Between 1955 and 1969 FIAT built 2,695,197 Dante Giacosa designed FIAT 600 models at there Miafiori plant near Turin, further examples were built with a variety of bodies and names at factories in Argentina, Chile, Columbia, Serbia, Spain and Australia.
Supplied initially with a water cooled 4 cylinder inline 633 cc / 38.6 cui motor capable of 59 mph, empty, it was not long before Carlo Abarth set to work building performance parts for the popular Seicento, one thread of Abarths 600 evolutions culminated with the ‘Double Bubble’ FIAT Abarth 750 GT Zagato Coupé complete with 747cc / 45.6 stretched motor that produced 47hp.
By the end of Sceicento production FIAT had offered the model with 767 cc / 46.8 cui and 843 cc / 51.4 cui motors, while Abarth’s final Seicento iteration using the original FIAT 600 shells was the 1000TCR as featured in today’s blog.
1000TCR’s with a 982 cc / 59.9 cui motor that required a front mounted radiator and oil cooler first appeared in 1969, Rob Dijkstra raced his example to victory in August of that year at Zandvoort and continued to be raced until 1976 particularly in the The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.
Producing 112hp the 1000TCR motor features an Abarth reinforced cast iron block based on the original 600 block rather than the larger factory blocks because the later factory engine blocks made use of a centrifugal oil on the front of the crank which was deemed unsuitable for competition requirements.
Unusually the Abarth’s Radiale 1000TCR cylinder head features separate rocker shafts for the inlet and exhaust valves in the hemispherical combustion chambers, to save weight a magnesium oil sump is used with the exact same oil capacity of the original.
The operating range of the TCR’s motor is between 6000 and 8000, said to be ear piercing when sat with in a stripped for racing cockpit, rpm.
Note how the engine cover will never close as it was effectively not only aiding cooling by being propped open, but also acting as an aerodynamic aid.
Today’s featured 1000TCR, seen at Race Retro, belongs to long time Seicento fan and Middle Barton Garage proprietor Tony Castle Miller.
It was built originally as a 1000TC race car 1966 and has been continually updated to include the 1000TCR full glassfibre rear wheel arch extensions and the twin rocker shaft Radiale cylinder head first seen in 1969.
Thanks for joining me on this “Twin Rocker Shaft” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !