The man who beat the train
In the saddle of a motorbike and side-car, Carlo Abarth challenged and beat the Orient Express train, travelling over 850 miles from Vienna to Ostend.
Even at the age of 11 Carlo Abarth was already a legend in the making; covering the wooden wheels of his scooter with a leather belt so that he could go faster and win against the older children in his neighbourhood.
Performance, speed and motoring was ingrained in Carlo's DNA, unable to resist the temptations of a challange, whether on two of four wheels.
Re-live the story of Carlo Abarth, discover his challenges and how his bravery changed the concept of tuning and performance.
After a career as a racing motorcycles and cars, Carlo Abarth founded Abarth & C with Guido Scagliarini in 1949. The first vehicle produced was the 204 A Roadster, based on the FIAT 1100. It immediately won the 1100 Sport Championship as well as Formula 2. Alongside racing, the company started to produce tuning kits that improved performance, power and speed of standard vehicles.
In just a few years, Abarth & C. had 375 employees and production of around 300,000 exhaust systems a year.
Called to replace a driver who was taken ill, Carlo Abarth achieved the fastest time in the first practice session. The other drivers accused him of having tampered with the vehicle and to prove otherwise, he changed vehicle. In the second practice, he achieved pole position yet again with an even faster time.
Abarth vehicles were renowned for being high-performing and powerful, but first and foremost small and agile just like the Scorpion.
His performance modified cars achieved success in every competition and with Carlo Abarth at the wheel, took many records.
In the 1950s and throughout the 1960s, the Abarth brand continuously and incessantly made a name for itself in the public mind as the synonym for sport, tuning and performance, changing the sports car world.