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Abarth T140 6000. The brand's assault on the Sport Prototype

PHOTOS ABARTH T140 6000: ITALIAN SUPERCAR VIDEO

Abarth and sportiness are synonymous. So far there is nothing new. However, the truth is that this sportiness is demonstrated through models such as the 850 TC. That is, through maximize the sporting possibilities of popular vehicles and engines to the unexpected. And be careful, because there is nothing wrong with it. In fact, the genius of Carlo Abarth lies right there: in making impressive sports cars from very simple elements.

However, the reality is that Abarth did think about making the jump to the first division of international races. A division in which he planned to deal face to face with Porsche and Ferrari. To do this, at the end of the 60s, at the headquarters of the small coach a prototype began to take shape under the code name T140 6000. This was to be a car with a chance of winning in races like Le Mans, powered by an energetic 12cc V6000 at 120º.

Something that, mechanically, stood at the antipodes of the small and vibrant sports cars born to date by the Carlo Abarth seal. At this point the question is clear: How is it possible that the T140 6000 is such a little known model? Well, because he never saw the light. Due to a rule change in the Sport Prototype category for 1968, this spectacular racing car was never finished. In fact, what you are seeing in this article is the recreation made by the Scuderia Gemini Corse. And don't see how it sounds!

ABARTH T140 6000. THE ASSAULT ON THE SKIES

For many Abarth fans the T140 6000 has been something of an elusive myth. A car with a multitude of enigmas that we can follow since 1967. Just the year in which Abarth presented not a car, but an engine at the Turin Motor Show: the Abarth V12. Neither more nor less than the most powerful -length- ever created by the brand, cooled by a huge water pump and powered by four Weber 40 LDA3C carburettors.

abarth t 140 sound

Seeing this imposing ingenuity, many, at the time, thought that Abarth was flirting with the idea of ​​participating in the great endurance races. However, what few could have deduced is that the plan seemed to be so immediate, since Carlo Abarth thought make the premiere of the engine in the category Sport Prototypes of 1968. That was aiming high! Just the segment in which vehicles such as the Ferrari P4 reigned.

And be careful, because although it may seem like a crazy idea ... The truth is that some data confirm that the T140 6000 project could have come to fruition. Let's see: 610CV at about 6700 rpm. All this meshed by a double overhead camshaft and adjusted in a 12: 1 compression ratio. Some mechanical data that are not bad at all, although they involved very bad news when the V12 was mounted on the chassis: the weight.

CONDEMNED BY THE REGULATION AND THE WEIGHT

To say that a vehicle signed by Abarth is heavy is almost impossible. But with the T140 6000 it is neither more nor less than the truth. In 1967 the reference sport prototype was the Ferrari 330 P4. A mount that was only around 800 kilos, while the Abarth stood at the ton. Something that, without a doubt, would have weighed down any chance of victory for the T140 6000. However, it was not the weight, but the changes in the regulations, that buried the project.

abarth t 140 sound

Scared by the increase in displacement in the Ford GT40, the FIA ​​required for 1968 that the Sport Prototype could not exceed three liters. A rule that could be circumvented by presenting cars of up to five liters only if at least 50 units were produced, reduced to 25 for 1969. That is how things are. Carlo Abarth decided to abandon the T140 6000 project. Reasons? Well, to begin with, you had to reduce the displacement by at least one liter.

Once this change has been made, not a few units should be produced for homologation, something that the almost artisanal Abarth could not assume. In addition, the weight problem continued to haunt the minds of engineers aware that they might never be able to beat Ferrari, Porsche or Ford. With this panorama the Abarth V12 engine ended up in the hands of a collector and the chassis and body plans in a drawer. Of course, until last 2016 the Scuderia Gemini assembled this magnificent copy.

What do you think?

Miguel Sánchez

Written by Miguel Sánchez

Through the news from La Escudería, we will travel the winding roads of Maranello listening to the roar of the Italian V12; We will travel Route66 in search of the power of the great American engines; we will get lost in the narrow English lanes tracking the elegance of their sports cars; We will speed up the braking in the curves of the Monte Carlo Rally and we will even get dusty in a garage while rescuing lost jewels.

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