Colani Abarth Alfa 1300 Berlinetta 1959

Discussion in 'Cars' started by StarLight, May 28, 2014.

  1. StarLight

    StarLight

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    StarLight Garage presents a classic sports car from 1959, the Colani Abarth Alfa-Romeo 1300 Berlinetta ... designed by Colani, tuning by Abarth en powered by Alfa-Romeo a mythic trinity. Watch Out for this Scorpion!

    Car suggested by
    CostasDrifter



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    There are few would argue that Abarth has created some of the most ingenious, innovative and stylish cars in automotive history and this example still carries all the tell-tale signs of the Scorpion. A car that has had quite a chequered history yet has a place in the Alfa Romeo and Abarth history books.

    It is the 1957 Abarth-Colani Alfa Romeo in which German designer Luigi ‘Lutz’ Colani put into practice a combination of his own styling ethos and the thinking of none other than the great Carlo Abarth in Turin.

    Abarth had been testing his aerodynamic car design theories in serious and consistently successful attempts on various small-capacity World speed records. His real obsession with these cars was to improve their straight-line penetration and minimise their aerodynamic drag. Since he was always running with very small engines – commonly from 350 to 1300cc and rarely up to 2-litres – the brilliant Austrian-born designer was obsessive about aerodynamic influences upon his cars’ performance.

    It was in 1957 that he commissioned Lutz Colani to build an experimental aerodynamic car based upon an Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider platform. It emerged as an instantly recognizable Colani body form, while also showing circumstantial evidence of external influence, much from Abarth’s own recent experience. The long, pointed nose treatment seemed derivative of Pinin Farina practice, while the ‘double bubble’ roof line was characteristically an Abarth motif. Of greater interest was the rear end treatment that was probably unique at the time, and attention was also clearly paid to airflow management beneath the car – which in that period was quite unusually sophisticated.
    The car certainly has a history… maybe better described as a story of survival! This example is effectively ‘car 3′ and Abarth developed the ‘prototype’ with a tubular chassis designed by Colucci for rigidity – the intention was for the car to be homologated for the GT category.

    The Alfa Romeo Giulietta engine was originally modified by Abarth (998cc) and the gearbox mounted into the central backbone and once completed was tested at Monza before being taken to Avus near Berlin for speed runs where, following a tyre failure, it was all but destroyed.

    Following the accident the remains were bought by Herbert Schulze who asked his friend Luigi Colani to build a new body which took inspiration from a number of sources (note the ‘double-bubble’ roof which is very Abarth) and created a car weighing just 780 kg and with 110bhp from its 1300cc engine the Colin Abarth Alfa Romeo was capable of 143 mph and it was the first GT able to complete a lap of the Nordschleife in under 10 minutes!

    Then owned by Peter Kaus (for the first time) before disappearing for some time then again being owned by Kaus who fully restored the car to go into the Rosso Bianco Collection. The tangled history doesn't stop there though; enter Christophe Pund who bought the car when it came onto the market, he then sold it to another collector before getting it back.

    This Colani-Abarth Alfa Romeo 1300 has been preserved on public display for many years and we recommend expert inspection and preparation before any attempt is made to start and run the car. Even so, it is a fascinating 1950s aerodyne, one of the rarest Abarths ever built which can also be said to be road useable.

    Who knows who will write the next chapter in the history of this intriguing automobile but it definitely has it’s own place in the history of Alfa Romeo, Abarth and the creative portfolio of Colani.


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    Last edited: Dec 28, 2014
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  2. Humungus

    Humungus

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    No way this could be a Colani. Not ugly enough lol.
     
    StarLight likes this.
  3. StarLight

    StarLight

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    But it's a Coloni and why are they ugly following you?
    As you see not everything is ugly, even the "ugliest" partners could have a beautiful car.
    :lol:
     
  4. Scuderia Paul

    Scuderia Paul

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    Nice car. It appears to be smiling in the second image.
     
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  5. StarLight

    StarLight

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    Exactly ... you saw that too. :tup:
     
  6. CostasDrifter

    CostasDrifter Premium

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    For sure you got my vote! :lol:
     
    StarLight likes this.
  7. CostasDrifter

    CostasDrifter Premium

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    Let's see more details in and out...

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    ProjectF and StarLight like this.