1 Of 33: 1967 Intermeccanica Omega

1967-intermeccanica-omega

UPDATE 1/9/15 – This Omega is back on eBay with a new seller and a higher starting bid. Thanks for the update 57Wayne!

FROM 9/12/15 – It may not look like much in the photo, but this 1967 Intermeccanica Omega is a very special car and with only 33 ever built, it deserves to be saved. It combines Italian style with American engineering, so it possesses many of the attributes of an exotic without the high maintenance costs. Unfortunately, after sitting in storage since 1977, it is still going to take a lot of money to get it back on the road. Some of us will see the potential here while others just won’t get it. Find it here on eBay in West Frankfort, Illinois. Thanks goes to Jim S for the tip!

restored-omega

Most people would look at the project car above and quickly move on, but some of us would stop and marvel at what it could become. Just take a look at this restored Omega that recently sold at auction for $73,7000! With curves only the Italians could pen, it truly is a beautiful automobile. Intermeccanica may have had quite a turbulent past, but for a while there they really turned out some great GT cars such as the Apollo, Italia, and of course the Omega.

intermeccanica-omega-interior

Now back to the reality of the task at hand. There is a lot of rust in this poor Omega so it’s going to take a lot of work to get those hand-formed panels back to their former ripple free glory. Even though this car was in storage for all those years, it looks like moisture was a real problem. There is corrosion all over the place and even the wood steering wheel is falling apart. The chunks of what looks like rusty metal on the seats have me nervous too. Hopefully the car is not caving in on itself!

ford-v8

This could be this project’s saving grace. That is a trusty Ford 289 V8 in there! Nothing fancy or overly expensive. This is an engine that can provide loads of reliable power while still being easy to work on. Intermeccanica built the bodies and then shipped them to Holman-Moody where they used their Ford connections to source the mechanicals. It really does seem like this car combines the best of both worlds. Too bad it also inherited those nasty rust genes…

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Comments

  1. Dolphin Dolphin Member

    Yes, definitely deserves to be saved because it was an American-led effort and a great looking car. IIRC the designer of the body, Bob Cumberford, wrote for both Car and Driver and Automobile magazine, so even the body design was an American effort. And Steve Wilder, who was in charge when this car was built as an Omega, also wrote for Car and Driver and had Holman and Moody assemble them. I remember reading articles by those two way back before the US car mags got taken over by cool young guys who made the mags cool too.

    But the cost of a good restoration will certainly exceed its market value, unfortunately. I hope it sells to someone with a dedication to these Intermeccanicas, who also has deep pockets.

    Too bad it took 30 years under what looks like awful storage conditions before this car emerged. Makes me wonder whether the soaring values of exotic cars has something to do with the car being for sale. Thing is, had it been stored with decent protection it would have a lot more value. It’s going to take a special person to do a resto, as opposed to cannibalizing the carcass for the drivetrain and anything else that’s salvageable to benefit the few other Omegas that are around.

    • James g

      About the soaring prices of exotics you mentioned I bet that this car will change hands several times before it ever gets restored

  2. DT

    Italian Mustang

  3. Rich

    Could be another one of those “Someday I’m gonna fix this car up” or “No it’s not for sale, it’s worth alot of money” kind of guys who kept it just to let it rot instead of letting it go to someone who would have saved it before it got to this condition

  4. cory

    There is definitely something about this car. I would have to save it. I like the looks and definitely the concept of ot. Let’s hope it survives

  5. Don Sicura

    I remember these cars, I think the production number of 33 is for the coupe, as there were lots of roadsters built back then (dubbed the Italia), to me these were one of the most attractive cars ever built, sort of a cross between the Ferrari Daytona & the 68 Stingray, I would love to own this beauty, but as the readers already know, my time is a little too tight to take on a new project right now, but I can dream……..lol

  6. JimmyinTexas

    I wish I could have found this in 1976, before 35 years of rot set in..

  7. Chuck F (55chevy)

    I was also thinking Ferrari Daytona, it would be fun to have one of the Corvette based kits. The Omega door windows look a little short to me, almost MGB short.

  8. Tim H

    It looks a lot like my 240Z with a G nose and since I have the SBF in mine too, We be bothers.

  9. Mike_B_SVT

    Oh man, if money were no object! …I think even then I would look for one in better condition >.>

    Beautiful car though, and I would love to own one someday, if for nothing else just to make people who see it go “Holy crap! WTF is that awesome machine that just blasted past me?!?”

  10. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

    The seller pulled the listing so we can only assume that a deal was made offline.

  11. Dave H-S

    The Omega was sort of the precursor of the Italia. The bodies look very similar as the Italia was made from left-over Omega bodies after the Omega financiers backed out.

