HomePick of the DayPick of the Day: 1979 Fiat 131 Abarth built as a vintage...

Pick of the Day: 1979 Fiat 131 Abarth built as a vintage rally car

The hot little sedan is prepared for rugged back-road competition


The Pick of the Day is an excellent example of an iconic 1970s rally car, a 1979 Fiat 131 built to Abarth specifications.

Of the competition cars of the 1970s and ‘80s, some of my all-time favorites were the rally cars. That era of rally racing was absolutely epic with practically every manufacturer in the world fielding a team.

Pick of the Day: 1979 Fiat 131 Abarth built as a vintage rally car

Over the past few years, these vintage rally weapons have attained a serious cult status and prices have gone up dramatically, not just for original factory-prepared cars but for modern builds of vintage rally machines. Just take a look at the realized prices for the many 911 Safari cars that have been created in recent years.

It is expensive to build a car to the spec that existed in this era, and the parts needed to do so are both scarce and pricey.

Pick of the Day: 1979 Fiat 131 Abarth built as a vintage rally car

The Aiken, South Carolina dealer advertising the car on ClassicCars.com refers to it as a stunning example in the “Alitalia” color scheme, and it’s ready for some rough-and-tumble run.  

“She is not just a very good recreational car but she is a recreational car built for rallying,” the dealer says in the ad.

Pick of the Day: 1979 Fiat 131 Abarth built as a vintage rally car

The Fiat was rebuilt in in 2014, and seller says, and includes an Abarth-spec Fiat engine running twin 45 mm throttle bodies backed by DTA motor management, 15-inch Campagnolo rims with rally tires, adjustable coilover shocks, 4-wheel disc brakes and an adjustable Panhard bar.

The car also features a rally-specification roll cage, racing seats and a rally hand brake.

The car has been driven in rallies during the past few years, the seller notes, and the body does show some signs of that use, but that is what this car was built for.

I can think of few ways to have more fun on four wheels than what this car offers.  The asking price of $49,995 is not only a fraction of what this car likely cost to build, but about a quarter of the cost of a true factory-prepared period example.

To view this vehicle on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

Andy Reid
Andy Reid
Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.


  1. The/your 1970 Fiat 131 is a time capsule of beauty and performance. I love the vintage photos. I have a 1989/1990 Porsche 911, Carrera, Cabriolet RUF upgrade. I love her to pieces but I’m looking for something different. Any chance on working towards a trade, heads up?


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