seat 1400 rallye montecarlo how it was made

SEAT 1400 Rallye Montecarlo 2020: This is how it was set up in Nave 122


Last week we announced the participation of SEAT Historic Cars in the Monte Carlo Classic. An expedition with three vehicles led by a SEAT 1400 designed to commemorate the brand's premiere at this rally back in 1955. Another of the works directed by Isidre López and his team, who on this occasion have done something very special: turn this sedan into a rally car, far removed from any sporting postulate.

And it is that, making this SEAT 1400 a machine for linking curves… It has had its merit. Obviously the physiognomy of the vehicle itself has limitations, but even with this, the team of SEAT Historic Cars has achieved a machine suitable for Monte Carlo, as did other mechanics of the brand almost seven decades ago. Not surprisingly, the unit on which the modifications have been made dates from 1957.

Of course, unfortunately it is not the original SEAT 1400 that went to Monte Carlo in 1955. But this has not really been a problem, since it has allowed both the mechanics and Mia Bardolet -driver and preparer of this unit- play on the basis of a car that is more modifiable than it seems at first glance. From what seems like the car responsible for starting the SEAT brand continues to give surprises.

seat 1400 rallye montecarlo


Let's review. If you're looking for a rally car, what's the first thing that comes to mind? A priori, almost all of us would opt for something light but powerful. If it also had some suspensions and sports steering better. It is not like this? Well, a standard SEAT 1400 is just the opposite. This is a relatively heavy saloon for its size and obviously low on power.

This is how things ... What a panorama! However, those of SEAT knew how to get by decades ago and now too. In the case of this unit, they encountered the following challenge: make this SEAT 1400 from 1957 something as suitable as possible to participate in the Historic Monte Carlo. On the mat it met the rules, since at the time it was a car that started the original rally. Of course, after the regulations ... There were many things left.

The first related to the weight, which has been lowered from 1.150 to 1.075 kilos even with the incorporation of a current safety arch. This thinning has been achieved not only by removing everything unnecessary, but also by changing the crystals for polycarbonates. What's more, changes to the self-supporting body have increased rigidity to the SEAT 1400, improving its behavior in the twisty curves of a rally where averages of 50 km / h are taken.


The SEAT 1400 of the first series gave about 47CV of power, while the B and Special models amounted to 57. In this case, the preparation has been made on a B, to which they have managed to add 31CV, reaching 88. An improvement that is not bad at all, which has been possible by increasing the displacement from 1398cc to 1436. Something to which has been added the modification in the compression ratio, set at 9,5 .

A series of interesting reforms in its four-cylinder engine, which is powered by Weber carburettors. All this means that this SEAT 1400 has gone from being a sober hatchback from the fifties to having a sporty punch, which is transmitted to the asphalt thanks to the work done on the suspensions and the front subframe. Something that, in addition, has managed to balance the vehicle with an almost perfect weight distribution: 51% in front, 49% behind.

In short, SEAT Historic Cars has achieved a car that, although it is not the pinnacle of sportiness, highlights this saloon that was the beginning of the brand. Outstanding restoration and preparation work, which has once again made the SEAT Historic Cars team stand out, who can already sign up for the goal of having brought a SEAT 1400 back to life through the big door.

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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