it's ever been offered up for sale at all, and is thus described as a 'time capsule'.

    Estimated price? Over £1,000,000. OK, so it won't exactly be the perfect car to commute in. Nor do the weekly shop. But who cares. Just look at the thing...

    Photos: Degler Studio

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  • This Monoposto was actually built by Pininfarina on behalf of Fiat-Abarth, and made its premiere at the 1960 Turin Motor Show. And as you can expect, many jaws were left gaping.

    It's officially dubbed the 'Abarth 1000 Bialbero Record Car 'La Principessa' , and was built for speed. And records. Fiat-Abarth approached Pininfarina to design a car using the wind tunnel at the Turin Polytechnic. The engine they used for this 1960 record-breaker was a 1.0-litre four-cylinder engine that produced a nice, clean 100bhp. Yeah, downsizing in 1960. Those frantic little horses fed the rear wheels (with a four-speed gearbox on board) all packaged into that astonishing streamlined body.

    It stood 1.2m tall, 1.55m wide and 4.56m long and featured a drag co-efficient of just 0.20, which, if you enjoy understanding things like drag co-efficients, is (we're told) quite remarkable.

    But no, what you really want to know is fast. The idea was to build a machine capable of sustaining the highest speed over the longest distance to set a new world record. And the little 1.0-litre Fiat delivered. It set nine world records, including one where it travelled 10,000km with an average speed of 118.7mph, along with another record of a straight 72-hour run at 116mph. Talk about punching above your weight.

    Now, this very car is being offered up by Gooding & Company at its Pebble Beach auction, and remains fully unrestored. In fact, it's the first time it's ever been offered up for sale at all, and is thus described as a 'time capsule'.

    Estimated price? Over £1,000,000. OK, so it won't exactly be the perfect car to commute in. Nor do the weekly shop. But who cares. Just look at the thing...

    Photos: Degler Studio

  • This Monoposto was actually built by Pininfarina on behalf of Fiat-Abarth, and made its premiere at the 1960 Turin Motor Show. And as you can expect, many jaws were left gaping.

    It's officially dubbed the 'Abarth 1000 Bialbero Record Car 'La Principessa' , and was built for speed. And records. Fiat-Abarth approached Pininfarina to design a car using the wind tunnel at the Turin Polytechnic. The engine they used for this 1960 record-breaker was a 1.0-litre four-cylinder engine that produced a nice, clean 100bhp. Yeah, downsizing in 1960. Those frantic little horses fed the rear wheels (with a four-speed gearbox on board) all packaged into that astonishing streamlined body.

    It stood 1.2m tall, 1.55m wide and 4.56m long and featured a drag co-efficient of just 0.20, which, if you enjoy understanding things like drag co-efficients, is (we're told) quite remarkable.

    But no, what you really want to know is fast. The idea was to build a machine capable of sustaining the highest speed over the longest distance to set a new world record. And the little 1.0-litre Fiat delivered. It set nine world records, including one where it travelled 10,000km with an average speed of 118.7mph, along with another record of a straight 72-hour run at 116mph. Talk about punching above your weight.

    Now, this very car is being offered up by Gooding & Company at its Pebble Beach auction, and remains fully unrestored. In fact, it's the first time it's ever been offered up for sale at all, and is thus described as a 'time capsule'.

    Estimated price? Over £1,000,000. OK, so it won't exactly be the perfect car to commute in. Nor do the weekly shop. But who cares. Just look at the thing...

    Photos: Degler Studio

    Advertisement - Page continues below
  • This Monoposto was actually built by Pininfarina on behalf of Fiat-Abarth, and made its premiere at the 1960 Turin Motor Show. And as you can expect, many jaws were left gaping.

    It's officially dubbed the 'Abarth 1000 Bialbero Record Car 'La Principessa' , and was built for speed. And records. Fiat-Abarth approached Pininfarina to design a car using the wind tunnel at the Turin Polytechnic. The engine they used for this 1960 record-breaker was a 1.0-litre four-cylinder engine that produced a nice, clean 100bhp. Yeah, downsizing in 1960. Those frantic little horses fed the rear wheels (with a four-speed gearbox on board) all packaged into that astonishing streamlined body.

    It stood 1.2m tall, 1.55m wide and 4.56m long and featured a drag co-efficient of just 0.20, which, if you enjoy understanding things like drag co-efficients, is (we're told) quite remarkable.

    But no, what you really want to know is fast. The idea was to build a machine capable of sustaining the highest speed over the longest distance to set a new world record. And the little 1.0-litre Fiat delivered. It set nine world records, including one where it travelled 10,000km with an average speed of 118.7mph, along with another record of a straight 72-hour run at 116mph. Talk about punching above your weight.

    Now, this very car is being offered up by Gooding & Company at its Pebble Beach auction, and remains fully unrestored. In fact, it's the first time it's ever been offered up for sale at all, and is thus described as a 'time capsule'.

    Estimated price? Over £1,000,000. OK, so it won't exactly be the perfect car to commute in. Nor do the weekly shop. But who cares. Just look at the thing...

    Photos: Degler Studio

  • This Monoposto was actually built by Pininfarina on behalf of Fiat-Abarth, and made its premiere at the 1960 Turin Motor Show. And as you can expect, many jaws were left gaping.

    It's officially dubbed the 'Abarth 1000 Bialbero Record Car 'La Principessa' , and was built for speed. And records. Fiat-Abarth approached Pininfarina to design a car using the wind tunnel at the Turin Polytechnic. The engine they used for this 1960 record-breaker was a 1.0-litre four-cylinder engine that produced a nice, clean 100bhp. Yeah, downsizing in 1960. Those frantic little horses fed the rear wheels (with a four-speed gearbox on board) all packaged into that astonishing streamlined body.

    It stood 1.2m tall, 1.55m wide and 4.56m long and featured a drag co-efficient of just 0.20, which, if you enjoy understanding things like drag co-efficients, is (we're told) quite remarkable.

    But no, what you really want to know is fast. The idea was to build a machine capable of sustaining the highest speed over the longest distance to set a new world record. And the little 1.0-litre Fiat delivered. It set nine world records, including one where it travelled 10,000km with an average speed of 118.7mph, along with another record of a straight 72-hour run at 116mph. Talk about punching above your weight.

    Now, this very car is being offered up by Gooding & Company at its Pebble Beach auction, and remains fully unrestored. In fact, it's the first time it's ever been offered up for sale at all, and is thus described as a 'time capsule'.

    Estimated price? Over £1,000,000. OK, so it won't exactly be the perfect car to commute in. Nor do the weekly shop. But who cares. Just look at the thing...

    Photos: Degler Studio

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