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The creation of a legend

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.

Abarth Heritage
The legend of the Scorpio

Re-live the story of Carlo Abarth, discover his challenges and how his bravery changed the concept of tuning and performance.

Look at the "Tales of Scorpio" videos

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.

From the first races to tuning

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.

A racing driver, a champion.

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.

The Abarth philosophy

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.

Objective: record

At the age of 57, Carlo Abarth achieves an acceleration record at the wheel of his Class G Fiat Abarth “1000 monoposto record” and the next day achieves the same record in a Class E single-seater. He lost 30 kg by following a diet of apples so he could climb into the cockpit.

Abarth Today

The Abarth brand still maintains its unique DNA, and is a synonym of performance, great driving pleasure and sporty appeal.

The story of the Scorpio continues, facing new challenges, creating unique vehicles and giving great emotion to whoever has the honour of driving these vehicles.


The Abarth brand earned its place in the annals of motoring history firstly by introducing its iconic mufflers and subsequently due to its ability to revolutionise the concept of sports cars. From telling the story of Carlo Abarth, his unforgettable cars and the incredible records that created the legend of his eponymous brand, to providing Restoration and Certification of Authenticity services, FCA Heritage preserves and champions the history of the Scorpion marque.
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