Abarth Rac­ing Cars Col­lec­tion 1949-1974

Classic Cars (UK) - - Driven -

By Franz Stein­bacher, £35, deliusklas­, ISBN 978 3 667 11392 4 Im­pres­sive in terms of qual­ity, size, quan­tity of ma­te­rial and sheer value, this book is timely, fol­low­ing a year that saw a much of for­mer works driver En­gle­bert Möll’s col­lec­tion of land­mark Abarths ex­hib­ited at Rétro­mo­bile, and parts of the T140 sports-racer project un­earthed at the Race Retro au­to­jum­ble. This isn’t just a book about pre-fiat takeover Abarths, it’s a book by Carlo Abarth’s work­ers them­selves. Au­thor Stein­bacher was a race me­chanic, driv­ers in­clud­ing Derek Bell, Ar­turo Merzario and Di­eter Quester con­trib­ute mem­o­ries of a dif­fi­cult but bril­liant man, and there are un­ex­pected an­gles on the Abarth story from a di­verse range of peo­ple.

The book has two dis­tinct sec­tions: per­sonal mem­o­ries of Abarth by those who knew him, and a full and beau­ti­fully il­lus­trated pro­file of Möll’s in­cred­i­ble 48car col­lec­tion. It’s a lit­tle light on tech­ni­cal de­tail, but as a chron­i­cle of a great but often over­looked mar­que pre­sented in a style usu­ally re­served for the likes of Fer­rari, Porsche and As­ton Martin, it’s es­sen­tial.

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