Abarth Racing Cars Collection 1949-1974
By Franz Steinbacher, £35, deliusklasing.de, 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.