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Ford-Powered Rarity: 1971 Intermeccanica Italia

The Intermeccanica Italia is a rarely-seen V8-powered sports car that was built in extremely limited quantities. Today, we do see the topless version of the Italia appear for sale, but the fixed-roof coupe is very hard to come by. The seller claims his car is completely restored and part of a larger sell-off of his collection that apparently includes other Intermeccanica models along with De Tomasos, Jaguar E-Types, and custom builds. The coupe is listed here on craigslist for $100,000 in Tempe, Arizona and given its original color is apparently a shade of yellow borrowed from Lamborghini, I’m tempted to believe that a barn find from 2018 is where we can trace this car back to.

Intermeccanica is still around today and builds perhaps one of the coolest replicas on the market right now: a copy of the Volkswagen Kübelwagen, updated for the modern era with seriously upgraded VW powerplants and other comfort features to make driving this WWII-era machine palatable on a daily basis. But back to the Italia, which was not necessarily a kit car but certainly borrowed plenty of inspiration from the Ferraris and De Tomasos of the era; in some ways, you could even say this was simply another take on the De Tomaso formula with more Ferrari-like body lines. The gorgeous bodywork framed a variety of Ford-sourced V8 running gear and it’s estimated that only 500 or so were made. The seller’s car is powered by a 351 V8 and paired to a four-speed manual transmission.

Image courtesy of RCNMag.com

This photo is from RCNMag.com, which devoted an article in 2018 to the discovery of what was apparently a barn find Italia coupe. The hind quarters, which reveal at least one portion of the car was painted yellow at some point long ago, is what makes me wonder about this being the same car we’re looking at today as a restored example. Now, I realize the odds are against me in making this prediction, but I can’t help but wonder if it’s the same car given you could likely wrap up the restoration of any car that’s largely complete inside of three years. The seller’s car sports different wheels, but those could have been swapped over in a restoration phase. Regardless, the Italia in question is quite striking, and there’s not likely to be too many more of these coming up for sale in the near term. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Rex M. for the find.

Comments

  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Had a customer with a red version of this car in the ’80s. Nicely done and pretty fast cars.

    Like 5
  2. Mike

    Just two pics in an ad that’s asking $100k. Craig’s List sellers never disappoint.

    Like 34
  3. Melton Mooney

    Well hellooooo beautiful…

    Like 2
  4. Scott Marquis

    Great period color, but ghastly on this car.

    Like 1
  5. RATTLEHEAD

    Look to be mustang wheels in the “beater” pic. These ain’t usually my kind of cars but this beauty hit the “dingle tingle” for me, if its a Cleveland, and probably is, it’s over, done, a smoke and some Letterman. Completely satisfied 😁

    Like 3
    • Euromoto Member

      Gives you the old “dingle tingle”, eh?

      Like 5
  6. Stan

    Cool car. Never heard of them as Scott Marquis said , budget for a new paint job

    Like 1
  7. Rw

    The rear portion is modern primer not yellow paint.

    Like 1
  8. SMS

    Really good looking car but not in this color. Used to see a fellow driving by in a red convertible version. Looked good and sounded good.

    Like 2
  9. Claudio

    Too many moons ago , i had the opportunity to buy a topless one in red
    $30k in the 90’s was more than i could gather
    So i had to let it slide
    But it was and is a timeless model , i also had eyes for the detomaso delongchamps but they never really made convertibles so i did not pursue that

    Like 2
  10. Claudio

    Too many moons ago , i had the opportunity to buy a topless one in red
    $30k in the 90’s was more than i could gather
    So i had to let it slide
    But it was and is a timeless model , i also had eyes for the detomaso delongchamps but they never really made convertibles so i did not pursue that

  11. marlon w smith

    Verde is green not yellow

    Like 3
  12. Enfield

    I worked at a Ford dealer in the 70s and had a customer with an Italia. Pretty sure it had a Mustang drive train. But even in 1973 they already had rust starting..

  13. James VanSicklin

    Holman/Moody did a similar car called the Apollo I believe the same company the body’s were jell coated on these intermacanicas and were rust magnets,I believe they were 251 Windsor’s not Cleveland ‘s there was a yellow one in Nw CT years ago

    Like 1
    • James VanSicklin

      351 windsor’s

      Like 2
  14. xrotaryguy

    Intermeccanica has such a cool history. Now they’ve been bought by Electrameccanica. I hope they start making some cool again, not just the 356 replicas.

  15. Bruce

    I have seen both the coup and convertible versions of this car and both are breath taking. An Automotive version of PURE LUST. This is the car design that Ferrari should have used instead of that fat 275GTB shape. There is however a couple of big buts. Now I have both worked on repairing a couple of these and I have driven them as well. This is one of the WORST RIDING cars I have ever been in. They make MGA’s and TR-3’s seem comfortable as there is almost no travel (2″±) in the rear suspension.

    Combine that with lift off of the front end at speed but those I could live with. What for me is the big killer is none of them had effective brakes. The balance on every one I got to drive was different. Some would lock up the front early others the back and each one I worked on had front end damage from hitting something. But beautiful, like the amazing Italian mistress of the 1960’s she might be a total pain but so beautiful that you forget the pain until it either kills you or your pocketbook.

    I think some COBRA kit car maker should buy this and make both a coupe and convertible of this design with changes like an E-Type front end that opens up. I think it would sell very well especially with a front end spoiler.

    Like 4
  16. Dave

    The bottom car looks like an Omega 1967 or so. They had the magnum wheels as well

  17. Michael Carmichael

    Chaps, The Italia represents one of the last designs of one of the greatest automotive designers of the 20th century, Franco Scaglione. In the early ’50s, Scaglione became the chief designer at Bertone. Scaglione designed an amazing Abarth coupe, then the B.A.T. series for Alfa Romeo, perhaps, the most astonishing and iconic designs of the 50s. In addition to those classics, Scaglione designed a gorgeous limited series for Aston Martin and the Arnolt Bristol, roadster and much rarer coupe. For Alfa production, Scaglione designed the Giulietta Sprint and the Sprint Speciale. In the ’60s, Scaglione designed the Lamborghini coupe and the Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale. At that point, Scaglione agreed to design for Intermeccanica, both the Apollo and the Italia. Actually, this great designer produced many more designs, but they were the high points. Check out his Wikipedia article and his Facebook page, the latter is managed by members of his family. BTW – Scaglione fell on hard times when the owner of Intermeccanica at the time failed to deliver on his end of their agreement. PS, The color looks like Veridian, a very popular color in the late ’60s for Italian cars, incuding the Lamborghini Miura.

    Like 5
  18. Ed Casala

    Cool car and in his ad he mentions selling off everything. I wonder what other treasures he has in there.

  19. Howie Mueler

    This might be a good deal.

  20. Al

    Sometime shortly before 1970 I spotted a green ragtop parked in a backyard around Horseheads, NY. No plates. Went back looking for it many times, never saw it again. It stood out for beautiful lines, very Ferrari-like. Cannot recall how I found out it was an Italia, must have poured through Road & Track (no interweb then). Have lusted after one for many years but prices have gone beyond reason for me. Beautiful cars with easily maintained mechanics.

    Like 2
  21. Oliver F Jones

    Please have Rex M contact me, I have some very interesting background on these cars.

  22. angliagt angliagt Member

    The color looks like the yellow on a ’72 240Z.

  23. Mark

    You can always point out the owners of these cars in the BMV office….they’re the ones who have the name of their car written on the back of their hand so they can spell it correctly on the forms….

    Like 1

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