    I think probably all Omegas were coupes and 33 total sounds about right.

    The Italia (which was originally called the “Torino” until Ford complained) came in both convertible (“Spyder”) and couppe models. I think just under 300 were made between 1967 and about 1973 — the majority of the Spyders.

    I’m lucky enough to own a 1967 Italia Coupe — the last 1967 made with the 289 Hi-Po engine and a 4-speed. It looks very similar to this 1967 Omega but the front bumper and grill opening are a bit different.

    • Charles Hicks

      I own a 1967 Omega, but it has the split front bumper like the Italia. Regarding your last remark above, I was wandering if mine might be a Italia Coupe? My email is chash43@aol.com.

      • Motorace

        What is your VIN number? Have you looked it up in the Intermeccanica book yet?

        Does your car have the Kelsey Hayes Magstar wheels (photo attached) typically used on the Griffiths and Omegas, or do you have the Magnum 500 style (Google for images) typically used on Italias and many many Ford and Chrysler muscle cars?

  12. skloon

    Let me whip out my English wheel and Ill have the body done in a jiff, once I get out of the straightjacket required to purchase this

  13. Grr

    Rare and pretty, but is it an exotic? Did they design and fabricate their own chassis, or just rebody someone else’s – in which case it would just be a coachbuilt Ford or whatever, the way the Apollo was a coachbuilt Buick.

    • Motorace

      The chassis was designed and manufactured by Frank Reisner and his company – Intermeccanica – in Torino Italy. Automobile Quarterly Vol 9-3 has a great in-depth article with lots of color photos showing the jigs which were used to position the chassis components consistently for welding. Each completed chassis was then placed into another set of jigs which positioned the hand-formed steel body panels so they could be welded to each other and to the chassis with consistent positioning and superior quality control over most other limited-production cars. This made for a very strong structure overall – one that is free of the squeaks and rattles common to cars with separate bodies bolted onto their chassis.

      Suspension parts were a combination of purchased parts (shocks, springs, bushings, ball joints, brakes, rear axle, etc.) and fabricated parts such as suspension arms.

      So to answer your question – no they didn’t use someone else’s chassis. Whether that makes it an ‘exotic’ or not depends on how you choose to define ‘exotic’. The use of American V-8 powertrains has held back similar Euro-American hybrids (deTomaso Mangustas for example), from achieving the same ‘exotic’ prices as Italian manufacturers who made their own engines (Maserati Ghibli for example).

      Intermeccanica Italias have a steel body that was hand-formed over a wooden buck, (and many of the other parts were made by the same specialists who made similar parts for Ferrari, Maserati, etc). In my opinion, being hand-made with old-world craftsmanship methods qualifies Intermeccanica’s cars as ‘exotic’ works of art which have long been undervalued in the market place.

      • Mike

        Correct ! Frank Reisner was a Hungarian/ Canadian who lived in Italy and could build Italian cars better and quicker than the Italians could. He did this for a long time living out of his small apartment. Frank thought on his feet and would often hire Maserati or other coachwork company employees to work at his factory during the evening when all the other companies were closed. He did what it took to get the cars out the door. The only flaw that these cars had was their front suspension, it was cobbled together from Fiat 2300/850/1100 and Girling. It failed or wore out pretty quick. I think he would have been better off using american components like the Apollo. I believe he fixed this once the Indra was designed. The Indra had a DeDion rear too, similar to Iso Rivolta, pretty nice.

    • Mike Clarke

      You are incorrect on both cars. The Apollo and the Italia/Omega/Torino were all built on custom chassis. They did use American suspension parts but the chassis and body was all Italian. Same goes for the Intermeccanica Indra.

  14. Greg

    Look at the pick where the chain is attached, you can see where it was damaged when it was pulled up on the back of the bed. Its bowed out underneath the front. (in the ebay pics)

  15. Rancho Bella

    Does this Omega look anything like a Ron Hickman Lotus Plus 2 design ?
    Just askin’………………
    I think Mr. Hickman’s appeared more balanced with a angled rear roofline

  16. James g

    Like a Pantera Italian style and American engines

  17. Alan (Michigan)

    Eh… I’m thinking the original listing would have been written by “Doc” Emmett Brown to have been made on 9/12/15….. ;-)

  18. Billy (Texas)

    The restored one in the pic above was restored by Eurowerks Inc. out of Campbell Tx. The restoration was started in the early 90s and was put on hold until we decided to finish it in mid year 2013 and was completed in In Nov. 2013. It was taken from our shop in Texas straight to the auction in Arizona.

    • Dale W

      Did you save any of the original parts? The car is in a collection in Canada and we’d love to find the original steering column and wheel as the aftermarket parts that are in it make it nearly impossible for a 6′ plus person to drive.

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