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Abarth 209A Coupé Boano

The design of this car, with its high wheel arches, retractable headlights, sporty stainless steel exhaust pipe on the right and panoramic windows, is rather exotic.

Yet an ‘ordinary’ Fiat 1100 hides behind this exterior. It was specially built by Abarth in a batch of twelve cars meant for export to the United States. Ten of these were made to race in the 12 Hours of Sebring, two were made for road use. Of these two road cars this the only coupé.

The 1.1-litre Fiat engines were tuned by Abarth to produce 66 hp, almost doubling the original 36 hp. Designer Mario Boano was responsible for the styling of the cars, which were launched in Turin and Paris in 1955.

The name of Carlo Abarth, an Austrian-born Italian, is inextricably linked with tuned-up Fiats and special exhaust systems. Abarth began working on these in the 1940s, but he also built many models and engines under his own name, including a 350 hp V8. In 1971 he sold his company to Fiat and retired to Austria, where he died in 1979.

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