Authentic. It’s a major buzzword these days for everything from a painting to a brand’s story. And in the car world, it’s a word that is worth a lot of money.
You may have heard of Ferrari’s Classiche programme, which will look at a car and offer factory certification of its provenance. Now Abarth has created its own programme, Abarth Classiche.
The headquarters for the programme is within the Fiat factory at Mirafiori on the outskirts of Turin. In the entrance foyer you’ll see the new 300bhp hardtop Abarth 124 rally car, in all it’s 1970s-era Group 4 livery. It’s that sort of place.
But of course such a visit as this wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t pay our respects to the Fiat Abarth 695 SS, the little bombshell at the beginning of it all, and there one is. We pay homage and carry on.
Here, for the small consideration of a 1000 Euro fee, Abarth will give you a certificate of authenticity for your Fiat, Abarth or Lancia if it’s over 20 years old. Naturally, they’re often going to find non-standard parts, so these can all be replaced in the workshops. So far they’ve restored over 50 cars to their original spec.
For example, there is a Fiat Abarth 131 rally car up on the ramps, a car which used to be rallied by Markku Alen. It’s in for some engine work and, while doing that, they discovered it had a one-piece exhaust which, as even my grandmother must be aware, is simply wrong. So they made the correct two-piece exhaust system from scratch. It’s that sort of attention to detail you’re paying for.
Or are you? Also in for some work was a 750 Record Monza with that astonishingly beautiful Zagato body. That’s now worth about 120,000 Euros, and Abarth reckon that the certificate of authenticity can be worth up to 10,000 Euros on the value of the car.
So if you crave authenticity, and you are lucky enough to own an old Abarth, you know where to go.