Fiat 131 Abarth (Rally Giants) (Paperback)
Veloce Publishing, 9781787111110, 128pp.
Publication Date: September 19, 2017
By 1970s standards, the 131 Abarth was the most extreme and effective of all homologation specials. Compared to the 131 family car it was originally based, it had a different engine, transmission and suspension layouts, was backed by big budgets, and by a team of superstar drivers. This car was meant to win all round the world.
Not only did it start winning World rallies within months of being launched, but in 1977, 1978, and 1980 the “works” team also won the World Championship for Makes, and set every standard by which Rally Giants were to be judged.
The 131 Abarth was backed by a peerless team of engineers, so was there ever any doubt that successors like the Lancia Rally 037 and the Delta Integrale would eventually come from the same stable?
About the Author
After a varied career in the automotive industry, Graham Robson has gained a worldwide reputation as a motoring historian, and has more than 160 books to his credit. Born in 1936, and educated at Ermysteds Grammar School in Yorkshire, Graham then went on to study Engineering at Oxford University. He joined Jaguar Cars as a graduate trainee, becoming involved in design work on the Mk II, E-Type and Mark X. Beginning as a hobby, he became a rally co-driver, eventually joining the Sunbeam 'works' team in 1961, and took part in rallies up to International level (once with Roger Clark), but stopped rallying by 1968. During this time, he joined Standard-Triumph in Coventry, in 1961, as a Development Engineer, mainly on sports car projects. He then ran the re-opened 'works' motorsport department from 1962 to 1965, this being the period of the birth of Spitfire Le Mans cars, TR4, Vitesse, Spitfire and 2000 rally car developments. Graham Robson’s writing began with rally reports for magazines which evolved into a job with Autocar from 1965 to 1969. He was recruited back to industry at Rootes to run the Product Proving department, then after a brief period in 1972 as technical director of a safety belt company, became an independent motoring writer. Graham has lived 'by the pen' and 'by the voice', not only writing but commentating, presenting and organising events of all types.