Carlo Abarth founded the Abarth & C. company with Armando Scagliarini (father of Cisitalia racing driver Guido Scagliarini) in Bologna on 31 March 1949, using his astrological sign, Scorpio, as the company logo. The company made high-performance exhaust pipes and raced Cisitalia cars. On April 10, 1950 Tazio Nuvolari made his last appearance in racing with an Abarth's Cisitalia.
In the 1960s, Abarth was successful in hillclimbing and sports car racing, mainly in classes from 850cc to 2000cc, competing with Porsche 904 and Ferrari Dino. Hans Herrmann was a factory driver from 1962 until 1965, winning the500 km Nürburgring in 1963 with Teddy Pilette.
Abarth promised Johann Abt that he could race a factory car for free if he won all the races he entered.[when?] Abt almost succeeded: Of the 30 races he entered, Abt won 29 and finished second once.[when?] Abt later foundedAbt Sportsline.
Abarth produced high-performance exhaust pipes, diversifying into tuning kits for road vehicles, mainly for Fiat. A racing exhaust was produced for the 1950s Lambretta models "D" and "LD". Original Abarth LD exhausts are now valuable collectors items. Reproductions are available which carry the Abarth name, how Fiat feels about this is not known. Lambretta even held several 125cc Motorcycle land speed records during the 1950s thanks partly to the exhaust that Abarth developed for them.
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