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irst the good news, the suspension on the Biposto has had a good check-over and all seems ok (breathes a sigh of relief). Shadow Motorsport in Long Eaton was recommended to me and I have to say the service owner Chris gave was second to none. They are perhaps not the biggest outfit in the world having only set up after the pandemic caused their motorsport work to come to an abrupt end but they certainly know their stuff. The Biposto spent a couple of hours with them and I even managed to get underneath it while it was on the ramp to have a little nosey, it is as I thought pretty much a race car underneath the bright yellow bodywork.


Chris checked the tracking and all the geo settings along with inspecting the Xtreme suspension setup, we also popped it on the scales to get the car corner weighted. Pleasingly, aside from a slight bit of wear in one of the top mounts which I shall keep an eye on, the car required next to no attention. What did get my attention while with the guys at Shadow was a car that Chris’s assistant was working on, and I have to admit as an avid classic car enthusiast it was a new one for me. Parked in the workshop yard was a very elegant maroon-coloured open-top vintage car, I simply couldn’t place what it was, so had to ask. Turns out it’s a Raymond Mays, (nope still not a clue).


Apparently, Mays was one of the founders of ERA cars (that’s better I know the ERA name) and the car was one of only two left in the world. It was created by the British racing driver just prior to the outbreak of the second world war and up until recently had been kept in the USA. The restoration of the car was almost complete as it was needed in a few days to be parked outside the opening of a new Wetherspoons pub in Mays home town of Bourne, Lincolnshire, the name of the pub well of course The Raymond Mays.


So, job one off the to-do list, thankfully without a bruising to the wallet and time for the next one. I knew this would require restraint not to let out a whimper when presented with the bill, but the thoroughness that Matt at Italia Tec in Huthwaite showed during the 5yr big service and especially when finding a cross-threaded bolt in the bottom pulley when changing the cam belt made the slightly higher than expected invoice a pleasure to settle.






Feeling like my luck was in with no major issues so far, I took the car to a local tuning company to finally get it on the rolling road to see what power it actually is running as I am a curious soul. I guess two out of three isn’t bad as this visit certainly didn’t go to plan. Despite them being quiet and able to pop the car straight in when I turned up on spec, it quickly became apparent that the Abarth was too short for their 4-wheel setup.


Plan B saw them pop the car on the rear roller to run the front wheels only (fine in a front-wheel drive car I thought). However, the car's computer had other ideas. Given the back wheels weren’t spinning, the ABS kicked in and wouldn’t let the mechanics take the car over 15mph. A quick call to head office and a few adjustments to the ECU saw them try again, this time with a little more success before the car had other ideas and the ABS system kicked in again. Game over for now although it seems after a few replies to a post on the Abarth forums the removal of one of the fuses would have led to a successful mission, I am going to save this for another day.


Maintenance work completed; bills paid, so time to have some fun with the car's first proper outing on track. Living close to Curborough Sprint Course in Staffordshire means I have tracked a few cars at this great little venue. It’s not, as the name would suggest, a huge track and thanks to some like-minded enthusiasts regularly offers an afternoon’s track running for a very reasonable £50.


This was a good chance for the driver to find some talent (as the car is certainly more than capable) prior to playing with the big boys at an Open Track event at Donington in August. Originally my track day at Donington had been booked for May but a work commitment meant I had to move it to later in the year. While at Curborough I had probably 10 or 12 runs over the couple of hours I was there and using the same layout for the duration of the event meant I actually felt I was making some progress in learning more about the car in its natural habitat.





Speaking of Donington, a few weeks after my trip to Curborough the Biposto joined some fellow Abarth owners at the Historic Festival. Alongside my ticket, I had also taken up the chance to join the lunchtime parade laps, £10 well spent as it turns out. I have done these parade laps at events before over the years and found them to be like queuing to get out of a shopping centre multi-story the week before Christmas.


This one was quite different though, the number of cars taking part was quite small and the pace car drivers were pretty spritely leading to almost seeing three figures on the speedo along some of the long straights. It really whetted my appetite for my trip back to the circuit in late summer.


Not content with a trip to Donington, getting invited to the Silverstone round of the British GT series as a guest of one of the championship's top drivers was an opportunity not to pass up. Arriving at the circuit to meet the driver’s dad I was presented with full hospitality passes for the day including lunch in the British Drivers Racing Club (oooh get me) and a parking pass for not just the infield, but outside the BRDC. The Biposto looked very at home next to some stunning machinery including a rather nice red Porsche Carrera GT and a very stealthy looking new Ford GT.


I am really enjoying owning this little car, however, there is an itch starting. It’s happened before and gone away without too much attention but this time the urge is a little stronger and might mean my browsing the classifieds becomes a little more regular and intense.

irst the good news, the suspension on the Biposto has had a good check-over and all seems ok (breathes a sigh of relief). Shadow Motorsport in Long Eaton was recommended to me and I have to say the service owner Chris gave was second to none. They are perhaps not the biggest outfit in the world having only set up after the pandemic caused their motorsport work to come to an abrupt end but they certainly know their stuff. The Biposto spent a couple of hours with them and I even managed to get underneath it while it was on the ramp to have a little nosey, it is as I thought pretty much a race car underneath the bright yellow bodywork.


