Retromobile 2023 show: “Heritage” or the story of beautiful Italian women

The Retromobile show, the oldest vintage car show in Europe, will be held for a few days at the Porte de Versailles in Paris. More than 600 exhibitors from around the world, 1,000 cars on display and the largest French automobile auction in history that promises to be unique, such is the program for this 47th edition.

Among the exhibitors, we can note the presence of the “Heritage” entity. Like the entities “L’aventure” (Peugeot, Citroën and DS Automobiles) or the “Conservatoires” (Citroën and DS Automobiles), the entity “Heritage”, created in Turin in 2015, has the mission of conservation, improvement and promotion. of the historical heritage of the brands Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Fiat and Lancia, which like the three French manufacturers, are members of the Stellansis Group.

“Heritage”: Preserving and promoting heritage

If the “Heritage Hub”, located on the site of the former workshop 81 of Via Plava in Turin containing the Fiat, Lancia and Abarth collections and the “Museo storico”, of Arese north of Milan, Alfa Romeo is the “Heritage” showcases. This entity also offers enthusiasts and owners of vintage cars of related brands a complete program of certification and validation, restorations and many other services.

Enhancing and promoting this historical heritage also involves participation in major international fairs and events. “Heritage” will present, on its stand at the Porte de Versailles, four beautiful examples from its collection.

Alfa Romeo 1900 Super Sprint (1956)

In 1955, the 1900 Sprint was replaced by the “Super Sprint” version (599 units produced until 1958). Like the model before it, the 1900 Super Sprint featured a new five-speed gearbox, still with steering wheel controls, but with shorter ratios. Equipped with a 1975 cc inline four-cylinder engine, delivering 115 hp. at 5500 rpm for a maximum speed of 190 km/h, with characteristics of lightness and low aerodynamic coefficient, the 1900 Super Sprint is embodied in the design of the Touring bodywork, which, together with research in materials, gives the car of those qualities. of lightness and low aerodynamic coefficient, optimal for high performance in competition.

Thanks to the certificate of origin issued by Héritage – Alfa Romeo Classiche, we can confirm that the example shown on the stand was produced on July 14, 1956 and sold 3 days later, in Paris. Both its body color and its engine are original.

Fiat-Abarth 850 TC (1964)

This extremely rare example of the Fiat-Abarth 850 TC, based on the Fiat 600, acquired by Héritage in “barn find” condition, is being restored by Officine Classiche Héritage. The bodywork is shown without trim and without seats to allow the restoration work to be appreciated.

The care and precision with which Carlo Abarth redesigned the mechanical parts and the chassis reflects the sporty character of this car. Each of the connecting rods, which are balanced by inserting microscopic titanium weights inside the part, bears the signature of the operator who performed the work.

The Fiat-Abarth 850 TC is the first Scorpion car with the “Turismo Competizione” badge. A quiet family car was transformed into an agile, light and responsive racing car (Abarth increases the initial displacement from 767 cc to 847 cc. Hence the name: 850 TC). The modified car reached 140 km / h, which required intervention in the braking system and the replacement of drums with discs on the front wheels. The 600 treated by Abarth quickly changed its appearance: Oil radiators appeared under – then instead of – the front bumper, and to further cool the powerful engine, the rear bonnet was kept at a high position thanks to the supports (to also generate downforce during circuit races), prefiguring what will be the rear wing, another signature of the volcanic Abarths. Successes on the track will not last long, especially in endurance races, highlighting the performance, but also the reliability of the 850 TC.

Finally, it should be noted that the example shown in the stand has a specific history: the car actually belongs to Guardia di Finanzathat it was used as an unmarked vehicle for the prevention and suppression of smuggling.

Lancia Rally 037 Group B (1983)

For the 1982-83 competition seasons, Lancia, with the help of Abarth, developed the evolution of the Lancia Rally also known under the code name “Project 037” and presented at the Turin Motor Show in 1982.

“037” is a high-performance car with exceptional road holding. The central cell is an aluminum monocoque structure. The bodywork, designed by Pininfarina, made of polyester and Kevlar fibers is completely removable, allowing easy access to car parts, which is important for a racing car. A 4-cylinder engine with a volumetric compressor installed in a central longitudinal position for better accessibility, generating between 260 and 305 hp depending on the displacement (from 1,995 to 2,111 cm3), drives the animal

The racing version debuted at the Costa Smeralda Rally in April 1982, and was officially raced in the 1983 season – dominating the World Championship from the first race at the Monte Carlo Rally, won by Walter Röhrl. In the same year, despite strong competition from the new four-wheel drive Audi Quattro models, the Lancia Rally 037 won the Constructors’ title in the 1983 World Championship and second place in the World Drivers’ Championship with Walter Röhrl ( Hannu Mikkola won as driver in Audi Quattro A1 / Audi Quattro A2). It went down in World Rally Championship history as the last 2WD racing car to win the top title.

The example presented at the Rétromobile show is part of the Heritage collection. Taken from the Heritage Hub in Turin for the occasion, it was presented in its most iconic livery in Lancia Martini colours.

Alfa Romeo SZ-ES30 – (1989)

The example shown is unique. This car “former deeds”, from the Balocco test circuit, where it was used for various experiments, was one of the first examples produced. A true laboratory vehicle, it was so different from other SZs produced subsequently that it could be considered a prototype.

This is an ambitious project, named ES30, or “Experimental Sportcar 3.0 liter”born from Alfa Romeo’s desire to reaffirm its long tradition of rear-wheel-drive sports cars, while using new technologies, and entrusted the production of one thousand units to coachbuilder Zagato, who assemble them in the suburbs of Milan.

Thus was born the Alfa Romeo SZ (Sprint Zagato), a racy sports car with aggressive and uncompromising lines. Mounted on a steel base, the exterior body is made of composite materials, while the floor and mechanics come from the competition Alfa Romeo 75 (Group A), with a three-liter V6 engine that rises to 207 hp. for a maximum speed of 245 km/h. In addition to the new composite fibers used for the bodywork, the use of the first design and production systems called CAD/CAM (Computer Aided Design, Computer Aided Manufacturing) is also unique. The use of this technology makes it possible for the first time to significantly reduce design times but above all improvements and changes during the project.

The car on display was completely dismantled and extensively restored at Officine Classiche.

Useful information

Retromobile Show : Paris Expo Hall 1, 2.2 and 3 / Porte de Versailles 75015 Paris / Exhibitions: From Wednesday February 1 to Sunday February 5, 2023 (from 10 am to 7 pm) / Wednesday 1eh and Friday 3 from 10 am to 10 pm

Photo credit: Patrick Paillon

Article published on 01/27/2023 at 5:55 am

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