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Abarth (Fiat)

Carlo Abarth worked won­ders in the 1950s and 1960s, most fa­mously soup­ing up Fiat 500s, al­though he worked on plenty of other mod­els too. By 1971, he had sold his busi­ness to Fiat, which turned it into a go-faster sub-brand. In 2007, Fiat set up Abarth as a sep­a­rate brand in its group with a view to selling hot 500s and Grande Pun­tos.

Gor­dini (Re­nault)

Amédée Gor­dini tuned cars in the 1930s but later started to pro­duce his own in lim­ited num­bers. A switch from Simca to Re­nault in the 1950s led to Re­nault-gor­di­nis be­ing cam­paigned in the Le Mans 24 Hours through­out the 1960s. The Dauphine Gor­dini ar­rived in 1957 as well as other Gor­dinifet­tled Re­naults, in­clud­ing the 5, 12, 17 and 8. Re­nault re­vived the brand in 2009 for sporty ver­sions of the Twingo and Clio.

RS (Ford)

The first RS (Ral­lye Sport) car, the Taunus 15M pro­duced by Ford of Ger­many, is 50 years old. But it took an­other two years be­fore the RS brand re­ally res­onated with fast-ford fans, with the Es­cort RS1600 in 1970. The fast Es­cort was the work of Ford’s newly es­tab­lished Ad­vanced Ve­hi­cle Op­er­a­tions, which came up with a raft of hot Capris, Es­corts and Fi­es­tas.

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