Abarth To Mark 70th Anniversary At Silverstone Classic, And Showgoers Have Two Chances To Drive A Latest Model
Several illustrious marques are celebrating their anniversaries at this year’s Silverstone Classic, and now the legendary Abarth is joining them. It has chosen the mammoth retro racing festival, which takes place at the grand prix track in Northamptonshire on July 26 to 28, to pay homage to the 70 years since Abarth was founded. A range of activities are going to take place at the event to this end, and visitors may be particularly excited to hear that two of them will allow them to get behind the wheel of a latest Abarth car.
Showgoers at this year’s Classic can take Abarth and Alfa Romeo models out for a 30-minute test drive onto the country roads surrounding the famous Silverstone circuit, as the two marques are partners in the event’s interactive ‘Drive Live’ feature. Drive Live test drives are included in the ticket price. And in addition, Abarth also will be holding an Autotest Challenge, giving Classic visitors a chance to pit themselves against the clock, racing one of Abarth’s latest models around a figure-of-eight course.
As well as these, those at the Classic lucky enough to own an Abarth or Alfa Romeo already will also have access to an exclusive Silverstone club house. And topping it all off, there also at the event will be a special anniversary track parade for the Abarth Owners Club, showcasing Abarth examples from several eras across the seven decades, on late Saturday afternoon.
Abarth’s early creations were raced and hillclimbed by famous names such as Tazio Nuvolari and Piero Taruffi and the new enterprise quickly earned itself an enviable reputation–that it exploited commercially by selling high-performance accessories to motor manufacturers such as Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Alfa Romeo and BMW.
Abarth was sold to Fiat in 1971, and Abarth became the racing department of Fiat, managed by famed engine designer Aurelio Lampredi. Some models built by Fiat or its subsidiaries Lancia and Autobianchi were co-branded Abarth. Abarth also prepared Fiat Group’s rally cars including the Fiat 124 Abarth, Fiat 131 Abarth, the World Rally Championship-winning Lancia S4 Delta and the 2011 European Rally Championship-winning Abarth Punto S2000.
The iconic Fiat Abarth 124 won the 1972 and ’75 European Rally Championships, and after some years of success it was replaced by the 131 Abarth which won the World Rally Championship during the Group 4 era in 1977, ’78 and ’80.
“We are delighted that two great companies with such wonderful sporting pedigrees will be out in force at this year’s Classic,” said Silverstone Classic CEO Nick Wigley of Abarth and Alfa. “This is clearly a very special year for Abarth and I’m sure some of its unique Italian magic will rub off on all those coming to the Silverstone Classic at the end of July.”
Abarth UK marketing director Andrea Lo Presti added that: “Silverstone Classic is the perfect event for us to celebrate our 70th anniversary with dynamic activities and a track parade of classic and current models. We are really looking forward to hearing that distinctive Abarth sound echo around Silverstone once again.”
Images courtesy of Silverstone Classic