Dienstag, 1. März 2011

Cornering the Mulsanne-corner

Le Mans 1961 - Informations about this car greatly appreciated

This shot of Le Mans 1961 signed by Denis Hulme I was happy to buy via Ebay in order to give it to a friend of mine.

Carlo Abarth discussing the Bialbero-motor close to a works-car.. More information welcome

The Fiat Abarth 1000 Bialbero was presented first at the “Salone di Torino” end of 1960.

Abarth had tested the motor in his famous Pininfarina bodied Record car at Monza Race-Track.. The carrossery based on the Zagato-design but was built by Corna, Turin. Beside of these cars Abarth constructed the three (Others claim it were probably six) Le Mans participating first series cars with tubular frame-extensions  in front and rear. These cars took part at Le Mans 1960 and 1961 rather successfully and resulted in the respectable class-win in 850ccm class 1961 with Dennis Hulme at the  wheel.

These works-cars may be distinguished easily by the front-radiator, the Plexiglas-covered headlights and the tubular frame-extensions. Doors and luggage-compartment-cover as the motor-compartment-cover were completely from aluminum, different to the normal production-cars which had the frames from steel, covered with an aluminum skin only.

Externally we find two start-number illuminations, one on the right door and the other right in front of the motor-compartment cover as the regalements of Le Mans requested these illuminations; you will find them on any Le Mans participating car in the 60es.

There was a small Plexiglas shield riveted in front of the driver to push mosquitoes away. In front of the front wheel-arches you temporarily had a spoiler to give the front more pressure  to the ground at high speed, in rear behind the wheel-arches there were deflectors probably to reduce rising dust and water during the race. The front air intake for the water-radiator became modified several times and was finally riveted completely to cover it completely and to cut a new, smaller opening inside.

Our example, No “60” had had several smaller damages in front and a heavier contact in rear. The damages in rear obviously were repaired by cutting the tail completely, hammering the damages and welding the repaired part together with the rest. Then, to reinforce the body, very probably at Abarth, there were riveted steel sheet-metal parts onto the aluminum, below the body was sprayed in a green color as the bodies were treated before spraying them in red Nitro.

The fuel-tank was first upright in front of the passengers seat, later (but not much later, probably for 1961) a flat long distance-tank was installed above the front-tubular construction and the old opening to the drivers compartment became riveted and welded roughly, probably due to modified regalements. With the other tank there seem to be installed the big fuel intake in the middle of the front cover which we see in the photos of 1961.

The tubular construction in front held the radiator, the battery and the additional headlight on the right, besides of the carrossery.
A tubular frame in rear  held the rear part of the carrossery and the rear of the motor and the exhaust, “nourrice” for motors water and later an oil-filter. In this example the left rear tube was curved very probably to give the chain-retainer more space when the motor became removed. The rear inner wheel-arches became cut surely to safe further weight and became extended by aluminum, still following the original lines. During the racing period somebody cut the original wheel-arches and made semi-round ones, bigger and flared to give space for much larger and bigger wheels. In rear there were some strange modifications on the aluminum which seem as if an other motor and maybe a muffler on the right were mounted. It seems to confirm Mr. Engelbert Möll who told me at Abarth they tested the Simca-Abarth motor on a Record Monza body-shell, findig out that at high speed the front of the test-car was much loo light and therefor almost flying, before they started production of the Simca Abarth..

Door- and hoodframes were completely from aluminum as mentioned above. Somebody reinforced these parts with steel-applications as obviously they were too fragile to resist fourty years. Contact-corrosion gave them the rest.

Oldtimertreffen Konz 2006
as the fotoes above are visible on the site of the MotorSport-Club Konz anyway I linked them here for your comfort

Abarth at 4,16, 9,05, 9,33, 11,30, 11,55, 12,20, 14,20 (No 56),14,45?

Abarth at 4,15,  9,16

no Abarth visible

Thank you so much for posting, tvspnd1228

1 Kommentar:

  1. The fotoes listed above are published to assist historic research only. The copyright remains at the respective owners.

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