01 December 2016

The history of FCA motorsports told at the 2016 Bologna Motor Show

 

  • Fourteen prized classic cars picked to celebrate the racing flair of all FCA brands will be on show.
  • For Fiat, the Balilla Coppa d'oro (1934), the 1100 S (1947) and the Uno Turbo Trofeo (1990).
  • Alfa Romeo will be lining up the Gran Premio Tipo B "P3" Aerodinamica (1934), the 750 Competizione (1955), the Giulia Super 1300 (1973), the Alfa 75 Turbo Evoluzione IMSA (1988) and the F.Indy Lola T9100-Alfa Romeo (1991)
  • Abarth has picked the Fiat 131 Abarth Rally Gr.4 (1976) and the Fiat Abarth 1000 Monoposto Record (1960).
  • Lancia will be contributing with the Lancia Alpha Sport (1907), the D 25 (1924), the Stratos Alitalia (1976) and the Delta Integrale Martini (1988).

 

A space will be reserved to vintage cars at the 2016 Bologna Motor Show: "Passione Classica" in hall 25 will retrace the history of Italian and international automotive tradition for the general public with a display designed to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the event. Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Fiat and Lancia, that have written some of the most beautiful pages in world automotive history with their heritage made of cars, people, motorsport wins, design and technical innovations, could certainly not miss out on this opportunity. A glorious past that adds value to the heritage of the brands and to the models of today and tomorrow.

 

In the best tradition, motorsports will be the central theme of the Motor Show and FCA Heritage will be showcasing a selection of models that express the involvement of all FCA brands in racing. The oldest car in the line-up will be the Lancia Alpha Sport that won the Grand Prix in Savannah, Georgia, on 25 November 1908, with William Hilliard behind the wheel. The other cars are examples of racing activities in a wide array of areas: Grand Prix, road races (the Mille Miglia first and foremost), records, rallies, one-make championships and Formula Indy. The stand will also be the opportunity to present more about the Fiat Heritage Centre and the Alfa Romeo Museo, dubbed "La Macchina del Tempo" that was fully revamped in 2015 and will soon be celebrating its fortieth anniversary. For the occasion, on December 18, which is the official opening day 40 years ago, the museum will organising a very special visit: the bonnets of all the cars on show will be opened to reveal the engines. Particular body types - like the Carabo with its scissor doors and the ProCar with its visible chassis - will also be arranged in the "open" configuration.

 

The www.fcaheritage.com website dedicated to the history of Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Lancia and Abarth is to be the online showcase of the FCA Heritage department and become the go-to place for everyone interested in the history, events and activities revolving around the classic cars of the Italian brands of the Group. On the website, enthusiasts can sign up for the FCA Heritage Newsletter to stay abreast of the activities and services which will be made available over time. What is more, owners of classic Alfa Romeo, Fiat and Lancia cars will be able to request a "Certificate of Origin" for their car online.

 

Fiat

Balilla Coppa d'oro (1934)

The 1934 508S, known as the Balilla Coppa d'Oro, is an exquisite vintage car. It takes its name from the victory secured in the "Coppa d'oro del Littorio" in 1934. Characterised by its striking continuous red wings, the car derived directly from the 1933 Fiat 508 S Balilla Sport, a two-seater Spider with cabriolet body and spoked wheels. The Fiat fits a front-mounted 995 cc engine with overhead valves and a Zenith 30 carburettor. It delivered a peak power of 30 HP and touched a top speed of about 110 km/h.

 

1100 S (1947)

The sporty 1100 S is the direct descendant of the pre-war 508 C MM. It fits a sophisticated engine delivering a peak power of 51 HP and clocked a top speed of 150 km/h. The car made its winning racing debut at the Mille Miglia the following year coming second, third and fourth in the general ranking. The body re-interprets the style of the aerodynamic, pre-war, Kamm tail two-seater. Four-hundred and one copies of the 1100 S were made until 1950.

 

Uno Turbo Trofeo (1990)

The car on show in Bologna displays a racing outfit but never actually competed, neither in the one-make championship nor later. This model derives from the Uno Turbo i.e. Racing introduced at the Bologna Motor Show in 1989 and has a displacement of 1372 cm3 delivering 140 HP.
In the mid-'80s, the Uno Turbo was given the not simple task of refreshing the image of Fiat in promotional rally racing and at the same of redefining the positioning of the brand in performance-to-costs ratio compared to the higher level groups admitted by regulations. The Fiat Uno Championship was established in 1985 taking the place of the A112 Autobianchi Championship. Uno 70 cars raced for the first two years before being replaced by the Uno Turbo.
The Uno was chosen for image reasons: the championship was the final step in process aimed at defining the racing perception of the Group. With Lancia competing in major national and international races, the role of Fiat was to promote new generations of rally drivers offering access to the racing world at reasonable tune-up and management cost. Only cars equipped with parts contained in the specific kit were admitted. The calendar included the Costa Smeralda, Isola d'Elba, Targa Florio, Lana, Piancavallo, San Remo, San Marino and Sestriere rallies.

 

Alfa Romeo

Gran Premio Tipo B "P3" Aerodinamica (1934)

This single-seater Gran Premio Tipo B designed by Vittorio Jano was a milestone in Alfa Romeo's racing history. The Tipo B, better known as the "P3", made its appearance in 1932 in Monza winning the Italian Grand Prix. This was the first of a long string of successes and the car would end the following racing season unbeaten. An "aerodynamic" version was created by Breda Aeronautica engineer Pallavicino in 1934: it fitted an evolved engine (supercharged straight-8, 2905 cm3, 260 HP of power) which together with the new body configuration added 20 km/h to the top speed of the car. Guy Moll drove the P3 Aerodinamica to victory at the AVUS Grand Prix in Berlin touching top speeds of 262 km/h. The car on show is a reconstruction made by Alfa Romeo based on original drawings.

