When it comes to crafting bodies of motor vehicles, the Italian automobile shop, Pininfarina’s, is known as the top work of carrozzerias, who also designed and constructed the house of countless Ferraris, Maseratis, Alfa Romeos, Lancias, Fiats, and more. Normally considered as a bespoke or contracted generation sports/super auto creation outfit, a significant number of Pininfarina’s weirdo ventures have been dominated by its more standard work.
The 1960 Fiat-Abarth 1000 Bialbero La Principessa had a unique design. Abarth took point on a rather unclear objective in the late 1950s to manufacture a car specifically to break speed records that have not been broken for quite some time. It was successful in breaking 9 records. How did he do it?
Initially, the expert at Pininfarina were requested to build a smooth body that was aerodynamic and speed through like a bullet. With the help of Turin Polytechnic University wind tunnel, Pininfarina was able to test out their design and make adjustments. The finished result was a smooth all-aluminum monoposto (single-seater) body that looks like a UFO, all wheels are covered with wheel spats. Pininfarina’s efforts paid off and the measured drag coefficient was only .20. The final measurements of the car are 47 inches tall, 61 inches wide, and 180 inches long. The long and low designed really helped reduce the drag and it now ready to speed through like a bullet.
Many of you may ask, “Something that resembles a B2 plane without wings must have an immense powertrain.” But that is not the case here, Pininfarina wanted to reduce the weight as much as possible so it does not have any heavy powertrain components. A custom Fiat-Abarth micro 1.0 L four-cylinder engine is mounted in the middle of the car that is connected to a 4-speed manual transmission, the setup is able to provide just around 100 horsepower.
That may seem likes it’s underwhelming but because of its low drag coefficient and light weight, it is incredibly fast. After it was publicly shown during the 42nd Turin Motor Show, it went out to do what it was meant to be and that is to break speed records. Out of the 9 speed records it earned, 2 stood out the most. The first record is an average of 116 mph that was maintained for 72 hours straight and the other record is an average speed of 118.7 mph for 10,000 Km.
After its glory days, it was then became a part of a private collection for a few decades but now this unrestored and completely original is being sold at the Gooding & Company and will be featured in the next Pebble Beach auction. With a great history and a very unique body work, this is a one of a kind car that will surely be an experience to drive.
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