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Thread: Intermeccanica Italia

  1. #1
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    Another Italo-American Hybrid from the sixties and a nice one too...
    Last edited by henk4; 01-25-2007 at 02:11 PM.
    "I find the whole business of religion profoundly interesting, but it does mystify me that otherwise intelligent people take it seriously." Douglas Adams

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    Individuality and Older Cars

    Quote Originally Posted by McReis
    You are doing only a post per month, which is sad. We need more classic car fans to chat.
    Did you just want to be funny while doing your profile or do you actually own a rare Intermeccanica Italia?
    I've done 4 or 5 posts this week, (but I joined maybe five months ago without posting much previously, so I'm still quite a novice). I'm flattered that someone wants to hear more from me. Michigan winters make it easier to find time to post more - (while the Italia sits up on jackstands awaiting the spring thaw.)

    Yes, I own a 1969 Intermeccanica Italia roadster (though my wife would dispute that - she claims it's hers) It came out of the barn of my friend with the collection of uncovered euro-exotics, after it sat undriven (though not unloved) for 20 years. I'd wanted one ever since I was a student; when, in the college library I read & re-read the AutomobileQuarterly article (Volume 9-3) about how these lovely cars were hand-made in Italy.

    I'd first seen this Italia when my friend had it on the road in 1983 (around the time he received it in partial trade for an Alfa Sprint Zagato basket case...) He only drove the Italia for one year because he's uncomfortable driving in anything that doesn't have a hardtop. (He worked in the crash testing labs at the University of Michigan and knows what can happen... ) Anyway, it took 20 years before my ability to pay matched his willingness to sell and we could strike a deal. (He says I must have caught him in a weak moment. Indeed, it puzzles me that anyone could part with one - even when parked, it gives such pleasure to the eyes.

    Although the car was driveable when he parked it, it took a lot to get it roadworthy again, but it has been sooo worth it!

    One of the biggest surprises has been how reliable it is - which for a limited production, handbuilt car is quite unusual. My explanation is that there was a long gestation period between the time in 1965, when Intermeccanica built these to Jack Griffith's initial order (with Mark Donohue as chief development engineer), through the Steve Wilder period (when Holman & Moody further engineered them and these cars were sold as the 'Omega'), to Frank Reisner (Intermeccanica) ultimately taking over complete production control back in Italy by 1969 (so that he could roadtest each completed car for quality)... This long gestation period permitted enough time that most of the bugs were worked out before very many cars were built and sold. By 1969, the cars were pretty well sorted out and the convertible version had been introduced - which really helped sales. What followed was a three year period in which several hundred Italias were built and sold until 1972, when US Federal safety standards exceeded the capabilities of small manufacturers like Intermeccanica to comply. The 1973 oil crisis would likely have killed it anyway.

    Federal standards pretty much ended one of the most prolific periods of exotic car production - a period we'll likely not see again - when styling was driven more by what pleased the eye than what met the requirements of the safety/fuel economy standards makers in Washington. I'd say we are entering a new renaissance of exotic car production, but only by large volume manufacturers who can afford the extensive burdens of compliance. Yes, today's cars are safer, cleaner, much more reliable, and more efficient... but gone are the days when one man like Carroll Shelby or a Frank Reisner could dream up a design, partner with a few experts, and produce his own car brand.

    People love to express their individuality through their cars. Even as a poor student when I was growing up, all I had to do to be different was to buy a cheap Fiat or an Alfa or an MG, etc… there were lotsa choices! Today, with the number of individual car manufacturers severely reduced, "pimping your ride” seems the young person’s only option to show their individuality.

    Also gone are the days when the average enthusiast could open the hood and understand everything he was looking at. I love that my daily drivers today are more reliable than the old exotics, but I also love that when I look under the hood of the Italia, I can manage whatever problems I might encounter without needing a second mortgage on my home.

    I love the unknowable inspiration that Franco Scaglione put into designing the Italia, and I love all the care that all the unknown Italian craftsmen put into hand-forming the sheetmetal and sewing the interior.

    It took me twenty years to afford my dream, but unlike some relationships that do not turn out to be what one hoped for, the Italia has been more than I expected in almost every way... (there's still that annoying squeak in the suspension to be solved yet ).

