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Squared-Off Italian Mini: 1980 Innocenti

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Not only did Innocenti make their own version of the Austin-Healey Sprite as Scotty covered recently, by 1974 Innocenti had been making the BMC Mini under licence for nine years. However, they wanted their own version of the car. This is one of those cars! It’s located in Dewittville, Quebec, Canada and is up for sale here on eBay, where bidding is starting at $4,000 but there is a reserve.

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The extreme shortness of the car is visible in this shot. Also, the improvements that were made over the original Mini are evident; for example, the hatchback that never made it into the standard Mini. The design was commissioned of Bertone in 1969, but despite selling around 45,000 Minis a year Innocenti ended up being taken over by British Leyland in 1973. The design ended up being produced anyway with some modifications, but it now used typical Mini subframes and powertrain.

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While the performance of the Innocenti isn’t that different from the normal Mini, that’s not a bad thing. The styling is much more modern and there are some nice features that aren’t on the original. By 1975 sales were climbing again, with over 30,000 sold. You can learn more about the car at this website.

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Here’s the A-series engine. In this case it’s in 1275 cc form, and apart from the nice looking valve cover looks fairly normal. The front facing radiator is different from normal Mini practice, as is the battery.

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I can see a few wrinkles here in the front bumper cover, but the seller has done a lot of work on what is actually a 58,000 mile car. For example, they have overhauled the engine, repainted the car and replaced a lot of parts, including the clutch, shock absorbers, and front seat upholstery. They have also done a lot of brake work and blasted and POR-15 coated one of the vulnerable Mini subframes. This looks like a car to drive–and show up at the next Italian car show and have folks wondering what the heck it is! Would you rather have this, or a “traditional” British Mini?

Comments

  1. ron

    looks like an italian metro to me.

    Like 1

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