Karl (Carlo) Abarth (1908-1979) was born in Austria but moved to Italy at an early age. He had great success as a motorbike champion in the 1930’s. After WW II, he used his expertise in tuning engines to found his own company which began in 1949, the year his first car was built. Over the next two decades, his firm built many vehicles for both road and track use, most of which were based on FIATs. The scorpion badge on the cars was taken from Carlo Abarth’s astrological sign Scorpio. In 1971, FIAT took over the company and Carlo Abarth returned to Austria.