READER AD: Wild 1971 Intermeccanica Italia!

UPDATE 7/10/2019 – If you’d like to give this wild Intermeccanica a home, this might be your last chance before it goes to auction. John and Scott have decided to send it to Monterey to be auctioned by Mecum Auctions. You can still make them an offer now or you can wait till August and try your luck at the auction!

What Makes It Special? This Italia is being offered by the original owner. I’m helping John (the owner) list it. Original miles. Always garage kept. Extremely well cared for. Always in Northern California. The owner widened the body about 7 inches on each side to accept wider tires. He also added a wing. It looks fantastic and is the only one (with this body) in the world. The owner states that only 350 were made and only 17 were brought into the U.S.

Body Condition: Almost perfect.

Mechanical Condition: The original Ford 351 V8 runs excellent. It’s equipped with a 4-speed and factory AC. The odometer is showing about 55k miles.

Seller’s Listing: Here on Classiccars.com

At first glance, I thought Scott R had entered the make and model of his Reader Ad incorrectly. This thing doesn’t look like an Intermeccanica, it looks like a Ferrari! The widened body is radical and gives the car a very modern look. While I’m a huge fan of the Italia’s original styling, I have to admit that this thing is stunning. The bodywork appears to have been done to an extremely high level and looks like something that would have come out of an Italian Supercar design house, not a small California body shop.

Clearly, the interior was updated at the same time the bodywork was done. It appears many of the original components were retained but covered with new leather. I’m not sure what the seats came out of, but they are definitely more supportive than what this car left the factory with! Can any of you identify what these seats came out of?

The 351 V8 might not be a high strung exotic engine, but that’s actually a good thing if you plan on driving the car much. It’s an easy engine to work on, doesn’t require much maintenance, sounds great, and is fairly powerful. There’s no word on if any upgrades were made to the engine, but I see a few dress-up parts strapped to it.

This is the only area of the car that I would have done differently. The spoiler looks like a mix between the spoilers mounted to the Ferrari F50 and the Porsche 959. It’s a bit over the top, but it does give the car a radical look. I really do have mixed feelings about the customization work. It looks well done and is striking, but the Italia is such a beautiful car that it’s sad to see one not in its original form. Of course, at the time the work was done, these weren’t fetching the kind of money they do know.

I’m not sure it could be taken back to original at this point and I actually don’t know if it should be. John’s vision for the car is a part of its history and story now, so you might as well embrace it. Think of all the looks, questions and thumbs up you’d get driving it around! So be sure to take a closer look at it and make John an offer.

  • Asking Price: $60,000 OBO
  • Location: Lincoln, California
  • Mileage: 55,000
  • Title Status: Clean
  • VIN: 50385414

List your car here on Barn Finds for only $50!

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Comments

  1. Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

    I’m looking forward to the comments both pro and con on this one. As for me, I agree with Josh.

    4
  2. Wayne Barratt

    I wish he had done this to a Corvette instead

    8
    • OhU8one2

      Lot’s of time and money wasted, just to deminish the value of a once great looking car. Good luck to the seller, I’m afraid their going to need it.

      3
  3. Concinnity

    Nissan300ZX /R390 /Lamborghini Diablo/ headlights, but what are those taillights off?

    1
    • Michael

      lexus sc

      2
    • Ml_lnKy

      The tail lights are from a Nissan S13 Chassis Silvia (as it’s known in the JDM market.
      Lexus/Soarer lights don’t have the strip on the out edge of tail light.

      1
  4. Tirefriar

    I wish he would have left the body original. The Nissan Z32 headlamps indicate that the body restyling had to be done no sooner than 1989 (year when z32 was launched on Japanese market). Still, no excuse for the execution….

    4
  5. Morgan Winter

    Wow, they sure messed that up!

    12
    • OhU8one2

      For every modification, the value dropped. Significantly. I think its going to be hard to sell this car, unless new owner likes the changes or they’re going to make some of their own. Too bad. It was a nice car.

      13
  6. DayDreamBeliever Member

    The comments seem to be trending towards the negative, but that is not how I feel. For sure, the first impression I got for the body aft of the doors was 959. Hey, people swoon over those, why the bad vibes for this?

    Perhaps the issue is that a relatively uncommon car was used as the basis for a custom. Yea, I get that. But look, it was well done, the paint appears to show a dark cherry glow in the sun, and overall the package is appealing.

    No one else has an Italia like this, and as far as I am concerned, it has a place in the automotive sporting/collecting hobby.

    4
    • Mikey8

      It’s not an Italian anymore. Would be nice if it was. It was someone’s vision but only that person enjoys its beauty enough. He ruined a nice car.
      Resembles a firebird from the back end and Holy Wing Batman!!!

