Abarth or a Bath?
I have lost count of the number of people I've spoken to that, upon expressing my wish to own a Fiat 500 Abarth, have exclaimed, "You want a bath?" thinking I mean a bathtub on wheels. I think the 500 Abarth is a great car. A friend took me for a spin in one a few weeks back and it was sporty and fun thanks to the 1.4 Turbo petrol engine which kicked out a fair amount of power. But the name Abarth, to anyone who doesn't really know their cars, poses a problem.
For those of us who live in the Southern reaches of England, and thus pronounce "bath" with a lengthened vowel sound, confusion is rife when it comes to discussing the Abarth. It is this very confusion that led me to look into the existence of a car that is also a bath.
They say if it exists, it's on the internet, and that's no lie. For it is – literally a bathtub on wheels, designed by one Bob Reisner in 1969 and marketed first by Eldon and later by Doyusha. I understand it actually worked. Twin French bathtubs linked to a twin-blown Chrysler engine. It also features a toilet on the front with a cushion instead of a seat. Who'd have thought? Of course, since then there have been a few other people who have tried the idea, but Reisner's creation holds vintage charm as well as novelty value.
I have to admit, part of me wants to drive this bathtub car, if only to see the looks on people's faces. For overall comfort and reliability though, I think the Fiat 500 Abarth just about has the edge. Even with that Chrysler engine, it can't beat 135 horsepower of undeniably fantastic performance and some of the most seductive aesthetics I've seen on a compact car!
If you're interested in test driving an Abarth in Dorset , visit the Westover Motor Group for some great deals on sports cars.