We travelled on February 7 to a very snowy Paris to see the classic Italian gems which FCA Heritage brought over to the Rétromobile Autoshow, held in the equally iconic exposition halls at the Porte Versailles. Indeed, nothing could stop us.
Stunning cars were on the show, like this Abarth Allemano 2400 Coupé…
On their 350 square meter stand we stood eye to eye with four remarkable cars, notably an elegant Lancia Appia Coupé, a Fiat Dino 2400 Coupé, an Abarth 2400 coupé, and last but not least an impressive Alfa Romeo SZ.
We tell you here in this post more about FCA Heritage and its mission, and focus then on the Abarth 2400 Coupé Allemano , the personal car of late Carlo Abarth, and our meeting with his wife Anneliese Abarth.
In a following post, we will present a portrait of Roberto Giolito, now head of FCA Heritage, but previously Chief designer of Fiat. He is most widely known for the Fiat Multipla, and the 2004 Fiat Trepiùno concept — precursor to the Fiat 500. His latest design is the Fiat 500L, which we tested for you recently.
In a further post, we will tell you more about the other remarkable cars FCA Heritage brought to the show, and of course on all the beautiful and interesting cars on the Retromobile Show, which will be a following separate post. A lot to see and read!
Hans Knol ten Bensel
FCA Heritage, a beautiful project of preservation and revival…
FCA Heritage: This Group department was set up in 2015 and now has developed a whole range of services for collectors and car enthusiasts of the Group’s Italian brands.
The Group’s dedicated heritage website is http://www.fcaheritage.com, and you can also subscribe to their very interesting newsletter by the way. This will keep you informed about their activities. On the front page of the site you see presently an Italian blonde beauty at the wheel of an equally iconic Fiat 1200 TV roadster.
At the press conference held on the show by FCA Heritage, Roberto Giolito explained us what FCA was all about, its mission and its activities…
Services offered by FCA Heritage…
FCA Heritage offers a wide range of services for clients all around the world. Indeed, by carefully verifying documents at the production registry, it can provide a certificate of origin for Alfa Romeo, Fiat and Lancia cars. The certificate is issued with information on the year of manufacture and the available details on the car’s original configuration (model specifications, engine number, color, interiors…).
Lancia and Abarth model owners can also request a certificate of authenticity: a panel of Heritage experts and brand historians will certify the vehicle’s originality after careful analysis, at home – anywhere in the world – or at the Officine Classiche in Turin.
Original manuals are also available for the happy owner of a classic Alfa…
On the site, you can also apply online for a certificate of origin. On top of certifications, Heritage offers collectors extensive restoration services. At the Officine Classiche, a team of experts – with access to original archives and connections to an international network of professionals – gives new life to classic cars, returning them to their owners in top condition.
Heritage supports and takes part in the most prestigious international automotive events and festivals (Targa Florio, Mille Miglia, Le Mans Classic, Goodwood Festival of Speed, etc.), the most important car shows in Europe (AutoMotoRetrò, Techno Classica, RétroMobile, Auto Moto d’Epoca) and exclusive Concours d’élégance (Villa d’Este and Chantilly).
Restoring an Alfa SZ to its former glory… for a happy new owner…
One of FCA Heritage’s new services is dedicated to selling a limited number of selected vehicles which, after being evaluated and restored, can be brought back to their original splendor directly by their manufacturer. The Parent Company takes it upon itself to give new life to its classics and give them back to clients after officially certifying their authenticity.
From discovery to restoration, from improving value to returning to the market: a complete cycle with strong cultural connotations. Because believing in a valuable heritage is not just about preserving it, but also about renovating it. Allowing it to live again as a historical treasure, but with a real impact on the present and future. For this reason, all sale proceeds are reinvested in scouting activities: so that history can go on. These are the proud comments of Roberto Giolito.
A stunning Abarth 2400 Coupé Allemano…
In 1959 Carlo Abarth decided to launch a range of grand tourers that were elegant and sedate but offered the typical high performance of Abarth cars. The project culminated in the Abarth 2400 Coupé Allemano, the last mechanical evolution of the flagship Fiat 2100/2300.
The range of elegant Abarths comprised three models: the 850 Coupé Scorpio, the 850 Spider Riviera and the 2200 Coupé and Cabriolet. The mechanicals for these last cars derived from the 6-cylinder Fiat 2100, but for the coachwork, Abarth commissioned the design to Giovanni Michelotti and the production to the Allemano studio.
In 1961 Fiat presented its new flagship model, the 2300 saloon, and Abarth used its mechanicals to upgrade his GT cars. In customary fashion, he increased the displacement of the 6-cylinder inline engine to obtain 142 hp at 5800 rpm by using lighter pistons, three Weber dual body carburettors and a completely redesigned exhaust system ending in the characteristic Abarth twin tailpipe.
The Abarth 2400 Coupé Allemano is an authentic rarity of which only a handful were built. It was clearly close to Carlo Abarth’s heart, because he kept one for his own daily use, as he had previously done with the 2200 Coupé.
The new body shape was an evolution of previous projects and style exercises, an equal mix of two styles proposed to Abarth by coachbuilders Ezio Ellena and Serafino Allemano.
For the last 2400 Coupé, Carlo Abarth chose the rear end design by Ellena and the front end design by Allemano, which was also tasked with assembling the vehicle until production ceased in 1962.
It is not known exactly how many cars of this last version were built, but probably only a few dozen were made. What is certain is that Carlo Abarth kept one for himself, using it for daily commuting and for holidays in his native Austria with third wife Anneliese.
Sweet memories: Anneliese Abarth posing in front of the car she used for holidays with her late husband Carlo Abarth…
His fondness for the car is further demonstrated by the fact that in 1964, Abarth decided to display it in his stand at the Geneva Motor Show, even though the model had been discontinued for two years.
We met with Anneliese on the show, and it was a happy reunion after your servant met her in Luxembourg at the presentation of the book she wrote about her life with Carlo Abarth.
Just look at the photos here, and look out for our following post, we will present a portrait of Roberto Giolito, now head of FCA Heritage and comment on the stunning cars presented at the show by FCA Heritage.
Hans Knol ten Bensel