  7. SquirrleyGig

    So, I’ll try & leave one for the Positive side of this battery. 😁
    IMHO I’m rarely a fan of a rear wing on anything. The car better have either come “factory” w/ it (or been a factory option) or not @ all. Even then, I sometimes find them questionable. Tacky is the word my folks would have used back when. I am also not a huge fan of a drop top, regardless of whether it is factory or not. Maybe because I was born & have primarily always lived in the PNW?
    While I have no personal affection towards the Intermeccanica’s, I like cars old & new, in many forms. Still somehow…I like this? If I was the next guy to own it I think I would wrap it in period correct livery type theme, track prep it & go have some fun. Sorta’ reminds me of the early IMSA cars. I could like (love) it?!
    GLWS & congrats to whoever owns it next! Cheer’s 🛴!

    2
  8. Nick Hockman Member

    I think its fine to be creative. I would just do it to a replica.

    I am a buyer at 10k. Cash

    7
  9. grant

    Just my two cents but I like it. Seats look like C4 Corvette buckets.

    1
  10. bruce baker

    I love it! It makes think of one of my fastest 1960’s Hot Wheels cars. Yeah the one with the head light slide switch in place of a shift knob. If the Ring Brothers did this car, then i think $60,000 is a great deal.

  11. Neil G.

    Wild or not, the value of this once beautiful car would be twice the asking price without the gaudy modifications. Creativity aside, adding all of the mismatched car manufacturer parts (especially the stupid wing) reeks of a poorly conceived replica with a monstrous appearance.

    8
  12. TimS Member

    This car looks like the photo on one of those clickbait stories. “37 of the most stranger cars of history, #5 is seen to be believed”

    5
  13. Santa Fe Steve

    In original form these are beautiful cars. As stated above if left in original condition it would be worth twice what the owner is asking. I would use a similarly modified C3 Corvette for a price comparison and it would be well under $60K.

    3
  14. Tom

    Really a goofy looking car. Kit car look all the way. I’d be embarrassed driving it. The interior looks pretty cool though.

    6
    • Mikey8

      I agree!

  15. Bruce

    The original was an elegant and very balanced design. This is not, it looks heavy and the redesign did nothing to fix the fundamental flaws of these cars including the poor braking and very limited suspension travel.

    Bigger tires will only make the handling worse IMHO. The original on a smooth road handled very well. To me it is a great deal of effort to make something worse. I agree with others that wish they had used a Corvette with a body beyond salvage instead of something so rare, no matter how good the workmanship. A bad idea is a bad idea no matter how well you execute it. Sad.

    7
  16. Al

    How to muck up a beautiful car. No thanks at any price. Love the original car, this, not so much.

    3
  17. Bob Minnis

    This seller must know, IMHO, his modifications will cost him a ton of value. You just don’t molest a one of 350 cars, much less one of the prettiest of small manufactured cars. These cars are now close to or over six figures. I wish him luck.

    2
  18. Charles

    Took a $100k+ car and turned it into $10K. The interior still looks close to original, so maybe could find a donor Omega or Italia.

    1
  19. imperialist1960

    This car only needs one buyer who agrees with the seller on price.

    ONE.

    So if everyone else is naysaying it, that really doesn’t matter, since there are other unmodified cars out there for people who are sticklers for the old times, and opinions are just like you-know-whats.

    Price seems high to me, but that’s no crime. If it fails to generate a purchase in its current sales format, an auction where the free market decides might be a good next step. That or seller hangs onto it until market catches up with him.

    A person who is truly a seller will allow the marketplace to set the price. Otherwise, its simply being offered, and I try to discern the difference when I’m looking at cars that I might actually consider purchasing.

    My Ignorant Fool offer would be $25k. If I researched and had more passion for the base vehicle, I might consider spending more, but this isn’t my normal area of interest, so write me off as an Ignorant Fool is fine.

    2
    • formynewhome@gmail.com Member

      Can you come up to $40,000? Call me at 916-521-8943

      1
    • formynewhome@gmail.com Member

      Call me if you are still interested. 916-521-8943. Thanks, Scott Ruskauff

  20. Bob

    Duly. Noted.

    5
  21. Neil G.

    There you go. Imperialist1960 appears to be setting the Barn Finds Market price of your Italian automotive masterpiece. How about it seller, would you accept their $25K offer; or is it an insult?

    1
    • TimM

      I think it’s pretty cool and the fact it’s got a ford running gear makes it that much better!!!

      1
  22. SubGothius

    Seats are probably Recaros recovered in whatever leather they used to reupholster the rest of the interior.

  23. t-bone Bob

    Interesting

    1
  24. Paul Oberman

    Didn’t know what this car was. Then I looked up the original. Oh boy.

    https://silodrome.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Intermeccanica-Italia-Spyder-1480×987.jpg

    There is literally nothing left. I don’t think that I have ever prayed for a bolt on plastic skin in this kind of custom before.

    6
    • bruce baker

      Wow, its beautiful ! Thank’s for the pic.
      The original body must of been stolen or destroyed. Probably much, much cheaper to do it this way.

  25. Otto_Matic

    Had to be a real bad ass dude to build a show car out of that back in the day. Worth every dollar.

    1
  26. PAULA R

    Actually most Italias were exported to US. Few were sold to US citizens in Europe

    1
  27. Farhvergnugen

    Literally, a spoiler. At least for me.

    1
  28. Neil G.

