Zagato bodied a number of cars on the Fiat 600 chassis, most famously the ‘double bubble’ Abarth Coupé. Abarth and Zagato fell out after that, however, and a number of other coachbuilders stepped in. Among them was Allemano of Turin, which bodied about 100 cars.
Phil Mitchell, who is head of engineering at Formula One team AlphaTauri, recently noticed an Abarth that had been mis-described on an auction website, and when he investigated further he discovered that it was in fact a very rare, possibly unique, right-hand drive 1960 Abarth Allemano 850 Coupé. It came with a British registration, thought to be 739 WJH, and was possibly brought into this country by importer Tony Crook for display at the 1960 motor show.
It could well be the car offered for sale a year later by S Morris & Co of Conduit Street, London W1, with 865 miles on the clock.
No other early history is known, but the engine has been rebuilt at some point. Leslie Mitchell of M&M Engineering bought the car in the ’80s and began a restoraton; it was still on the firm’s premises when the company closed in 2002.
While it was being worked on a Stevenage resident bought the Coupé, intent on completing the rebuild, but found it to be too much work and advertised it for sale.
It has Fusina-style seats and Plexiglas windows, suggesting some form of competition in the past, and retains the ‘Anthony Crook’ nameplate that had been affixed inside the engine cover. Its new owner plans to complete the restoration, and would love to find out any history. Email [email protected]