The factory fresh restomod, or something similar at least, is no longer a new thing – look at cars like the Jaguar E-Type Zero and DB4 Continuations for proof of that. Now Abarth is jumping on the bandwagon with not one, but two new-old cars, as part of Stellantis’ pledge to ‘retrieve, safeguard and leverage on the historical heritage of the Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Lancia and Abarth brands’. As well they might when you consider how much even the ordinary classics from those brands now fetch.
The first of its recreated classics is the Abarth Classiche 1000 SP, the Alfa 4C-based roadster announced a couple of weeks ago. Just one of the five is left for sale, interestingly. The second is the Classiche 500 Record Monza ’58, which is an old 500 made to look like an even older 500 and freshly assembled by the Stellantis Heritage team. Based on a 1970 car, the Monza ’58 celebrates both 100 years of the iconic circuit and also a record-breaking 500 created by Carlo Abarth just a year after its introduction. He freed 26hp from the two-cylinder engine, which meant a top speed of more than 70mph; it ran for 168 hours at Monza and set six international records. Cool car to pay homage to, then.
For the most authentic look, the Classiche 500 is painted the same shade of green, a colour that can also be seen on the racing seat inside. The wooden steering wheel, bare floors, and rigid roof (where a 500 of the time would have been fabric) have also been recreated. Check out, too the Jaeger clock, just as used back in 1958 across the eight-day enduro epic. The ‘Record Monza’ badge marks this out as something new.
The Monza ’58 is faithful to the original under the bonnet, too, thanks to the Abarth Classiche 595 Tuning Kit. It increases capacity of a 500 to 595cc, just as was done back in the day – ‘inspired by the version made by the House of the Scorpion’ – but with more modern technology.
It’s easy to imagine more than a few eager customers for a 500 like this, not least with the car on display alongside the original record car at the 12th Milan AutoClassica motor show. It’s something Abarth is well prepared for; this Monza ’58 is officially a one-off, though is part of a wider project called ‘Reloaded by Creators’, which sounds an awful lot like factory-sanctioned homage builds and restomods to us.
The press release suggests that Reloaded by Creators will return ‘a limited amount of classic cars with certified authenticity… to their original beauty thanks to the expertise and know-how of the Heritage team and technicians at the Officine Classiche’. Which sounds very encouraging, especially with a contact email for interested parties. Just think of the back catalogue, too: all the classic Alfa Romeos, Fiats and Lancias that could be restored (and maybe ever so slightly improved) by the factory. What weekend toys they might be with a Stellantis electric SUV for during the week…