 

750 Competizione (1955)

The Alfa Romeo 750 Competizione is a compact racing spider. It was made in 1955 to compete in the sport category for displacements up to 1.5 litres. The name 750, which was the code type of the nearly contemporary Giulietta Sprint, was designed using the same light-alloy, twin-cam, four-cylinder engine as the Sprint, with displacement upped to 1488 cm3 and twin spark ignition. Peak power was increased to 145 HP (reached at 9500 rpm). It had a top speed of 220 km/h. The body, with a style that set it apart from all other Alfa Romeo models of the mid-1950s, was designed by Boano.

 

Giulia Super 1300 (1973)

The car that took park in the fifth re-enactment of the Peking to Paris race, covering the 13,695 kilometres of the route from June 12 to July 17 last year. The car belongs to Scuderia del Portello, the official Alfa Romeo club.

 

Alfa 75 Turbo Evoluzione IMSA (1988)

The 1987 Alfa 75 Turbo Evoluzione, made to compete in Group A touring categories, was developed the following year with a version tuned to comply with IMSA (International Motor Sport Association) regulations. In the latter configuration, the 75 delivered a power of 335 HP, which were upped to 400 in 1989, unleashed by its classic supercharged, twin-cam, 1762 cm3 straight-4. The body of the IMSA features wider track and streamline aerodynamics with a showy carbon-fibre rear spoiler. The 75 Turbo Evoluzione IMSA won two editions of the "Giro d'Italia Automobilistico" in 1988 and in 1989.

 

Formula Indy Lola T9100-Alfa Romeo (1991)

Alfa Romeo ventured to the United States in the early 1990s designing a 2.6-litre turbocharged V8 that delivered an estimated power of 700 HP and complied with Formula Indy regulations, which was the USA equivalent of Formula 1. The engine was initially installed on a March chassis and then from 1990 on the Lola, that sported a garish "American style" livery. The Lola-Alfa Romeo took the fourth place in its debut race on the Surfers Paradise Street Circuit.

 

Abarth

Fiat 131 Abarth Rally Gr.4 (1976)

Based on the two-door body of the 131 first series, the Fiat 131 Abarth Rally was equipped with a four-cylinder twin camshaft engine derived from the Fiat two-litre and developed by Abarth. The road version had a 1995 cm3 displacement and delivered a power of 140 HP beefed up to 235 on the racing version. It was the "golden age" of the so-called Group 4: technical rules allowed teams to convert everyday family sedans into authentic race cars. The brand won the constructors' world championship for the first time after its debut in 1977 with the Fiat 131 Abarth Rally. The title was successfully defended the following year and won once again in 1980 thanks to the many victories of the duo Markku Alén - Walter Röhrl: the German won the drivers' championship title in 1980. Had there been an official drivers ranking in 1977 and 1978, Alén would have been world champion already back then.

 

Fiat Abarth 1000 Monoposto Record (1960)

The Fiat Abarth 1000 Pininfarina was crafted in the wind tunnel: from 28 September to 1 October, the new record-breaking Fiat Abarth tested its mettle on the Monza racing track setting new standards in the international G class (from 751 to 1100 cm3). Nine drivers alternated at the wheel and set the new international records in the 12 hours, 2000 miles, 24 hours, 5000 kilometres, 5000 miles, 48 hours and 10,000 kilometres categories. The tests continued until 1 October when the car scored its first 72 hour world record, covering 13,441,498 kilometres at an average speed of 186.687 km/h.
The chassis, engine and all the mechanical parts of the car were made entirely at the Abarth plant. The body was made by Pininfarina.

 

Lancia

Lancia Alpha Sport (1907)

The Lancia Tipo 51 12 HP was the first standard production model made by Lancia & C. The car, presented at the Turin Motor Show in January 1908, was renamed "Alpha" the following year when Vincenzo Lancia's brother Giovanni, who was a teacher, suggested to use the letters of the Greek alphabet to designate his cars. Fitted with a 2543 cm³ bibloc straight-4 engine, it delivered a peak power of 28 HP and reached a respectable top speed of 115 km/h. With over one hundred sold and exported to the UK and the United States, the Alpha was a great commercial success for the fledging auto maker. In addition to the racing version, of which only a few units with short wheelbase were made, the car was also made with coupé, landaulet, limousine and double phaeton body types.

 

D 25 (1924)

This is a rarity: it is the only Lancia D25 Sport existing in the world. The perfectly working car was prepared for Alberto Ascari's participation in the 1955 Carrera Panamericana, but the driver's tragic death on the Monza circuit and the unexpected decision of the Mexican government to cancel the race ended up in the car being transferred from the workshop directly to the Lancia Museum.

 

Stratos Alitalia (1976)

Equally legendary is Lancia Stratos Alitalia Gruppo 4 on show in Bologna. The car won various races, including the Portugal Rally in 1976, in addition to coming second in the Monte Carlo Rally in 1977. Specially designed for rallies and with only 500 built (this being the requisite number for official homologation), the Stratos HF was a small mid-engine car, designed by Nuccio Bertone and fitted with V6 of the Dino Ferrari. Lancia won three world championship titles in a row from 1974 to 1976 with the Stratos HF.

 

Delta Integrale Martini (1988)

Racing version of the Lancia Delta, designed specifically to compete in the rally world championship. It raced from 1988 to 1993, taking six constructors' titles and winning 35 times. The 1995 cm3 engine fits a Garrett T3 turbine and outputs 300 HP. 

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