1952 Abarth 1500 Biposto : Classic Cars
Designed by Franco Scaglione, Nuccio Bertone and Carlo Abarth as a one-off for the 1952 Turin Motor Show, this Fiat 1500 Abarth appeared on the Fiat stand. It is among the earliest, if not the first, of the Fiat-based Abarths. After working on this car, Bertone went on to design the famous Alfa Romeos, B.A.T. 5,7, and 9, between 1953 and 1955. This car therefore has a claim on the title of B.A.T. 1 (Berlina Aerodinainca Technica). It shares the concepts and details echoed in the subsequent cars in that series.
The car carries a 75 horsepower, inline, four-cylinder engine, with overhead valves and dual Weber carburetors. It uses a four-speed gearbox and drum brakes.
The car traveled to the Packard styling studio, where it was used as a design study. it was spotted and admired by Richard Austin Smith, an associate editor of Fortune Magazine. Smith was in Detroit doing research for a magazine article on 'Packard's Road Back.' during his visit, a new advertising campaign was described, but they had not coined a slogan. Mr. Smith made suggestions, which ended up being adopted. The car was presented to Mr. Smith, as compensation for his suggested slogan. Fortune management allowed Mr. Smith to accept the car, and it remained with him until his passing. The car was used for approximately 20 years, acquiring 32,000 kilometers of use, before being placed in dry storage in Connecticut.
It was discovered in a barn in New England, where it had been in storage since the 1970s. Its owner had been given the car in 1953 by Packard President James Nance, who had purchased the car at the Turin Auto Show with the idea of studying it for design ideas for Packard's own cars. This Bertone-bodied Abarth 1500 Biposto coupe is one of the most important barn finds in recent motoring history. Fifty years after the Turin show, it was bought by its current owner who undertook its restoration.
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Sources : 1952 Abarth 1500 Biposto Photo | 1952 Abarth 1500 Biposto Article