My Car Quest

September 19, 2019

The Best Abarth That I Have Seen

by Mike –

Les Burd, a friend of mine, has just finished a seven year restoration of what is the best Abarth that I have ever seen.

1965 Abarth Simca 2000

1965 Abarth Simca 2000

It is a 1965 Abarth Simca 2000 Long Nose. There were only about six of these made and this one is in spectacular condition. These cars were raced in hill climb competition with some success.

Abarth Simca 2000

Les Burd restores Italian engines, he sometimes works at Epifani’s, the famous classic Italian car restorer, and is a judge at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Les has done 99% of the work himself on this special Abarth.

Les Burd And His Abarth

Les Burd And His Abarth

2-Liter Abarth Engine

2-Liter Abarth Engine

The engine, a Type 236 placed in the rear, is an inline 4-cylinder with two Weber carburetors producing 202 hp. The top speed is 270 km/h (168 MPH)!

2-Liter Abarth Engine

Because the engine is an inline 4-cylinder the headers converge into one big exhaust pipe going out the back on the left side.

Abarth Simca

The nose piece is made of fiberglass and the rest of the body is aluminum resulting is a dry weight of only 690 kg (1521 pounds).

Abarth Simca

Abarth Simca

Beautiful Steering Wheel

Abarth Simca

The Driver’s View

Abarth Simca

Six Speed Transmission

I was surprised to see a 6-speed transmission but with a top speed of 168 MPH it is needed.

Abarth Simca

Abarth Simca

The View Of Most Competitors

Abarth Simca

Below is a 1-liter Abarth engine that Les has restored for a client.

Abarth Engine

Abarth Simca

Abarth Simca

Abarth Simca

Abarth Simca

All photos by Mike Gulett.

 

 

Read about a Fiat Abarth Zagato 750 Record Monza Bialbero.

Abarth Poster

Comments

  1. Wonderful car. About as esoteric as they come. I used to sell Simca 1000 transmisisons to Al Cosentino who periodically ate up his 2L trannies with the extra torque and French made Simca gears. Not certain if that the problem was solved going to the 6 speed conversion.

    Here in the USA little ls known about Abarth other than what journalists have written. They are truly amazing designs and when you consider what they are built on (Abarth 2L =Simca 1000 chassis) it’s rather impressive. Pretty “impressive” in a corner at 10/10ths, too.

    • The six speed was developed by ABARTH in 1963 . In this car it came as an option according to the period factory literature. It used the SIMCA 1000 main casting and added a large aluminum housing in the nose to house 2 more gearsets.
      All the simca gears were discarded in favor of special ABARTH non syncro dog engagement style gears to maximize thickness and ultimate strength . The change mechanism is sequential as was the racing practice in the day. The Ring and pinion and associated bearings lived a hard life with all that horsepower so these cars were not used for long distance endurance events . They excelled at hillclimbs where they were world champions .
      I think Cosentino’s old 2L Stradale car is still equipped with its original 4 speed .box.

      • Alain Raymond says

        Hello from Quebec, Canada

        I am an Abarth owner and I am looking to reach as many Abarth owners as possible to provide information on the Lime Rock Historic Festival (CT) to be held Labor Day week-end. We are having a major Abarth and OSCA gathering and would like to email you the info, hoping you can attend. PLease reply to: omnitrad@axion.ca. I also invite you to visit my website (above). I was provided your name by Scott Marshall.

        Best regards

        Alain
        450-770-2560

  2. How appropriate this was bumped a few days ago. I had Les in the passenger seat of another Abarth Simca 2000 just last night. This one also has a 6-speed transmission. What a crazy little car! Absolutely nothing subtle about them. If your intent is to “fly under the radar”, don’t try it in one of these little beasts…

    Dale

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