    Spring can't get here soon enough...
    (you're probably thinking: nor can the end of this long posting... )
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Motorace; 10-17-2007 at 01:14 AM. Reason: photos added
    Honi soit qui mal y pense

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    Thank you for this interesting story. I can add some shots from the Quail Lodge during the 2006 Monterey festivities. This car is owned by someone from California
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by henk4; 01-25-2007 at 02:16 PM.
    "I find the whole business of religion profoundly interesting, but it does mystify me that otherwise intelligent people take it seriously." Douglas Adams

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    Quote Originally Posted by Motorace
    Spring can't get here soon enough...
    (you're probably thinking: nor can the end of this long posting... )
    What a great story, but the end of the post came too soon.

    The more owners with a love like yours makes the world (and UCP) a happier place
    Chief of Secret Police and CFO - Brotherhood of Jelly
    No Mr. Craig, I expect you to die! On the inside. Of heartbreak. You emo bitch

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    Just to add a few words to the story.

    The Italia (and IMX) were coupes designed on the chassis of the TVR Griffith. The Griffith was actually named after Jack Griffith, who implanted a Ford V8 in the original TVR Grantura, which had a small 1600 cc engine. The Griffith became a daredevil in motor racing and actually still is in the Historics (as long as it stays together or can be kept on the road )
    Scaglione designed a coupe named Omega, but that project somehow failed. The already mentioned Frank Reisner got stuck with 150 bodies and installed a new Ford Mustang engine and sold them as Italia, but production continued after tihs first bunch was completed. (I am not sure about the underpinnings of the Italia, but I strongly believe that the chassis must be longer than that of the extremely short TVR.) Production of the coupe continued until 1970, whereby the last models had a fiberglass body and were dubbed IMX.

    In 1967 Scaglione designed the Spider version which was sold as Torino, but is now often also named Italia. Production if both versions stopped in 1970 after the completion of about a 1000 vehicles.

    The successor, the Indra Spyder, was presented in 1971, and was based on a shortened Opel Diplomat chassis and could be had with an inline six and two different V8s. An Indra coupe and an Indra fastback also appeared. In total 125 Indras were made. The Indra was an idea of Erich Bitter who continued to produce fastback sportscar on Opel basis under his own name.

    see also:http://www.ultimatecarpage.com/frame...hp&carnum=1062
    Last edited by henk4; 01-26-2007 at 01:37 PM.
    "I find the whole business of religion profoundly interesting, but it does mystify me that otherwise intelligent people take it seriously." Douglas Adams

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    Daring to compare Italias with Ferrari 275 GTB NART Spyders

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyco
    What a great story, but the end of the post came too soon.
    The more owners with a love like yours makes the world (and UCP) a happier place
    Thank you for your kind words.

    Quote Originally Posted by henk4
    Thank you for this interesting story. I can add some shots from the Quail Lodge during the 2006 Monterey festivities. This car is owned by someone from California
    & Thank YOU for photographing the Italia and sharing your pics with us! This owner has certainly done a great job restoring it! I love the glass over the headlights. I was surprised to notice the glovebox door had been upholstered over – being a California car, perhaps he installed an A/C unit in the space where the glove box used to be?

    Whenever I look at an Italia Spyder, I am reminded of one of the rarest and most lustworthy of all Ferraris – 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB-4 NART Spyder (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Im...ART.Spyder.jpg). Luigi Chinetti special-ordered twenty-five of these from the gifted coachbuilder Scaglietti, (not to be confused with the gifted designer Scaglione who styled the Italia Spyder). Chinetti was Ferrari’s main US importer – hence their designation as NART Spyders after Chinetti's North American Racing Team. Unfortunately for all of us, only ten were ever delivered, though some 275 GTB Coupes were later cut to make them into NART Spyder clones (how Richard Straman got started).

    Both the NART Spyder and the Italia Spyder have a long nose and short rear deck with a subtle-yet-functional ducktail spoiler and inset headlights that are so pleasing to the eyes (but a nightmare to form in sheet metal - you'll typically find these only on handmade bodies). Both also have steeply raked windshields. Here’s a nice quote from this website (http://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C07629?pt=pf ) which I think could be applied to both cars:

    “It is everything you think of when you imagine post-war sportscars -sleek, powerful and blessed with exquisite proportion and detail. Lines flow cleanly from one into the other and most important, as they used to say, it looks like it's going a hundred miles an hour when it's standing still.”

