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1958 Abarth-Alfa Romeo 1000 GT Berlinetta Prototype by Bertone

​The Abarth-Alfa Romeo 1000 GT Berlinetta was a prototype built by Abarth in collaboration with Alfa Romeo in 1958.

Development The car's design was made to bring to the market a sports sedan bearing the mark of the house of the biscione. For this reason, the Milanese industry turned to Carlo Abarth for its realization, as it had lasted a collaboration agreement with him for two years. The project was not brought into series production after an initial presentation at the Turin motor show as the Italian-Austrian engineer became a partner of Fiat.

Technique The body's design was entrusted to Bertone, who had it designed by Franco Scaglione. The tubular chassis of the car was developed by Mario Colucci, while the engine derived from the one used on the Alfa Romeo Giulietta 1300, as well as the gearbox, transmission, and braking system. The engine was developed with new sports components, achieving a power of 88 hp.

The accident & L.Colani new body design The prototype of the "1000 GT Coupé" was destroyed in 1959, during some tests conducted on the track of the AVUS, due to a tire explosion. The car wreck was left to Herbert Schulze, an Alfa Romeo dealer in Berlin. A few weeks later entrusted him to the stylist Luigi Colani to have a new fiberglass body made, with substantial aesthetic changes in the rear part. The tubular frame was retained, and replaced the engine with a "Giulietta" engine of 1300 cc. Even in the new production, the prototype did not follow production.

Multitubular chassis: designed by Mario Colluci, one of the most appreciated technicians detached by Alfa for the occasion. Bodywork: aluminum made by Bertone on a drawing by Franco Scaglione.

Mechanical: Engine, suspensions, and the bridge of the Alfa SV Gearbox: 5-speed Porsche Engine reduced to 998cc, 88 hp weight ratio power 2.27 kg / hp (9.2 for an SV) the short wheelbase of 2.16 m weight: 640Kg

Max speed: 200 Km/h It was also planned to use a 1300 cc engine and a 1600cc, 233Km/h is announced for the 1300cc and 250Km/h for the 1600cc. Presented at the Turin Salon in October 1958, it made a sensation.

In 1959 during tests on the Avus in Berlin, the tires did not withstand the pressure, and the car suffered colossal damage. Herbert Schulze, the Alfa Romeo dealer in Berlin, bought the car and had it repaired by Luigi Colani. Colani, born in Berlin, is of Kurdish and Polish descent, and his father came from Madulain near St. Moritz in eastern Switzerland.

He studied sculpture and painting at the Academy of Arts, Berlin, in 1946 and 1948, and he undertook the study of aerodynamics at the Sorbonne in Paris, France.

His long career began in the 1950s when he designed cars for companies such as Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Volkswagen, and BMW. In 1957, he dropped his given first name Lutz and henceforth went by the name of Luigi. His unconventional designs have made him famous, not only in design circles but also to the general public. He has received numerous design awards, although his unconventional approach has left him largely an outsider from the mainstream of industrial design.

Source: Historic Automotive Promotion