Carl Abarth (Carlo) was born in Vienna in 1908 and his formative years were punctuated by the two world wars. In the aftermath of the first he started racing cycles and motorcycles, which resulted in his apprenticeship at Castagna, more notable for their coachworks, designing frames for them, and even constructing his own racing machine built around a Sunbeam 600cc unit. His motorcycle-racing career took off introducing him to the leading figures in motorsport including Porsche and Nuvolari, with whom he became long-term friends and he moved to live in Italy in the early 1930s adopting the Italian version of his name. He achieved numerous successes on two wheels, culminating with him becoming European champion before his career was ended by a near-fatal accident in 1939.
Carlo Abarth’s fame lay principally in performance tuning and specialist work on small-engined cars; however he made a foray into the larger luxury sector of the marker in the late 1950s, producing some few models during a five year period utilizing Fiat or OSCA-based engines. The first examples were exhibited at the Turin Show in 1959 with engines bored out to 1600cc and stylishly bodied by Michelotti initially and then by Allemano and Ellena (formerly Boano). Introduced at the same show were coupe and cabriolet versions bodied by Allemano on a larger 2200 Fiat floor-pan; to be followed two years later by an even larger engined version of 2400cc styled by Ellena, while Allemano was commissioned again for 1963. It is almost certain that these cars were produced as one-off or show-cars only, as so very few seem to have been produced or even survive.
The engine for the later six-cylinder cars was the stock Fiat 1961 production unit of 2300cc, which Abarth modified by boring out to 2400cc and his tuned version was reputed to have produced about 140bhp.