    When offered the choice, will I accept the gift of a Ferrari NART Spyder over an Italia? – In a heartbeat due to its provenance and its V-12 motor (and you gotta love those shark-gill vents on the side!) The last NART Spyder that sold at auction (Christie’s in Monterey 2005) went for US$ 3.9 Million (& worth every penny). That car not only had Ferrari’s amazing race history going for it, and the four cam motor (as did all ten NART Spyders), but that particular NART Spyder was one of only two with an alloy body, and it was the only NART Spyder that had an actual race history (1967 Sebring).

    An Intermeccanica Italia Spyder will never even come close to a Ferrari 275 GTB’s provenance so I cannot imagine it could ever come close to that Ferrari’s value; but this has its plus's to go with its minus. It is difficult for me to imagine that a US$ 3.9 million car will be driven much in anger for the sheer pleasure of it, but I’ve little doubt that the new owner can afford to do whatever he wants with it.

    The question ya gotta ask yourself is: If you had $3.9 million to spend, would you rather have a $3.9 Million Ferrari or have seven homes around the world worth half a million dollars each, AND an Intermeccanica Italia in the garage of each that you're not afraid to drive…? (Or three $1 Million homes with two Italias in each so your wife will let you drive more often...) Speaking strictly for me, there’s no contest – I’ll take the practical enjoyment over the provenance. Criminy! – just the annual insurance bill on the Ferrari alone would likely buy a beautifully restored Italia. If ever there were an undervalued car, I think the Intermeccanica Italia is it.

    I attribute this mainly to the car being so unknown. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve looked in supposedly comprehensive books about "Sports-Cars" and found at least a page on Iso (a similar vintage Euro-American hybrid), but almost never a mention of the Intermeccanica Italia, despite being built in similar numbers (400+... I’ve seen varying figures). Why this happens, I do not know, but it has certainly helped to keep Italias affordable!

    Just how unknown are Intermeccanica Italias?
    Living in the birthplace of muscle cars (southeast Michigan) means I don’t even get asked if it is a Ferrari (which it most closely resembles) – I usually get asked if it’s a Corvette (with one exception when a teenage bag-boy pushing carts outside a grocery store ‘knocked me over’ by asking if it was an Italia). I don’t expect the locals to recognize it, but I got a taste of how really unknown Italias are when my wife and I flew out to the 2005 Concorso Italiano. As it was ending, we happened to be comparing notes with a group of Italian car enthusiasts about all the beautiful cars we’d seen that day. One of them asked me what I had, and I said an ‘Intermeccanica Italia’. Heads nodded in approval, and no one asked what it was, so I assumed they all knew. My wife then pulled out some pictures of her car and showed them around to squeals of “My god that’s beautiful – What is it?!!!”

    Although it’s always nice when we find a note on the windshield or get a wave from a fellow driver with an appreciative eye, we don’t own it for their pleasure; we own it for the pleasure it gives my wife and I. As long as we get to look at it and drive it, who cares whether or not anyone else knows what it is?

    Writing is a different story – if the reader isn’t getting pleasure, then there’s no point in doing it, so thanks again for the compliments.

    GUESS THE PICTURES:

    Some of these pictures are of an Italian, handformed-steel-over-a-wooden-buck, open-topped supercar, with a hand-stitched interior, from the mid-1960's, with drop-dead gorgeous styling from the pen of master stylist and aerodynamicist Franco Scaglione.

    The other photos are of a similar vintage Ferrari 275 GTB NART Spyder, one of which recently sold for US$ 3.9 million.

    Can you tell which is which?
    That should be easy enough, but the real question is: Is the difference worth US$ 3.8 million?

    A friend once said "It's mere money" compared with a rare & beautiful sportscar, (he had it to spend). I assert that Intermeccanica Italias are well under-valued for what they offer because they are merely "under"-known. Thank goodness for that or else I would not have been able to afford one.
    Last edited by Motorace; 02-12-2007 at 12:11 AM. Reason: grammatical improvements, adding photos
    Honi soit qui mal y pense

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    Quote Originally Posted by henk4
    The Italia (and IMX) were coupes designed on the chassis of the TVR Griffith.
    With all due respect to henk4, please allow me to correct an error before it gets repeated…
    The chassis of the Intermeccanica Italia was NOT in any way based on the chassis of the diminutive TVR Griffith.

