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Abarth – Celebrating 70 years since Tazio Nuvolari’s victory started the myth of Scorpio

70 years ago the victory of Tazio Nuvolari who started the myth of Scorpio

Seventy years ago, on April 10, 1950, the great champion Tazio Nuvolari ended his racing career behind the wheel of the Abarth 204A, the first model built by Carlo Abarth. In Palermo there was the time trial that led from the Sicilian capital to Monte Pellegrino: a steep and suggestive ascent, characterized by many paved hairpin turns. At the start there was also the “Carlo Abarth Team”, with Tazio Nuvolari behind the wheel of the Abarth 204A, a racing two-seater with an elaborate engine of 1100 cm 3 . The champion always faced the track with the determination and finished the race winning his category and finishing 5th overall.

The friendship between Carlo Abarth and the great champion was born in the first post-war period, when Nuvolari – who had 55 victories in the international grand prizes and in the most important road races – ran for Piero Dusio’s Cisitalia, in which Carlo Abarth directed the team ran. When Dusio sold the competition cars to Abarth to emigrate to Argentina, Abarth was able to count on the collaboration of Nuvolari, who also lent himself to play the role of testimonial for the conversion kits for the steering wheel and mufflers.

Thanks to the Abarth sports kits, many small cars became “winning machines” in racing, allowing many young drivers to successfully compete in competitions. “Sunday on the track, Monday at the office” was the slogan of Carlo Abarth, who combined the supply of competition components with the activity of the official team, winning above all on the track and in the uphill races, with berlinette and sports.

After this famous victory by Nuvolari, Abarth won the Marche World Championship 6 consecutive times, from 1962 to 1967, the European Sports Prototype Championship of ’72 with Arturo Merzario, 4 editions of the European Tourism Championship (1965, ’66’, ’67 and ’69). The story of the great successes of the Scorpion brand continued from the seventies in rallies, with the conquest by the Fiat 131 Abarth Rally of 3 world Constructors ‘championships in 1977, ’78 and 1980, of a World Drivers’ championship in 1980 with the German Walter Rohrl, of a FIA Drivers Cup in 1978 with the Finnish Markku Alen. To this important series of victories are added the 7 European Rally championships won between 1975 and 2011 and the FIA ​​R-GT Cup won in 2018 and 2019 by the Abarth 124 rally.

A success story that has a double meaning: on the one hand continuing to be protagonists in sports competitions in fact, in 2020 Abarth participates in the ERC with the 124 rally and on the track is a technical partner of the Italian and German F4 championships. On the other, racing for Abarth continues to be the severe test bench for engines and technical and technological components which, tested in the most extreme conditions, can reach an extremely high level of performance and reliability to the advantage of competitiveness in their respective championships and of the future technology transfer in production models. 

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