First seen at the 1955 Turin Auto Show, 750 GTs were racing in March 1956 and quickly scored a clean sweep of the 750cc Gran Turismo Class at the 1956 and 1957 Mille Miglias. Abarth 750 GTs took the class and overall victories at the 1958 Sestrière rally, and four out of five finished the Sebring 12 Hours, one winning its class. One bold soul even entered a 750 GT at the Santa Ana drag strip in California, winning the under 1500cc Sports Class – then took a second at the SCCA races at Palm Springs. The 750 GT remained competitive into the 1960s and returned years later to pose the same threat in vintage races.
The 750 GT was the perfect entry-level car for “Gentlemen Racers,” who could drive to the track, win their class and drive home, and it quickly became the core of Abarth’s business. Abarth had also made a deal with Fiat that the company would pay him for wins and second places for Fiat-Abarths, so the more cars he built, the better. The first two series were small, but there were more Series III cars following a record-setting session at Monza in July of 1957. Raced around the circuit for four days, the Zagato coupe broke 15 records, averaging 165.346 km/h. Later versions were bored out as far as 981cc, some with double-overhead-cam options, and the Record Monza was developed from the Zagato “double bubble,” though it’s not nearly as attractive.
Owners report delightedly with the 750 GT’s handling and that the combination of modest horsepower and agility leads the driver to maintain his best speed at all times. They also remark that the car is surprisingly spacious inside, and the iconic ‘double bubble” roof leaves suitable headroom for tall drivers.