    The only connection between the TVR Griffith and the Griffith 600 (the prototype Italia), was the man - Jack Griffith. Jack was a successful NY Ford dealer who enjoyed importing lightweight TVR chassis, stuffing Ford 289 motors in them, and calling them Griffith 200's (& later 400's). From what several owners have told me, and from having ridden in one, I'm convinced they can embarass any car on the road. (GoTo Grifith 200/400, American muscle with british style. for more history on the TVR-bodied Griffith 200's and 400's).

    NY dock strikes and financial troubles at TVR in England convinced Jack that he needed to find a different supplier if he was going to stay in business as a manufacturer, so he struck a deal with Frank Reisner's Intermeccanica after admiring the beautiful Apollo-Buick they were building for International Motor Cars in California.

    Jack Griffith deserves the credit for getting the ball rolling on his "Griffith 600", the car that shortly became the Omega and eventually became the Intermeccanica Italia; but Griffith left the chassis design up to Frank Reisner/Intermeccanica.

    If the Griffith 600/Italia chassis was based on anything, it was based on the experience Reisner gained with the chassis of the Apollo that Intermeccanica had previously built to Milt Brown's design. That one was a relatively simple design, and can be seen in SportsCar Graphic January 1963, page 71. The bare chassis of the Italia (which can be seen in Automobile-Quarterly Volume 9-3, page 13) is far more complex looking, so there was clearly an all-new chassis designed for the Griffith/(Italia).

    See the UltimateCarPage.com Apollo thread for background on the Apollo’s design: Intermeccanica Apollo - Ultimatecarpage.com forums

    Furthermore, since Milt Brown’s Apollo chassis used the front subframe (with suspension attached) and the rear axle from early 1960's Buicks, Reisner had no choice but to engineer the Griffith/(Italia) chassis for a new suspension system. John Crosthwaite, a suspension engineer with experience at Lotus, Cooper, and B.R.M, designed this. Crosthwaite incorporated parts from various European cars to design the Italia's suspension with rack & pinion steering, coil springs, and disc brakes at each corner. Intermeccanica even modified the drum-brake equipped Ford 9” rear axles to incorporate Girling’s 3-piston disc brakes – the same ones Shelby was putting on his Cobras.
    These features were all well ahead of American muscle cars of the era, whose rear leaf spring suspension designs were unchanged since the horse-drawn wagon (with the exception of Corvette – who successfully laid out their leaf spring transversely in 1963).

    The lusciously complex curves that form the Italia's steel bodywork were hand-formed by skilled craftsmen over a wooden body buck. These will be expensive to replace if new ones have to be made, but the chassis underneath is all made with square tubes and flat panels - not complex stampings! So, if you need to repair any rust or damage to the chassis or under-panels, any decent welder can do the job very simply – a nice feature if you have to restore an Italia!

    Another interesting bit of chassis history is that Griffith initially contracted with Reisner for 2500 bodies over a three-year period. That meant Reisner had to plan for production of almost three per day – a very healthy number for any coachbuilder making hand-formed steel bodies! Reisner prepared by building several complex jigs – two to hold the various chassis pieces in place during welding, and another to hold the various body panels in place relative to each other and to the completed chassis.

    Note that the body is welded to the chassis – forming a rigid structure that needed no further reinforcing when the coupe’s top was later removed for Scaglione’s convertible design. Reinforced jacking pads (underneath the front of each door) permit jacking the entire side of the car up from one point – and you can still open & close the doors on a convertible while the whole side of the body is resting on this one point – that’s how rigid the chassis is… Yet this strength does not carry a significant weight penalty – the Italia convertible weighs only 2500 pounds.

    The net result is that the body will not shake & rattle over bumps, unlike many other low-volume vehicles. Griffith's unrealistically large contract turned out to be a blessing in disguise for it meant that Italias ended up with far superior build quality than their low-volume production numbers would otherwise have justified.

    Given that Griffith’s operation collapsed after only taking delivery of ten cars, (and Wilder’s after only thirty-three), it’s a wonder that Reisner survived financially given the up-front investment he’d made in tooling – a testament to his efficiency and effectiveness.

