an amazingly red, and yellow from certain angles, french (sorry fiat, italy) 1961 abarth simca 1300 s1. now just try and find one.
most people associate abarth with fiat, but a very successful liaison was also formed with simca. the lesser known french company was partly owned by fiat at the time, and when they wanted to appeal to a younger market with a more sporty model, they turned to the italian giant for help. fiat in turn went to abarth, who received sponsorship from the larger company. a deal was struck whereby simca shipped floorplans of their 1000 sabour to abarth, who then cut 4″ out of the chassis and built handsome lightweight aluminum bodies around them. the engine was an all-abarth 1300cc four-cylinder twin-cam unit which produced up to 140 bhp and was mounted in the rear, while suspension was nearly stock simca 1000, incorporating a transverse front leaf spring with telescopic dampers and upper wishbones and rear semi-trailing arms a la porsche. with this car, abarth won the world championship for makes in 1962. the racing version of the abarth simca was developed throughout the 1960s, and the winning design was found to be more than a match for its competitors. in two-liter, 202 bhp specification, the simca abarth was easily able to beat the porsche 904 on the track and won the european mountain climb challenge outright. by xy