Anneliese Abarth posing in front of historic Abarths in the Autopolis Luxembourg showroom at the presentation of her book about her life with Carlo Abarth
I have always loved the personal and human side of our automotive world. And this ever since I read, as a young boy, the book of Mercedes racing team manager Alfred Neubauer, “Männer, Frauen und Motoren” or, freely translated, about Men, Women and Machines.
Quite understandably I was delighted when the dynamic PR- people of Fiat Group Automobiles Belgium, Dominique Fontiginies and Wim Willems, invited me to drive to the Autopolis Abarth dealer in Luxembourg to attend the presentation by Anneliese Abarth of her newly written book about her life with her husband Carlo Abarth. We were also to have the possibility to have an interview with this grand lady, and needless to say, I looked forward to it… here follows our story.
Hans Knol ten Bensel
Wim Willems actually drove me to Luxembourg in a magnificent Alfa Romeo Giulietta Quadrifoglio, and I was again quite impressed by the outstanding Gran Turismo and high speed capabilities of this car.
At Autopolis we met Anneliese Abarth, a lady with classic elegance, seen above here with your servant. We asked here to pose for us in front of the historic and new Abarths which were displayed in the magnificent Abarth showroom at Autopolis Luxembourg, and have a short interview with her.
We asked her what she found of paramount importance when remembering her husband, writing about her life with him, telling about his life and works.
“It is very important that his work will live further in the future,” she pointed out. “This is the reason why I founded the Carlo Abarth Foundation, to preserve the myth and the memory of a man who has done so many great things.”
In the showroom of Autopolis, modern and...
Anneliese Abarth also thanked Ed Goedert, Director General of Autopolis, for inviting her to Luxembourg. She appreciated very much the magnificent showroom and the deployment of classic and modern Abarths. She admires also the “passionato” of Ed Goedert for the Abarth make and she was also surprised to see so many “Abarthisti”.
We asked her further about the highlights of here life with this magnificent man, Carlo Abarth.
“There are so many”, she answered with a smile, “but amongst others there were the five years when we won against Ferrari, this were beautiful years, full of drive.”
She also wanted to tell in her book about how times really were in those days. “One took more time for oneself, for one’s own private life, even when the races were quite challenging. But remember that we had a very full life, with races and their preparation going on from Thursday until Sunday, with the remaining days being occupied with making modifications and improvements on the racing cars. “It was a full and wonderful life”, she concluded.
...historic Abarths were on display...
What would you tell the young, enthusiastic owners of Abarth cars, what message would you have for them?, was our last question.
“I would say have fun with your Abarth, drive it as it should be driven, but not too impetuous, because the car should be kept in one piece, for you to enjoy it over and over again, isn’t it?” she concluded with a smile.
How right she is. These cars are so unique and full of sporty character, that they should be kept and enjoyed (also) for future generations, as the historic Abarths alongside the new models eloquently showed…
About the book
There are few books which I read breathlessly in one go, but this is one of them. It is a beautifully personal book, a truly moving story about the life of a very remarkable young woman with a fascinating man, who was always driven to perform great things in life.
It is a book about life itself, as it unfolds between man and woman who were a lifelong deeply in love with each other.
It is also a book which delivers a personal account of an epoch, the sixties, seventies, and last but not least about the world of (racing) cars and the automotive and racing scene in these decades.
An amazing account, seen through the eyes of a sensitive, intelligent and refined woman, the only one which Carlo chose as his true life companion.
Hans Knol ten Bensel