The eighth edition of the "Le Mans Classic" is an unmissable appointment for enthusiasts and a great opportunity to admire up close the cars that marked this epic race from the 1920s to the 1970s. The event will take place from July 8 to 10 on the legendary Le Mans circuit in France.
For FCA it is a fantastic opportunity to showcase some vintage Abarth and Alfa Romeo cars by the side of their latest models to underline the indissoluble link joining the icons of the past and today's range once again.
In particular, some models picked by FCA Heritage, the new organisation that coordinates all the activities of the corporation on the classic car scene, from its collection will be displayed in the over 250 square metre large exhibition hall, dedicated to Alfa Romeo and Abarth. These are the legendary Abarth 124 Rally Gr.4 (1975), which was recently restored by the technicians of the new Officine Abarth Classiche, and the three valuable Alfa Romeo - Giulia TI Super (1963), 1750 GTAm (1970) and 33/3 Le Mans (1970), from the Alfa Romeo Museum in Arese (Milan), dubbed "La Macchina del Tempo" (visit the website at www.museoalfaromeo.com for more information). Alfa Romeo has a particular relationship with the La Sarthe circuit, having won no fewer than four editions in a row of the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans - from 1931 to 1934 - with various versions of the 8C 2300.
These rare cars will be accompanied by the latest FCA models: more in detail, Alfa Romeo will be showcasing Giulia Quadrifoglio, the perfect expression of Alfa Romeo's new paradigm and of the "mechanics of emotions" concept. Incidentally, the new Giulia has recently earned five prestigious Euro NCAP stars scoring 98% in adult occupant protection. This is the highest score ever achieved by a car. Additionally, the public can get close to the 4C and 4C Spider super cars, the icons of the brand, which implement the best racing-derived technology, and the new Giulietta and Mito. The two recently refreshed models display an unmistakable family feeling with Giulia which is reasserted by the new front end with one-of-a-kind grille sporting the legendary trefoil, arguably one of the most famous and recognisable symbols in the automotive world.
The French event is also the perfect opportunity to get a close-up look at the latest Abarth products, such as the new Abarth 124 spider, a genuine roadster that guarantees all the excitement and pleasure of driving a high-performance car developed by Squadra Corse Abarth, and the new Abarth 595 Competizione and Turismo versions, the evolution of the Abarth icon that has won over enthusiasts worldwide from 2008 to present. The spotlight is also trained on the new Abarth 124 Rally, a concentrate of pure technology and performance resulting from the experience of Squadra Corse Abarth to bring the brand back to the most glorious and difficult rally races.
A special mention goes to the totally immersive experience based on Virtual Reality technology allowing guests to discover every single detail of the new Abarth 124 spider. By using a dedicated tool and aided by next-generation technologies, users will be able to move around the car, open its doors, sit inside and press the accelerator pedal to savour the sound of its engine and tailpipes, all immersed in a virtual reality. They will also have the chance to configure the new Abarth 124 spider to their liking and receive the configuration by email should they want to purchase it from any Abarth dealer. Interestingly, the Abarth 124 Virtual Reality Configurator received the prestigious Smau Innovation Award just a few days ago in Turin.
To experience all the excitement that only driving an Abarth can provide there is "The Scorpionship", the only official community dedicated to Abarth owners, collectors, club members and enthusiasts. Registering at scorpionship.abarth.com brings a host of major advantages, promotions and opportunities, also in relation to racing events and exclusive invitations to Abarth fan meetings.
The description of the precious Alfa Romeo and Abarth models presented at "Le Mans Classic 2016" follows.
Alfa Romeo Giulia TI Super (1963)
The Giulia, the car that revolutionised its sector with its modern style, was introduced in 1962. It was "designed by the wind" as the advertisement of the day claimed: it had an aerodynamic penetration coefficient of just 0.34, an exceptional value for its time and an impressive one still today. The Giulia earned its important place in history for more than just aerodynamics; this car fits many state-of-the-art technical solutions, such as five speed transmission as standard equipment and crumple zones, designed to ensure greater safety for occupants. The engine is the famous, sophisticated, reliable and fast twin overheat camshaft four-cylinder 1.6-litre. The qualities of the basic model are enhanced on the TI Super, which was introduced in 1963 (it delivered 112 HP and reached a top speed of 190 km/h). The TI (standing for "Turismo Internazionale", international touring) Super - of which just 501 were made - was driven by a generation of racing drivers who won many titles particularly in road races, such as the first category ranking at the Tour de France Auto in 1963, one of its most important. The Giulia - of which over one million were made, including all trim levels and body variants - is one of the most remarkable Alfa Romeo success stories.
Alfa Romeo 1750 GT Am (1970)
Four round headlights, an aggressive raised profile and prominent wheel arches are the features that recall the technologically advanced spirit of the "Giulia Sprint GTA" series. The name GT Am (where "Am" stands for "America") refers to the version derived from the one sold on the North American market where Alfa Romeo marketed the 1750 GTV version with injection necessary for type-approval in the United States. The GT Am - of which 40 units were made - has Spica or Lucas mechanical injection and its 2-litre engine was capable of unleashing up to 220 HP at 7200 rpm. Steel plate was chosen for its bodywork, but a considerable reduction in weight of 150 kg out of the total 900 kg was achieved by using plastic side and rear panels. With this model Autodelta achieved spectacular results, which culminated in 1970 with the European Touring Car Championship (with the Dutchman Toine Hezemans), and in the following year it placed first in the manufacturers category in the same championship. Outstanding drivers like Hezemans, Andrea de Adamich, Carlo Facetti and Nino Vaccarella were able to develop the full potential of the car - which could deliver up to 240 HP at 7500 rpm and whiz along at 230 km/h.
Alfa Romeo 33/3-litre Le Mans (1970)
The 33/3-litre is one of the multiple evolutions of the Tipo 33 for the World Sportscar Championship over the decades. The car fits a 2.998-litre four-cylinder V8 with four-valves per cylinder and indirect injection capable of delivering 400 HP at 8000 rpm. It has an aluminium and titanium panel chassis and the wheelbase was nearly the same as that of the two-litre version from which it derives. It reaches 330 km/h of top speed and obtained many victories in 1971, including the very famous Targa Florio win with Vaccarella and Hezemans.
124 Abarth Rally Gr.4 (1975)
With respect to the Fiat 124 Sport Spider from which it derives, the Fiat 124 Abarth Rally Gr.4 fits a more powerful engine and is much lighter as a result of its top, fibreglass bonnet and aluminium doors. Turned by Squadra Corse Abarth, the car made its début in the 1972 racing season and continued racing until 1975, when it was replaced by the 131 Abarth Rally in 1976. Fitted with a 1756 litre engine delivering 200 HP of power, this car can reach a top speed of 170 km/h according to the final drive ratio. It won the European Rally Championship twice (in 1972 and 1975) and ranked second in the manufacturers championship for four consecutive seasons (from 1972 to 1975). This 124 Abarth Gr.4 belongs to Abarth Classiche, the department opened on November 18 at Officine Abarth di Torino dedicated to certifying and restoring standard and racing Abarth classic cars for their owners.
Turin, 7 July 2016