1968 Intermeccanica Torino SpyderSOLD

1968 Intermeccanica Torino Spyder

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Chassis No.
50050

Estimate:
$100,000 - $140,000 US

Knowledgeable sports car enthusiasts are quick to pay attention when they hear the name Intermeccanica, and with good reason. Intermeccanica was established in 1959 by chemical engineer Frank Reisner and his wife, Paula, and their cars combined Italian artistry with an American powertrain. The Reisner's were zealous car connoisseurs who loved sports cars and racing. They traveled to Europe and settled in Torino, Italy, where they opened their company and began manufacturing aftermarket speed kits. Their dream was to build beautiful performance cars. In 1967, after a series of name, ownership, and engineering changes within the company, the Reisners began production of the stunning Torino Spyder. 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 (nee 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. This particular Torino Spyder has a fascinating story that is reported by the owner as being a very interesting one-off example that was shipped on June 7, 1968 with nine additional Inermeccanica Italia Spyders on this date. However; instead of being badged as an Italia, this specific car was badged under the prior name of Torino and is stated as being the only known 1968 model to exist in this form. The owner further conveys that he has spent time confirming this with Paula Reisner, the wife of the founder Frank Reisner of Intermeccanica. She indicated to the owner and our accompanying Auctions America specialist that the process of building these cars wasn't the most orderly of process in that era to produce an Italia Spyder. At this time, after Jack Griffith (the buyer) went belly-up in the United States, another buyer was found (Steve Wilder) and placed an order for more cars, including more Spyders than anticipated. Having 160 cars without mechanicals at that time in Torino Italy; the Reisner's decided to convertsome of the Coupes (from the 160 aforementioned cars) into convertibles utilizing their inventory of unfinished Coupes to accomplish this task, thus saving time and money. Once again, the Coupes were brought back into the body shop and had the tops cut off to become Spyders. This particular example has the correct pre-drilled holes that they would have executed before the primer and paint. However; since its production had been delayed and re-designated as a Spyder and no longer a Coupe, when it came time to finish the car, they didn't go back and correct the front and rear body panels to match the new Italia badging and it left the factory with the Torino badging as preserved on the car. Exactly how or when this occurred remains a mystery, even to Paula Reisner, but she has authenticated the car both verbally and via email communication that this car (#50050) is an authentic 1968 Torino. The current owner, whom has a history as a longtime restorer in New Jersey, purchased this Intermeccanica Torino Spyder in 1983, and it has been sympathetically cared for throughout its entire life and has no body modifications, except for the removal of the left rear power antenna and does not have the vent windows as seen eith a 1967 Torino. It is reported that a copy of the brown title is still with the car to confirm its ownership history. Among the features on the Torino Spyder is its period correct engine (though not original to this car), a 289-cid, 225-hp HiPo V-8 engine that is paired with a manual transmission in true Italian sports car fashion. This unit has its original and sought after 4100 Autolite carburetor, original high performance cast iron exhaust headers and original suspension and rack-and-pinion steering. Power four-wheel Girling disc brakes, the original Magnum 500 wheels with center hubs, original driving and side lights, plus the trunk luggage and tools will provide the desired extras to go along with its beauty and performance. The number of Spyders built (including those christened as Italias) is non-specific based on sources viewed, but it varies from the 400 to 450 units. Either number demonstrates that it is scarce, and makes this Intermeccanica Torino Spyder a gorgeous and valued prize. The owner conveys through his own research that this is one of only 32 convertibles built.

Reference Number 365543

as of 9/16/2015

Overview
Car 1968 Intermeccanica Torino Spyder
VIN 50050 
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