Motor Shows

1968 Abarth Berlina Corsa

Created in 1964, the Berlina Corsa replaced the racing version of the 1000 Berlina that had been launched in 1962.  While the racing version was successful, the 1962 Berlina only produced 68bhp from the following setup:

  • 982cc, overhead valve in-line 4-cylinder with single Weber downdraft carburetor
  • 5-speed close-ratio gearbox (advanced in the 1960s)
  • 4-wheel disc brakes – some new cars today still don’t have those
  • Independent front suspension, rear swing axle/coil springs

Berlina Corsa

The Berlina Corsa stormed into the racing arena in 1964.  This version had better cooling by the very obvious permanently open engine cover at the rear and the addition of a radiator mounted in the front bumper.  The engine underwent tuning to deliver 76bhp.

1965 saw a larger radiator to replace the smaller unit in the front bumper along with the elimination of the rear fan – this was rendered obsolete through the addition of a support shroud in the rear assembly.  An obvious way to spot this version is the movement of the fuel filler cap to the centre of the front cover – the later cars also had this but sported a larger radiator.

While these versions absolutely buried the competition in the Division 1 1000cc Championship and other racing series, this was not the ultimate variant.  That came along in 1966 with the installation of a huge front radiator assembly that encompassed the entire width of the car.  If the competition thought the last version was hard to catch, they were completely caught out by this model – it won the Division 1 Touring Car Championship and Italian Touring Car Championship along with many successful entries in rallying events and hillclimb meetings.  This car was such an amazing racing car that it kept winning Touring Championships through 1970.

There was a final tweak to this car in 1970, following a change in the international Group 2 racing regulations that allowed for the adoption of huge flared rear wheelarches.


Fiat Abarth 1000 Berlina Corsa (1968) – Vital Statistics

Power62 kW (84 bhp) @ 7600rpm
Torque88 Nm (65 lb/ft) @ 5500rpm
0-100 km/h (0-62 mph)7.9 seconds
Maximum speed188 km/h (117 mph) 
Fuel consumption (average)19.6 l/100km (14.4 mpg)
Fuel type, tank capacityPetrol, 31 litres
Weight583 kg
EngineFIAT Abarth,
Rear longitudinal mount,
Pushrod OHV,
Weber 36 DCD7 carburetor 
Displacement982 cc
Cylinders and valvesInline 4, 8v
Transmission5 speed manual


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