1979 Zastava 750: Abarth Wannabe

1979 Zastava 750

I’m not sure why, but I have a soft spot for the classic Fiat 500 and it’s successors. I’ve always thought it would be a blast to turn one of these tiny cars into a racer. Some of my favorite vintage racing photos are of the Abarth 500s going up against Mini Coopers! It just looks like a good time. The problem is, finding a car solid enough to build into a racer, but isn’t so nice that you feel bad doing so. Well this Zastava 750 is essentially a Fiat 600 and since someone has already modified it, I wouldn’t feel bad racing it. The seller imported it from the Easter Bloc about 2 years ago. At that point it ran and drove, but after leaving it parked outside in Florida, it’s now in need of work. Before being imported, someone decked it out with Abarth style body panels, livery, and all sorts of terrible interior components. If it ends up being raced, all of that will get stripped off anyway! And since it is the Zastava it has the bigger and more powerful 750 engine. You can find this Abarth wannabe here on eBay in Winter Garden, Florida with bidding starting at $2k. So would you turn this car into a racer or leave it as a street car?

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Comments

  1. AbarthBill

    Here is what a REAL Abarth looks like blowing the doors off Minis, NSUs, Saabs, etc. https://www.dropbox.com/s/yri8ojygt47bnlo/RA%201968%20conv.wmv?dl=0
    Some people have had trouble opening the link. If it asks to sign up, just click on the ‘X’, upper right corner. Then click on the arrow.
    That’s me winning Road America June Sprints, new track record.
    AbarthBill

    • AbarthBill
    • Dolphin Member

      What a great ‘home movie’! There must have been a lot of satisfaction in beating all those sportscars & sport sedans, and breaking the class record doing it. I almost expected to be able to pick out Peter Egan from among all those Sprites, but I guess he was over in Vietnam at the time.

      Makes me wish I had bought a F-A—-any real F-A—back when they were affordable, original, and not used up. Also makes me wonder whether you still have the car. Me? I just got the brochure instead.

      The way the movie shows Road America—my favorite track—back then is amazing. No Armco except on the front straight to keep the cars out of the bleachers and the pits, and trees and workers close to the track. And then that red sedan (Sunbeam Imp?) rolling over on its tall suspension and skinny tires. Talk about “back in the day”.

      Thanks for the link Bill.

      • AbarthBill

        Thanks for watching. That was an NSU rolling in 12, driven by Dr. Peter Braun and later raced by Dick Eisenmann.
        My car is in a museum in Switzerland.
        I have many more movies of RA, Lynndale, Wilmot, Brainard, Meadowdale, etc. Seems not many are interested.

  2. rjc Member

    I bet this would be a fun little car.
    wash it, check the brakes get it runnung and have a ball at your local auto cross.

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