    Regarding the suspension design, I asked a friend (a highly-qualified racing & development driver for a European manufacturer) to take my Italia for an extended evaluation drive. He reported back that he was surprisingly pleased with it overall, and that he was most impressed with the lack of squeaks and rattles in the bodywork, (especially for a convertible!), and also that all bump-steer had been carefully designed out of the front suspension. Perhaps the highest testimonial is that he is now seeking an Italia to purchase!


    Quote Originally Posted by henk4
    Scaglione designed a coupe named Omega, but that project somehow failed.
    Technically, the Griffith 600 / Omega / Italia Coupe concept was sketched by Robert Cumberford and then refined into a buildable production design by Franco Scaglione.

    Griffith ran out of money after building only ten coupes, sold as the “Griffith 600”.

    Steve Wilder then saved the project, contracting with Holman & Moody to receive the bodies from Intermeccanica and install Ford powertrains. “OMEGA” was the name used for marketing the 30 coupes sold through Steve Wilder’s efforts, but these were essentially the same body design as the Cumberford/Scaglione Griffith 600’s.
    The Omega project also failed to sell enough cars, though legend has it that Steve made his money back by selling the name “Omega” to GM (for Oldsmobile). As an employee of Holman & Moody, Cumberford was also part of this effort.

    After selling only 30 cars, Wilder threw in the towel.
    Note: 33 Omegas were built, but three had to be destroyed for crash testing.

    Reisner was nothing if not efficient. He had another 142 bodies already built, waiting to ship, but no one to pay for them. So, he came to the US in December 1966 and negotiated: 1) with a dealer who could market his car nationwide in the USA, and 2) with Ford to ship Mustang engines, transmissions, rear axles, and Magnum 500 wheels to Italy, where he could complete the cars and fully road-test them before they were shipped to his US connection.

    The changeover to Italian-completed cars was accomplished in 1967. Meanwhile, Franco Scaglione had designed a convertible version of the Italia, which Frank Reisner marketed briefly as the “TORINO” until Ford objected. They planned to use the name (in 1968), and Reisner didn’t want to cross his biggest supplier, so he re-named his car the “Intermeccanica Italia”. In designing the convertible, Scaglione dropped Cumberford's Griffith/Omega one-piece front bumper in favor of a more Italian two-piece design reminiscent of the Ferrari 275 GTB. The convertibles far outsold the coupes, and to this day the convertibles typically get higher prices.

    Quote Originally Posted by henk4
    Production of the coupe continued until 1970, whereby the last models had a fiberglass body and were dubbed IMX. Production if both versions stopped in 1970 after the completion of about a 1000 vehicles.
    With all due respect again, the above notes are possibly incorrect:

    -None of the Italias ever had fiberglass bodies (to the best of my knowledge).

    -I've read that Italia production continued until at least 1972, more likely 1973, with sales in Europe dominating it’s final year; but I'm uncertain if the author wasn't also including the Indra (which was introduced at Geneva in the spring of 1971) in these years.

    -There was only one “IMX” concept car (InterMeccanica eXperimental?).
    It was built in 1970 and it was a very aggressive-looking coupe attributed entirely as Franco Scaglione’s design.
    Intermeccanica Italia IMX - Ultimatecarpage.com forums

    -A brochure for the Italia convertible was printed, probably in 1967, referring to these cars as the “Italia GFX”.
    (Is it possible the Dutch author confused 'GFX' with 'IMX'?).

    -Total production numbers (including the 10 Griffith 600’s, the 33 Omegas, and all the Intermeccanica Coupes and Convertibles are unknown. I’ve seen figures quoted from the low 400’s to the mid-700’s. When the Reisner’s moved their operations to the USA, I believe that a lot of their business records and other property were lost during the transition, so we’ll probably never know the actual figure; but, I’ve never previously seen any published figures approaching 1,000. On the other hand, Reisner was capable of producing 1 car/day at his peak. If he maintained that rate that from 1967 to 1972 (even assuming only 200 working days/year), your 1,000 total production figure is not out of the realm of possibility, but perhaps a maximum of 700 is more realistic.

