Car Catcher: The Fiat 131 Abarth Rally That Walter Röhrl Drove to Victory

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The successor to the 124, the Fiat 131, was a fairly pedestrian car available as a four- and two-door sedan, as well as a four-door wagon. Depending on the trim and model year, buyers could have a number of both gasoline and diesel four-cylinder engines. More than 1,500,000 examples are said to have been built from its 1974-’84 production run.

Starting in 1976, though, Fiat enlisted the help of Bertone and Abarth to produce 400 road-going versions of its 131 rally car to meet homologation rules. These cars, known as the Fiat 131 Abarth Rally, were powered by a 140-horsepower, four-cylinder engine in street trim. However, a few examples were built as competition cars, and received a power bump to around 240 horsepower.

This 1980 Fiat 131 Abarth Rally is one of those competition cars, and is reported to be an “ex-works” car that Walter Röhrl used to not only win the 1980 Sanremo Rally, but also secure that year’s FIA Group 4 World Rally Championship.

Currently restored to the way it appeared at the 1980 Sanremo Rally, the 131 is said to have also been finished in the blue and yellow “Olio Fiat” livery for a period.

Included in the sale is a “spares package” that includes a set of wheels, a trunk lid and a hood. As well, the Fiat comes with “a plethora of paperwork” that features a copy of the Sanremo entry form, period photographs, a FIA Technical Passport and the car’s “Abarth Classiche Certificazione Componenti Meccanici.”

Find this 1980 Fiat 131 Abarth Rally going up for auction through RM Sotheby’s upcoming Online Only London auction.

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