Pocket rocket Fiat Abarth 1000 Bialbero for sale at Bonhams' Goodwood sale looks like a lot of fun
As fully paid-up, card-carrying members of the Small Car Fan Club, we were surprised to see this little gem, a 1961 Fiat Abarth 1000 Bialbero ‘Record Monza’ by Zagato, pass at Bonhams’ Goodwood Revival sale last September, when it was expected to make anywhere between £90,000 and £150,000.
It’s possible, of course, that the bidders were simply put off by the prospect of significant recommissioning work: the car, chassis 987382, has spent more than 33 years in the Maranello Rosso collection and, while it has been prepped for historic racing at some point in the past, its mechanicals are, as with those of most museum cars, in need of careful attention. The engine is tight to turn; there is some rust around the top of the liner of one of the cylinder bores; the clutch is worn and noisy; the brakes bind. It’s far from ready for an assault on the calendar’s biggest meetings, or even a local roll-up-and-race.
Cosmetically it is in fair nick, though, and its history is undisputed, with several good class wins to its name, both on the track and on the road. When restored to full working order it will offer entry to events of the highest order – and will go off like a box of illegal fireworks. There are few cars more fun to fling around a circuit than the featherweight, 124mph 1000 Bialbero Zagato, and few that turn more heads when flashing past.
Estimated this time around at a much more conservative £70,000-90,000, it really should find a new home; that valuation still represents good money for one of Abarth’s pocket rockets, but the Small Car Fan Club is growing ever larger…