While the Volkswagen GTI gets the lion's share of praise for kicking off the hot hatchback craze, the Italians did a lot to popularize it. Fiat has brought their fair share of fast three doors to the market over the past few decades, but another oddity crept up a lot earlier than the tuned versions of the Ritmo, Punto and Cinquencento. In 1971, Autobianchi launched the A112 Abarth, a small hatchback based around Fiat 127 mechanicals and badged also as the Lancia Y10. These diminutive hatchbacks were never sold here and few survive in good nick to this day. This particular A112 Abarth was brought over to the US a few years ago by a Dutch gentleman and offers those stateside a rare opportunity to get into a vintage Abarth at a reasonable price.
Capri blue exterior, black Abarth front scooped hood, tan velour and vinyl interior, 5-Speed manual, twin two-barrel carburetor, 13" Campagnelo magnesium wheels, 43,000 original miles (69,000 km), two-spoke Abarth steering wheel. This A112 was imported to the States six years ago by a Dutchman in Texas. $13,500.
This same A112 Abarth was listed on eBay last year at $17,500. While the price has been reduced quite a bit, we're still a bit on the high side at $13,500. Just because a car is rare in the US doesn't automatically equate to added value. If you could snag this Abarth for around the same price of a similar vintage, well kept GTI, say, $8,000 to $10,000, I'd say it would be worth biting. At that price, you couldn't get much more Abarth bang for your buck.