As the company that Carlo Abarth moves into its 50th year, Influx looks at the man and his legacy.
Born 1908 in Vienna, Karl Abarth was reincarnated in post war Italy as Carlo, the true renaissance man of world motoring. Sportsman, engineer and businessman ‘The Magician’ excelled in every aspect of the car industry – from performance exhaust systems, innovative motorcycle racing technologies (see the flexible sidecar setup he invented below) to full ground up builds. If he launched his business now he’d be called an artisan, an indie savant making bespoke vehicles and collaborating with, but never becoming absorbed fully by, the mainstream motoring industry. By the time of his death in 1979 Mr Abarth had notched up ten world records, built and sold a successful automotive business and left a legacy of vehicles still in production today.
"A friend said it looked like General De Gaulle’s nose on wheels, and certainly the Citroen DS23 EFi I briefly owned had a Gallic beakiness.
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