1971 Intermeccanica Italia Spyder
- Recent comprehensive restoration
- Fewer than 33,000 original miles
- One of only 220 Italia Spyders built
- An outstanding blend of Italian design and American muscle
When an Intermeccanica Italia Spyder comes to market, aficionados take notice. From 1967 to 1973, fewer than 400 Italia models were built, and only 222 were convertibles, making the Spyder a true rarity.
The Intermeccanica Italia was the culmination of Frank and Paula Reisner’s dream of building beautiful and powerful sports cars. Mr. Reisner, a Hungarian chemical engineer raised in Canada, raced cars and was continuously involved in speed-related automotive ventures. In 1959, the Reisners moved to Italy, eventually settling in Turin, where they formed their own company, Carrozzeria Automobile Intermeccanica, and began manufacturing tuning kits for Renault, Simca, Peugeot, and other European brands. Within a few years, competing against Italy’s world-class automobiles, the Reisners began producing their own cars.
Early efforts yielded several performance-focused prototypes and concept vehicles. In 1963, with the introduction of his Apollo GT Coupe at the Turin Motor Show, Mr. Reisner won respect as a builder of high-performance sports cars. The Italian-designed Apollo used Buick engines and running gear foreshadowing Mr. Reisner’s future inclinations. However, the best was yet to come: the Intermeccanica Italia.
The Italia continued Mr. Reisner’s propensity to marry sleek Italian design with American drivetrains. The Italia entered the U.S. market in 1968, dazzling enthusiasts with dramatic styling that paid homage to its exotic Italian compatriots. The car featured a long, low hood line, a snug cabin, and a chopped rear deck reminiscent of contemporary Ferrari and Maserati models. When admirers looked closer, they were even more impressed by the car’s makeup: a tubular steel chassis and hand-shaped steel body. Nor could they ignore its athletic prowess: the Italia was eminently drivable at all speeds. With its potent 351 Ford V-8, it could accelerate from 0–60 in just 6.2 seconds and then quickly rocket to 155 mph. A high price-tag affirmed that this exceptional automobile was not for everyone, a reality that made it even more desirable and prestigious.
The Italia Spyder presented here is a stunning example of one of Intermeccanica’s finest models and offers the credentials that make it as attractive today as it was when it debuted. The car was reportedly brought to the U.S. later in the 1970s and has been well maintained throughout. It has fewer than 33,000 miles and recently underwent a comprehensive restoration that brought it back to notable head-turning condition. The mechanicals have all been replaced or restored, and the engine has been rebuilt and uprated to approximately 400 horsepower. With new black leather seating and sisal floor mats, the redone interior affords a handsome and comfortable environment. A new tonneau cover and sturdy Haartz Stayfast cloth top offer weather protection. The Spyder cruises on new Pirelli P4 four-season touring tires, complemented with Dayton knock-off wire wheels. The body gleams, with its Rosso Corsa finish giving the car its extroverted presence.
This rare Italia Spyder stands with the great supercars of Italy; it is not a car you will see every day—unless you own it.