Stalled Restoration: 1971 Intermeccanica Italia

The person who buys this 1971 Intermeccanica Italia is going to need some patience when it comes to restoring the car. Their patience should be well rewarded, as once properly restored, they will find themselves owning a car that not only looks stunning, but should possess the performance to match those good looks. Barn Finder Peter R referred this beautiful little classic to us, so thank you for that Peter. The Italia is located in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and is listed for sale here on eBay. The owner has set the opening bid for the Italia at $15,000, and while there has been no action to this point, there are 51 people who are watching the listing.

A previous owner commenced the restoration process on the Italia, but then the project stalled. That person then passed away, and things have gone no further. The car is said to be structurally solid, with the lower front fenders being the only areas with any obvious rust issues. The front fenders are also quite heavily damaged, and while both are repairable, it is going to be a big job to get them back to their best. I did a bit of searching to see what was available in the way of parts to replace items that are missing on this car. I found a new grille, and that was $750, while replacement front bumpers can be your for $1,400. Other items that are missing include the glass out of both doors, and I haven’t had any luck locating replacements for these. Mind you, I suspect that a bit of time and patience would eventually secure these parts.

While the interior of the Italia looks tidy at first glance, there is going to be a lot of detail work required to bring the car up to a high standard. The wheel isn’t original, and this would need to be replaced. The same goes for the radio/cassette player, the shifter, and that horrible grab handle on the passenger side of the dash. The cover on the driver’s seat will need to be replaced, as will the carpet. The rest of the upholstery is something of a surprise. It looks like a patient upholsterer would be able to stretch and glue a few of the loose edges, and the interior should then look really nice. It appears as though this is one area of the Italia where the restoration work has the potential to be both easy, and surprisingly inexpensive.

While things may not look that pretty under the hood, the good news is that this Italia is a car that runs and drives. Stopping is a whole other issue, as a faulty master cylinder means that the car has no brakes. What you get is a 351ci Cleveland V8 engine, a 4-speed Top Loader transmission, and a 9″ rear end. With 310hp on tap and a total weight of 2,601lbs, the Italia is a spritely performer. It can demolish a ¼ mile in around 13.7 seconds and head on to a top speed of 135mph. This is no shy little flower, that’s for sure. As befits a car of this type, I would probably be inclined to pull the engine and give everything a good clean, because the current presentation simply doesn’t do the car justice.

Once restored, this Intermeccanica Italia will offer the next owner the best of both worlds. Standing still it will possess stunning good looks and amazing pose value. Fire that 351 into life, and the available performance should be enough to satisfy virtually everyone. It is a car that is going to require a fair amount of work to return it to its glory days, but with good examples commanding solid, six-figure prices today, it would seem to be a restoration that would be well worth the effort.


  1. TimM

    Seems strange to me to have stripped the paint from the front of the car and not the rear!! Looks like it might be a solid project for someone!! Love the drive train with the 351 and a top loader 4 speed must be a blast to drive!!!

    Like 1
    • Jay

      I currently own the car,I believe the whole car was stripped to bare metal,and only the rear half was finished and is currently in filler primer

      Like 3
    • Francisco

      Read the description. It says the rear has been restored and primered.

      • Joe

        Considering that 3,200# Panteras with the same engine were 13 sec. in the quarter, a light performance build of the Cleveland should put this car in the 12 sec. range.

  2. Neil G.

    This is a potential work of Art; unlike last weeks Franken-mess Italia heading to Monterey for a Mecum Auction.

    Like 2
  3. Don Sicura

    I have been in love with the Italia from the very first time I saw one in the showroom back in 1968 in Philly, 15K for this car is not unrealistic & I have the ability & patience to make her right, but finding parts plus room for another project car just comes at the wrong time for me. Sad to say, I’ll probably never see another one this affordable any time in my future, GLWS.

  4. ron

    The rules of life say…..If you have the money, you don’t have the time if you have the time , you are broke and if you have the time and the money, the project is……SOLD! Such is life and who would argue with that?…….Only someone born with that silver spoon in his mouth and chances are…….he would not want this great project car anyway!

    Like 4
  5. bog

    Having ordered and bought a 1971 BOSS 351, I sure am familiar with that Hurst shifter. It’s actually quite comfortable. I’d like a thicker steering wheel (big hands) than the one here. Love the Chromodoros. Don’t know if I’d be a “purist” with this car if I owned it. Keep original engine parts, but swap out heads, intake and certain internals and exhaust to give it more “scoot”. Better yet, just put in a “built” 427 small block from Ford Racing and preserve the entire stock engine. THEN the ETs will really drop and top-end will soar. p.s. I find it “odd” that it only hit 135 mph as built…will have to research that further.

  6. James Martin

    Sporty looking mustang.

  7. bikeman1949

    hmmm…major front end damage, no title, looks like a salvage car to me.

  8. Billieg2

    “Once restored, this Intermeccanica Italia will offer the next owner the best of both worlds”

    I don’t have that much time or money left….

    Like 1

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