Photos: Michael Ward
In hindsight, the Fiat 131's utilisation as a championship winning rally car may not seem unusual, but analyse the situation at the time of its genesis and suddenly it does seem a bit odd. Here you had sister marque Lancia with the fire-breathing Stratos, a mid-engine Ferrari V6-powered beast of a car, which then is replaced with a fundamentally dull family saloon. Sure, Ford (among many others) had made using their cooking saloons for rallying the norm, but even they had a flirtation with a purpose built mid-engined car in the shape of the GT70, but this turned out to be a dead end for Ford.
|With two other Abarths from the Auto Italia article|
The lovely example here is no. 156 of 200 and was imported from Italy in 2004 and has been featured in several UK magazines.
A car I really, dearly wish there were more of, just so I could have the chance to own one.