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re: old FAZA catalog

An unnamed computer user queried the following:

> Stumbling through some of my father's old car stuff, I found a Faza 
> sports-car catalog from the early to mid-60s. The company had an 
> address in Ridgefield, Connecticut. The catalog shows 
> Abarth and high-performance stuff for all the cool foreign cars now
> long gone. (anyone know what an "Ogle" is?, ditto for Daf?)

An OGLE is an geeky British car powered by the ubiquitous BMC Spridget
engine. Essentially a coachbuilt Mini designed by David Ogle in the
early sixties. A DAF is a Dutch(?) built car, under 1 liter 2 cylinder
air cooled engine. It's claim to fame was the Variomatic all-mechanical
automatic gearbox (pretty much a CVT like the Subaru Justy used). Was
still in production in the late sixties, but I don't know what became of
them. I think DAF was actually a heavy truck mafr.
> There are lots of pictures of the many Abarths. And lengthy performance 
> & technical articles. Quite a few articles for the Fiat 600. (including Abarth
> kits & conversions for the 600) 

The 600 was probably the most popular Abarth conversion basis ever.
> One could purchase complete Abarth cars, Abarth 2 liter DOHC 
> engines, 1600cc formula engines, full kits or whatever. (pant pant)
> My questions are these?
> Is this the same Faza company now located in California and advertising
> Abarth stuff in Hemmings?

Yup, that's Al Cosentino, the eccentric and slightly skewed author of
that and many other cluttered books on Fiats and Abarths.

> Is there a good book, article, archive, or whatever, which outlines
> how true Abarths are different from Fiats, what constitutes and
> authentic conversion (If there is such a thing) from a backyard stuff. 
> Some material which covers the 128 would also be nice. 
Classic Motorbooks published the "Illustrated Abarth Buyer's Guide" a
few years ago. I don't know if it's still available as it was a big
mistake for them publishing a book on such a limited appeal car. Osprey
publishing had Pat Braden and Greg Schmidt's "Abarth" which is probably
the most readable history on Abarths. Both books discuss what makes
Abarths different and how to spot fakes, as they are easy to pawn off on
the unsuspecting, and many are still being created today. 

As regards the 128, I don't think it was ever "Abarthized" as this would
have been after Fiat purchased Abarth if my timeline is correct. The
european 128 Rally is as close as you may get, although FAZA's 128/X1/9
race world is an excellent source of performance improvement info if you
can sift through Al's diatribes on FMNA and the SCCA. The books are
still available through Al or Classic Motorbooks.

Dwight Varnes
1970 124 Spider
"Go ahead; try to stump me with a post-war car you've never heard of!!"
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