Chris checked the tracking and all the geo settings along with inspecting the Xtreme suspension setup, we also popped it on the scales to get the car corner weighted. Pleasingly, aside from a slight bit of wear in one of the top mounts which I shall keep an eye on, the car required next to no attention. What did get my attention while with the guys at Shadow was a car that Chris’s assistant was working on, and I have to admit as an avid classic car enthusiast it was a new one for me. Parked in the workshop yard was a very elegant maroon-coloured open-top vintage car, I simply couldn’t place what it was, so had to ask. Turns out it’s a Raymond Mays, (nope still not a clue).


Apparently, Mays was one of the founders of ERA cars (that’s better I know the ERA name) and the car was one of only two left in the world. It was created by the British racing driver just prior to the outbreak of the second world war and up until recently had been kept in the USA. The restoration of the car was almost complete as it was needed in a few days to be parked outside the opening of a new Wetherspoons pub in Mays home town of Bourne, Lincolnshire, the name of the pub well of course The Raymond Mays.


So, job one off the to-do list, thankfully without a bruising to the wallet and time for the next one. I knew this would require restraint not to let out a whimper when presented with the bill, but the thoroughness that Matt at Italia Tec in Huthwaite showed during the 5yr big service and especially when finding a cross-threaded bolt in the bottom pulley when changing the cam belt made the slightly higher than expected invoice a pleasure to settle.






Feeling like my luck was in with no major issues so far, I took the car to a local tuning company to finally get it on the rolling road to see what power it actually is running as I am a curious soul. I guess two out of three isn’t bad as this visit certainly didn’t go to plan. Despite them being quiet and able to pop the car straight in when I turned up on spec, it quickly became apparent that the Abarth was too short for their 4-wheel setup.


Plan B saw them pop the car on the rear roller to run the front wheels only (fine in a front-wheel drive car I thought). However, the car's computer had other ideas. Given the back wheels weren’t spinning, the ABS kicked in and wouldn’t let the mechanics take the car over 15mph. A quick call to head office and a few adjustments to the ECU saw them try again, this time with a little more success before the car had other ideas and the ABS system kicked in again. Game over for now although it seems after a few replies to a post on the Abarth forums the removal of one of the fuses would have led to a successful mission, I am going to save this for another day.


Maintenance work completed; bills paid, so time to have some fun with the car's first proper outing on track. Living close to Curborough Sprint Course in Staffordshire means I have tracked a few cars at this great little venue. It’s not, as the name would suggest, a huge track and thanks to some like-minded enthusiasts regularly offers an afternoon’s track running for a very reasonable £50.


This was a good chance for the driver to find some talent (as the car is certainly more than capable) prior to playing with the big boys at an Open Track event at Donington in August. Originally my track day at Donington had been booked for May but a work commitment meant I had to move it to later in the year. While at Curborough I had probably 10 or 12 runs over the couple of hours I was there and using the same layout for the duration of the event meant I actually felt I was making some progress in learning more about the car in its natural habitat.





Speaking of Donington, a few weeks after my trip to Curborough the Biposto joined some fellow Abarth owners at the Historic Festival. Alongside my ticket, I had also taken up the chance to join the lunchtime parade laps, £10 well spent as it turns out. I have done these parade laps at events before over the years and found them to be like queuing to get out of a shopping centre multi-story the week before Christmas.


This one was quite different though, the number of cars taking part was quite small and the pace car drivers were pretty spritely leading to almost seeing three figures on the speedo along some of the long straights. It really whetted my appetite for my trip back to the circuit in late summer.


Not content with a trip to Donington, getting invited to the Silverstone round of the British GT series as a guest of one of the championship's top drivers was an opportunity not to pass up. Arriving at the circuit to meet the driver’s dad I was presented with full hospitality passes for the day including lunch in the British Drivers Racing Club (oooh get me) and a parking pass for not just the infield, but outside the BRDC. The Biposto looked very at home next to some stunning machinery including a rather nice red Porsche Carrera GT and a very stealthy looking new Ford GT.


I am really enjoying owning this little car, however, there is an itch starting. It’s happened before and gone away without too much attention but this time the urge is a little stronger and might mean my browsing the classifieds becomes a little more regular and intense.

Abarth Biposto 695 Record Edition | Report 003

By Tim Dunlop

Tim finally gets his track-focused hot hatch onto the circuit for some hot laps. An attempt to run the car on a local dyno proved rather less successful...

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GR 88.jpg

F

RUNNING COSTS
ABARTH BIPOSTO 695

Date acquired
2/3/21
Total mileage
15453
Recent mileage
1084
MPG
37.2
Expenditure
£675

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