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Robb Design Portfolio: Carrera Mia

Robert Ross

1961 Porsche 356B GTL Abarth Carrera

German in an Italian suit, the Porsche Abarth GTL is a remarkably elegant feat of engineering conceived by Austrian racer and racecar builder Carlo Abarth. Although born in Vienna, Abarth lived most of his life in Italy, where, in 1949, he established his own car company. The Turin-based enterprise developed a worldwide business in speed parts and high-performance exhaust systems, and also produced its own line of ferocious little racers.

In 1959, Porsche approached Abarth about developing and building a lightweight car for competition. The GTL, one of his most exquisite creations, was styled by Franco Scaglione, designer of the renowned Alfa Romeo B.A.T. cars.

About 20 examples of the GTL issued from the Italian factory between 1960 and 1961. Based on the Porsche 356B Carrera GT and powered by Porsche’s high-strung 4-cam, 1,600 cc horizontally opposed 4-cylinder engine, GTLs took class wins in the Targa Florio, at the Nürburgring, and at Le Mans.

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