Fiat Abarth 124 Rallye in the World Rally Championship

Fiat Abarth 124 Rallye

Manufacturer: Fiat
Category: Group 4

The Fiat Abarth 124 Rally is a legendary rally car that left a significant mark in the early era of rallying. Introduced in 1972, this car was developed by Abarth, the performance division of Fiat, to compete in the world of motorsport, specifically aiming at rally competitions. The 124 Rally was based on the popular Fiat 124 Sport Spider but was extensively modified to meet the rigorous demands of rallying.

Under the hood, the Fiat Abarth 124 Rally was equipped with a 1.8-liter twin-cam inline-four engine, capable of producing around 128 horsepower in its early versions and up to 170 horsepower in its later, more evolved versions. This power, combined with the car’s relatively lightweight construction, gave it a competitive edge in terms of acceleration and handling.

The 124 Rally’s rallying debut was impressive, quickly establishing its presence in various international competitions. One of its most notable achievements came in the 1972 European Rally Championship (ERC), where the Fiat Abarth 124 Rally demonstrated its potential by securing several podium finishes. The car’s performance in events such as the Monte Carlo Rally, Rallye Sanremo, and the Acropolis Rally highlighted its capabilities on both tarmac and gravel stages.

Drivers like Achim Warmbold, Maurizio Verini, and Markku Alén were instrumental in the success of the Fiat Abarth 124 Rally. Their skill and the car’s reliability and performance led to numerous victories and top finishes. Verini's triumph in the 1975 European Rally Championship was a particular highlight, showcasing the car's dominance and engineering excellence.

The Fiat Abarth 124 Rally featured several modifications that made it suitable for the harsh conditions of rallying. Its independent suspension, enhanced braking system, and reinforced chassis provided the durability and agility needed to navigate the challenging rally stages. The car’s distinctive design, with its aggressive stance and wide wheel arches, also contributed to its iconic status.

The Fiat Abarth 124 Rally continued to compete successfully throughout the mid-1970s, earning a reputation for being both fast and reliable. Its legacy is remembered not only for its competitive spirit but also for its contribution to Fiat's motorsport heritage. The combination of Italian engineering prowess and Abarth's performance expertise made the 124 Rally a standout in the history of early rally cars, leaving an indelible mark on the sport.