Rare Rides: The 1959 Abarth 2200 Coupe Allemano
Fiat’s tuning company Abarth has appeared on Rare Rides once before, when we featured the very boxy Ritmo from 1987. Today’s Abarth is from a time when the company was independent of Fiat, and it happens to be the opposite of an Eighties econobox.
Presenting an Abarth 2200 Coupe Allemano from 1959.
The coupe you see before you has its basis in a much more ordinary Fiat sedan: the 1800. At the end of the Fifties, Fiat needed to replace its small executive sedan (the 1400/1900), which was the company’s first new model after World War II. The very rounded body of the 1400 gave way to the crisp, upright shape and formal lines of the 1800. Moving upmarket for the brand, the new executive Fiat sedan had six-cylinder engines of an inline configuration. Debuting in early 1959, the 1.8-liter model produced 75 horsepower, but a 1962 upgrade brought output to 86 horses.
Shortly after the 1800’s debut, the range-topping 2100 joined its sibling in dealerships. With a 2.1-liter engine of 82 horsepower, the 2100 also morphed into a Speciale trim, which had a longer wheelbase and an upscale front end treatment. The 2100 was short-lived, however, as in 1961 it was succeeded by the larger 2300. At the same time the pinnacle 2100 went away and a new base model 1500L joined the line. Combined, the three 1800 variants sold over 150,000 examples. The 1500, 1800, and 2300 all disappeared between 1968 and 1969, as the larger and more luxurious 130 took their place. Let’s head back to the Fifties.
From its inception in 1950 through 1971, Abarth was an independent manufacturer of racing and road cars. While the company did favor alteration of Fiat models, it also made performance parts and accessories for a number of European marques. But at the fancy sedan’s debut, Abarth’s founder Carlo Abarth had his eyes on the new 2100. While Abarth would handle the mechanical changes in house, the coupe body was shopped out to Carrozzeria Allemano. The well-known coachbuilder formed in 1928, making car bodies for all the big Italian names.
Allemano sculpted a sleek coupe shape to replace the upright angles of the 2100 sedan, then trimmed a luxurious interior of fine leather and metals. Meanwhile, Abarth hired Ferrari V12 engine master Aurelio Lampredi to massage the 2.1-liter engine of the 2100. Displacement increased by around 100 cc, and the new 2200 engine was fitted with three carburetors instead of one. Power output increased to 135 horses.
Delivered to very discerning customers in Europe, Allemano created around 28 of its 2200 coupes. This one’s for sale in the Netherlands, in spectacular condition after a full restoration. Yours for $201,000.
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