Fiat Abarth 1000 GT Bialbero
First Registration 1961, Fiat Abarth 1000 GT Bialbero, Ex-Briggs Cunningham Racing Team
2nd Place at 3-hours Race Sebring 1962 with Racedriver Walt Hansgen
FIVA Identity Card
Swiss Road Registration with „Veteran“ entry
In February 1962, three white Abarth 1000 GT Bialbero were sold to Briggs Cunningham and shipped in the USA. In the short preparation time before the first race on the 23rd of March 1962, the Briggs Cunningham Racing Team added their characteristic dark blue stripes all over the bodywork from front to back. The drivers of these three Bialberos were Walt Hansgen (#7), Bruce Mclaren (#8) and Roger Penske (#9). At the 3-hours race in Sebring, Walt Hansgen with the start number 7 took the second place on the podium, crossing the finish line only eight seconds behind Bruce McLaren in the same Abarth Bialbero who was the winner in the class up to 1’000cc. After all, no one less than Stirling Moss had to be beaten in third place. At the end of 1962, all three Abarth Bialberos were sold to Don Rosendale, who then only retained number 7 and continued to race it until 1964. Don Rosendale sold this Abarth Bialbero to Jim Johnson, who owned the car until 1986. Extensive correspondence between Rosendale and Johnson documents in an interesting way their both-way technical sharing of information. Even after 1986, the continuing owners in the USA are known. In 2016, this Abarth Bialbero was bought by a Swiss enthusiastic car collector and imported to Switzerland. The expenses for the import and Swiss road registration including perfection work amounted to more than CHF 100,000. This Abarth Bialbero with a unique racing history is in absolutely outstanding condition and represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
In a test report from 1962, the car magazine “Auto, Motor und Sport” wrote the following words, which are still impressive today: “With a nasty, hard sound, the engine roared between 4,000 and 5,000 rpm, its sound alone revealed that it was actually a racing engine and not a Gran Turismo engine. The test drives with the small Abarth were a drastic eye-opener and made us understand why prestigious GT cars with much bigger engines don’t have any chance against it. There’s so much bull power in this little fellow, so much agility and temperament.” This is no wonder, even by today’s standards: just shy of 100 hp of power output with an kerb weight of only 570 kilograms make this cornering masterpiece literally fly away! When it was tested by the test driver, the Bialbero reached a top speed of an incredible 212 kilometres per hour.
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