1959 Abarth 750 Double Bubble Project

1959-abarth-750-side

Who would have thought that a cheap econo car could be turned into a racing champion? Well, that is what happened when Carlo Abarth got a hold of the tiny Fiat 600. With its finely tuned engine and Zagato bodywork it was ready to run with the big boys. Real Abarth 750s are rare and command a premium today so we were surprised when P. Trout sent us a link to this one on LA’s craigslist.

1959-abarth-750-front

Fiat has tried to reintroduce this concept by offering a hopped-up version of their 500. Seeing the scorpion badges again is exciting, but the new car will never be able to capture the essence of the original. These cars weighed in at under 1,200 pounds and no amount of extra power could recreate the agility afforded by low weight.

1959-abarth-750

These little screamers did quite well in their day, racking up wins at the Mille Miglia and countless other races. We would love to know if this particular car has any race history before sending in our bid. The seller is looking for offers over $35k. That may seem steep for a Fiat, but don’t let its humble origins fool you. This is a thoroughbred racer that has been touched by some of Italy’s finest.

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Comments

  1. David

    The real question, How much for the isetta?

    • Michael

      It’s not an Isetta, it’s a Heinkel Kabinenroller :-)

      • Dimitris

        the red one, yes… its a Heinkel, but the blue is a sliding window BMW isetta

  2. Dolphin Member

    Lots of class wins by these little cars with humble beginnings and the stinger in their tail. Shows that a tiny, light car with good aero can do real well with under a litre if it’s tuned properly.

    This one is probably one of the last more or less complete unrestored DBs left out there, altho it looks like the engine has been worked on. I’d want to make sure it’s sound and the work didn’t stall because of some fatal defect.

    The core job will be the body, which has some corrosion and looks like it might be thin in places, maybe needing panels replaced. From the photos the question looks like How much needs replacing? Definitely the tail light area.

    $35K seems about right if most of the special Abarth parts are there and most of the body isn’t thin. Good DBs trade well over $100K, so it probably won’t make financial sense unless the buyer can do a lot himself. If there’s a good racing history that’s a big plus, but we don’t know whether it even has a VIN tag at this point. So right now it looks like a project mainly for the love of it.

  3. P Trout

    I was a little surprised when I found this.
    Not often you see one on Craigslist.

    A couple things I noticed:

    1)Seller says he has “small pink slip”, and there are CA Blue plates in the picture with the parts.

    2)front valence was cut, it looks like prior to the accident. The bar running down the centerline in that hole, looks like it could be a tow bar for racing. As there are no other opening on the front end, and and the body is Aluminum, this would be a cheap way to add a tow bar to a race car. This would also be a mounting place for a liquid cooler of some kind, (brake fluid or oil cooler maybe?)

    3) the front end damage bent the mounting location for the front “grill” or “Emblem”
    as the emblem in the parts picture is not damaged, that means that it was either not on the car when it was hit, or they found a replacement later. This is complete speculation, but as the emblem looks to have about the same patina as the rest of the parts, I would assume it was original, and not on the car because it was being raced.

    If a CA race history can be proven, the value of this car would escalate quickly.

    I am no expert on these,
    but based on what i have seen of other similar cars for sale in last few years, the price does not seem unreasonable.

    Haggerty has the condition 4 value at $46,600, and a #1 car at $133,000,
    The 750 Zagato value has nearly doubled in last 7 years,
    that makes this look like a great project for someone with the means and/or ability, even if they have to reskin most of the car.

  4. Horse Radish

    I think for $35k I would rather take my chances with the home built copy of a replica of a maybe Ferrari from yesterday.
    “Always a CA car”, maybe submerged off the coast for a couple of months every year ?

  5. Mike

    FDR Jr had a team of 3 of these that my dad saw all the time at race weekends all around the northeast. Briggs Cunningham and FDR Jr had transporters, etc, the 2 real pro teams in that region. My dad said these cars would eat up Corvettes and lots of other more powerful machinery at Limerock, Thompson, etc. Would love to own one someday.

  6. paul

    Sad to see this car like this. I have to say when I see the mint cars in the back round in this picture as well as others I have to wonder, it appears that the owner either has the means or does much of his own work, so it begs the question why isn’t he taking on this project instead of cashing out?…. I used to see these cars at Lime Rock Park all the time, the smaller tracks were well suited for these lightweight high rev cars .

  7. Dolphin Member

    I saw Abarth DBs race at Lime Rock and Thompson a few times, and they would often stay with the Corvettes and some of the other hi powered stuff in the corners. Those tracks are/were fairly short as race tracks go, and fairly tight, so there were corners where that could happen, but the straights weren’t long enough for the hi po cars to disappear off into the distance before the next corner came up. But a track like Sebring where there weren’t so many corners but there were very long straights, well, lets just say the little Abarths won their class a lot, but they also got lapped a lot by the big boys, too. Abarths were often called ‘giant killers’, but that’s a relative term in racing.

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