    Hopefully Mecum can find the owner of this Piece of Art a better offer than those made by Barn Finds readers.

    1
    • exartist

      A piece of conceptual art, maybe.

      2
  29. Jasper

    So this is what happened to Lyle Waggoner’s car! Pretty unfortunate.

    1
  30. Hans Goran Noren

    Seeing the original lines of the Intereccanica and then this, this t h i n g…. They have managed to thoroughly spoil a beautiful Italian thoroughbred and turn it into a turd. Sorry.

    1
  31. PATRICK JEAN-PHILIPPE

    Good luck with the sell !

    A no réserve would be the best way to proceed. It may help to get rid of it and at the same time get to know the level of value destruction through its customization.

  32. Neil G.

    Were ANY air the original body parts retained by the customizer?

  33. Al

    Going to be interesting to watch at auction. I’m betting it won’t come close to expectations. In short, it’s a mess.

  34. M vickery

    Let’s face facts. Ninety-nine percent of people wouldn’t know what an Italia is, and would probably be more impressed by the updated design.

    1
  35. jack mindy

    I purchased a 1967 Intermeccanica Torino (predecessor to the Italia and virtually identical to it, except for the Ford HP 289) new in 1967. I paid $6700 for it. I wouldn’t pay that much for this Italia.

    1
  36. Neil G.

    Only “Italia” left is the frame and interior. The rest is parts picked up from a junk yard.

    1
  37. Bryan W Cohn

    No appreciation for craftsmanship eh? Whomever did the work to create this bodywork has some seriously top level skill. Or do the masses just think those fenders fell from the sky?

    A top level Italia sold last April at Sothby’s Arizona auction for $179,000. Hemmings over the last three years says the average asking is $139,000. So the owners $66,000 is under half its value as original. I’m pretty sure they know what they’ve got, what they did to its value and priced it accordingly.

    We aren’t entitled to know why the owner decided to rebody his car. Was it a beautiful car from new? Yes without question but that’s the beauty of the automotive world, a person with means, wether financial or skill can create what pleases them.

    I for one do like its early IMSA/Trans Am look, it would fit right in with the late 70’s IMSA and Trans Am race cars in that era.

    As noted the market will set the price and it’ll be interesting to see if it sells at Mecum. If the owners puts a reserve on it I bet he owns it for a long time.

    1
    • Tirefriar

      Brian, the appreciation for the craftsmanship in this case should have started, and continued, with that of of the original craftsmen who created this car. Justifying the mods done to this Italia is akin to having a valid explanation to putting personal touches on a genuine Mona Lisa.

      2
      • Tom

        I agree. Crapping up an original beauty, no matter how good the “craftmanship” is just wrong. And it begs the question…is it really even an Italia any longer? Seems like when you modify a vehicle so extensively, well, it just becomes something else.

  38. Ron Robinson

    Agree with Tom. Is it an Italia any more?? The body is what made Griffith/Omega/Torino/Italia. I know Lyle Waggoner customized the rear, put skirts on it. Miles Davis had a black 289 HiPo Italia. A friend has Sonny Bono’s Omega. Alex Trabek owned one. I also had one of the 34 Torinos, a 289. They made a running change to Italia when Ford threatened to sue them for Torino name.
    One of 17?? Don’t think so. I have been following these since the first Griffith.
    Some cars were imported to Germany (have the importer’s name in file)
    I have tons of info. Spent hours on the phone with Bob Cumberford, and also letters. Approx 800 cars were completed — per the Italian courts. I have the exact numbers, not off the top of my head — mostly Spyders, then coupes, 3 Targas — back in the day, two owned by same guy in Colo. The other, I almost bought, metallic brown, 351C.
    Scaglione did not do the original design. Have owned a ’68 Spyder/titled ’69/302, for 34 yrs. Show at Concours, but it is a 20′ car, unrestored. I ramble.

    5
    • Charles L. Hicks

      I have a 1967 (titled 1968) Omega that is a nice #3 driver. Have lots of provenance paperwork including original copy of sale $8,250.00. You can still get lots of data & information from Larry Jenkins in North Carolina from when he worked with Steve Wilder & their collaboration with Holman-Moody. Larry has all of the serial numbers in the order of their release, including original color of each car.

    • P Reisner

      Cumberford made the original sketches of the Italia but Scaglione took them and made the car usable and produceable and added some of the Scaglione sleekness.

  39. Ron Robinson

    Correct. Cumberford made original 1/5th scale model, which Scaglione used to upscale design on original car.

    1
  40. Ron Robinson

    Good info on Larry Jenkins.
    My friend’s Omega (Sonny Bono’s) just came back from Hollman and Moody for an engine refresh, 289 HiPo.

    1
  41. Ron Robinson

    Good info on Larry Jenkins.

    1
  42. Charles L. Hicks

    Larry Jenkins is at Jenkins & Jenkins Automotive in Charlotte, NC.
    Do you know of any Intermeccanica association or club? There needs to be one.

  43. Tirefriar

    Bid to $18k in Monterey…and the bid goes on. From the looks of it so far all offers in this thread were on a generous side…

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