Intermeccanica Torino Spyder

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Torino Spyder





Construzione Automobili Intermeccanica (Torino, 1959 - ) is an automobile manufacturer, founded by Frank Reisner initially based in Italy but subsequently moving to Canada. It is currently headed by Frank's son, Henry Reisner.

Initially the company made tuning kits. The first car was a Formula Junior car using a Peugeot engine (1960), and was followed by 21 aluminium-bodied Intermeccanica-Puch (IMP) 500 cc-engined cars, of which one won at the Nürburgring.

Larger American V8 engines were used in the «Apollo GT», of which 101 cars were made for International Motor Cars (1961–1965). The «Veltro» prototype however, had small Ford Anglia engines. These cars and some other prototypes were designed by Franco Scaglione. The «Italia» was a larger GT sports car, of which approximately 500 were made (1966–1972), followed by the eleven «Murena GT» (1971).

With Bitter Cars and Opel, Intermeccanica developed the «Indra» (1971), followed by a few years assembling the Squire car.

1959 Founded in Turin, Italy'

First project - speed equipment kits for Renault, Simca, Peugeot, DKW etc. Kits consisted of dual throat carburetors, intake manifolds, high-performance cams, oil filters etc.

A full line of free-flow exhaust systems was developed for 50 or more European cars in cooperation with an Italian tube company. These were marketed under the Intermeccanica label everywhere but North America, and sold particularly well in South Africa. In North America they were distributed by STEBRO, who eventually made the systems themselves.

A new project was started with Jack Griffith of Long Island, N.Y. for a larger production all steel car with more financing. Ex-BRM chassis designer John Crosthwaite, working as a consultant for Jack Griffith (and later for Frank Reisner on the Italia), designed the chassis for the Bob Cumberford shaped car called the Griffith GT. A Griffith was shown with a Plymouth 4.5-litre V8 engine at the 1966 New York Motor Show.

Tooling was built and production started. Around fourteen cars were shipped, when Jack Griffith's company closed. A new customer, Steve Wilder, decided to take over the project, called the cars Omega and had them assembled by Holman and Moody in North Carolina. A total of 33 of these were delivered to the US.

It became obvious at this stage that the only way to pursue the construction of cars was if the cars left Italy fully assembled and running. In cooperation with an Italian bank, Credito Italiano, Intermeccanica found a distributor in Genser Forman of New Jersey, and finally production and sales reached the 100 to 120 cars per year level. These cars were Ford V8 powered, with Ford running gear.

The distribution was occasionally changed, but up until 1970 about 500 cars were built, first called Torino and later Italia. (Ford had the name 'Torino' registered). The Italia was eventually produced as both a coupe and a very successful convertible.

Ford objected; having their own Torino model at that time and the Intermeccanica name was soon changed to Italia Spyder so not to infringe upon the name of the primary engine supplier.

The first Italias (née Torino) were exported to the United States in 1968. The cars were unlike anything else on the market and quickly gained the attention of discerning American car lovers. However, with limited production and a price tag of $8,500, only the affluent could afford them. To many aficionados, the 1968 Intermeccanica Italia Spyder was an automotive masterpiece. The car’s “prancing bull” badging was a gracious nod to Torino's coat of arms. Its styling, which was classic Italian with vintage Ferrari undertones, was elegant. Its performance was equally impressive; as it could reach 0– to 60-mph in 6.2 seconds and had a top speed of 155-mph, which was attained through a powerful and proven Ford V-8 engine. The Italia’s steel body was hand-formed, and its chassis was made from tubular steel. With fewer than 400 of these models being built during its production run from 1967 to 1973, the Italia has since taken on an appealing mystique as a rare automobile.

A Corvair-based all steel prototype called the Phoenix was built for Fitch of Lime Rock, Connecticut.

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