Published on January 20th, 2023 | by Subhash Nair0
The Fiat 131 Abarth Rally Is One Of The Rarer Collectible Homologation Specials
They made just 400 Fiat 131 Abarth Rally units to meet homologation requirements.
The Fiat 131 Abarth Rally is a car that holds a special place in automotive history. In 1976, 400 examples of this vehicle were built for homologation purposes, which means they were built in order to meet the requirements for competition in various motorsports events.
The process of creating these cars began with Bertone taking part-completed two door standard bodyshells from the production line in Mirafiori. To reduce weight they then fitted plastic mudguards, bonnet and bootlid, as well as aluminium doors.
They also modified the metal structure to accept rear independent suspension. Extra-large dynamic air intakes on the left side of the bonnet and on the side facilitated cooling. Once these modifications were complete, the cars were fully painted and trimmed and then delivered back to the Fiat special Rivalta plant where they received the Abarth mechanicals.
While “Corsa” (racing) versions had a different Kugelfischer mechanical injection system and light alloy cylinder heads, the “Stradale” (street) version of the car used a DOHC 4 valves per cylinder derivative of the standard twin cam inline-four engine.
This engine was equipped with double downdraft 34 ADF Weber carburetors, which produced 140 PS at 6400 rpm and 172 Nm of torque at 3600 rpm. These street cars used the standard gearbox with no synchromesh, which was required by Rally type regulations that stipulated that the same type of synchromesh had to be used on the competition cars as on the street versions.
Additionally, the street version of the car also had the underdimensioned brake system of the small Fiat 127, which was not ideal for high-speed driving.
Overall, the Fiat 131 Abarth Rally is a unique combination of performance and style that made it a popular choice among car enthusiasts back in the day. It remains a sought-after collector’s item to this day.
Despite its limitations, the Fiat 131 Abarth Rally is a testament to the engineering and design capabilities of the companies that built it and continues to be a beloved classic car among enthusiasts. Sadly, only 400 were ever made, so it’s unlikely you’ll ‘bump’ into one of them on Malaysian classifieds.