1959 Fiat Abarth 750 SS Double Bubble Coupe
Chassis no. 602924
Engine no. 2395274 (originally 656641)
Carrozzeria Zagato was founded in 1920 by Ugo Zagato, in Milan. Born in 1890, Zagato apprenticed to a German coachbuilder at the age of 15. Returning to his native Italy in 1909, he joined Carrozzeria Varesina. During World War I he was a manager for an aeronautical company in Turin, gaining a good grasp of aerodynamics and lightweight construction. After the ear, he moved to Milan and went into partnership with Aldo Finzi.
The first Zagato bodies were built in aluminum in 1920 on Fiat 501 chassis. Very soon Zagato added Alfa Romeo as a customer, while also building bodies on Bianchi, Diatto and Itala chassis, as well as producing aircraft parts for Pomilio, for whom he had worked during the war. Forced to diversify during the 1930s, Zagato took on the building of truck cabs for Isotta-Fraschini, a job that kept him busy until Allied bombs laid waste to his workshops in 1943. A new plant in 1946, however, put the firm back in business and Ugo's son Elio joined the company.
Zagato had much experience with Fiat, having built a 750 GT coupe on the Fiat 500 chassis from 1952. A sports spider in 1953 had a tubular frame and power trains from either the Fiat 1100 or 1400. Commissions from Alfa Romeo and Ferrari followed in short order. From 1955, Zagato took on the production of coupe bodies for Carlo Abarth's new Fiat-based 750.
The Abarth 750 was based on the Fiat 600, its 633 cc engine enlarged to 747 cc, which nearly doubled the horsepower. With Allemano building bodies for the spider version of his car, Abarth turned to Zagato for a coupe. The coachbuilder's sketches for the body had a roof so low that there was scant headroom for a person of normal stature, so twin bulges were put into the contour. The result was immediately nicknamed "Double Bubble," after a well-known brand of American chewing gum.
This is a well restored example, with non-matching but period correct 750 motor. Offered for sale from a deceased estate, where it resided for at least the last 15 years but was shown at the Greenwich Concours d'Elegance back in 1998. The car has not been in regular use for a couple of years and it is known that attention is required to the gearbox, prior to road use.
Finished in Italian racing red, its interior is starkly trimmed with tan leather bucket seats, piped in black and contrasting panels and carpets in black piped with tan. These jewel like Abarth Double Bubble Coupes are appreciated wherever they are seen and are a joy to drive.
- Please note this title is in transit.