    See later post for photo descriptions

    Anyone reading this who knows of any factual errors, please contact me through my profile page so I can edit this posting.
    Last edited by Motorace; 02-08-2008 at 02:44 PM. Reason: Adding photos

  8. #8
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    Well thanks for your very interesting update, and especially the clarification regarding the TVR chassis. (You may have noted that I already casted some doubt about the use of the TVR chassis in what is obviously a much larger car).
    See also the pic attached of the engine bay of a Griffith 400, shot at the Silverstone Historic GP in 2006.
    First of all I am the last person to call myself an expert on Intermeccanica, and
    I got my information form a Dutch sort of encyclopedia on classic cars, which starts off by saying: "The story about Interamerica is long and complicated". The story basically follows the lines of your much more extensive post, with some notable differences, which you also highlighted.
    It was basically the source of my post, also regarding the all-told 1000 cars constructed until and including 1970. This figure apparently does not include the Indra of which 125 units were made between 1971 and 1973 . Fiberglass bodies are only linked to the IMX model and not the Italia itself. According to this source the last models, produced in 1970, were called IMX (so it apparently surpassed the concept car stage somehow).

    As far as the lines of the Italia is concerned, the comparison with the Ferrari Nart Spider is striking. I have added a picture of the car you talked about, which was actually sold by Gooding company at Monterey and not Christies.
    Attached Images Attached Images
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    Did Intermeccanica play any part in the LMX Sirex 2300?

    Quote Originally Posted by henk4 View Post
    I have added a picture of the car you talked about, which was actually sold by Gooding company at Monterey and not Christies.
    Thank you - I stand corrected that it was a Gooding & Co auction - not Christies.

    I acknowledge that you cast doubt on the TVR chassis being the underpinnings of the Griffith 600/Italia... and I meant no offense by correcting you. I merely wanted to quash that idea from ever being repeated, so I presented evidence of where I believe the Griffith 600/Italia chassis came from.

    Regarding the Dutch book on the history of Intermeccanica - they were certainly correct about the history of Intermeccanica being "long and complicated". It's especially been complicated by all the mis-information that has been published, and I think they might have contributed to this.

    I suspect your book was in error about there being more than one IMX built - unless the one prototype I've heard of was re-built after it was wrecked. I've not heard of any more than the original prototype car and I encourage readers to submit any pictures or evidence they have to inform us about the history of the IMX.

    CONFUSION = IMX vs. LMX??
    I wonder if there is any possibility your Dutch book might have confused Intermeccanica's 1970 IMX with the LMX Sirex 2300? These were 2-seater coupes (and at least one Spyder) that were built from 1968-1974 in Milano Italy by LMX Automobile srl. The names 'LMX' and 'IMX' are easily confused, and the LMX did have a fiberglass body that was also designed by Franco Scaglione - (the designer of Intermeccanica's Italia Spyder, the IMX, and the Indra).

    These LMX "Sirex" cars are virtually unknown in the United States; so, for anyone unfamiliar with them, I've pasted a few links at the bottom of this posting or you can Google on "LMX Sirex 2300" to find a very few pictures.

    One site I looked at said at least 30 LMX's were produced, several others said 40. The majority of this very limited production run were Coupes (the "2300 HCSC"). I've seen pictures of a convertible Spider version (the 2300 HCSS), but one site said there was only one produced - apparently a concept car for the Geneva show. Both versions were very attractive and had unusual engineering features like a backbone chassis and the large rear window glass on the fastback coupe.

    I've never read anything in Intermeccanica's history that said they had anything to do with the LMX cars... The only similarities to Intermeccanica (that I can see) are that both the LMX and the Italia had a steel-chassis, were both Ford-powered cars designed by Scaglione and made in Italy. But the LMX was made in Milano, (Intermeccanica was in Turin). The LMX used a Ford of Germany 2.3 liter V-6 motor (Italias had much larger American Ford V-8's). Intermeccanica's chassis were typically a steel-tube 'ladder' design, whereas the LMX had an unusual "backbone" design - (like the Lotus Elan, Alpine A110, and DeTomaso's Vallelunga & Mangusta cars used). This was a sophisticated design concept unlikely to have been built by Frank Reisner at Intermeccanica, but I'm willing to concede if someone can show evidence to the contrary.

    Franco Scaglione had been working with Intermeccanica from at least 1966, but was an independent designer, whom I believe lived in Milano and commuted to Turin by train or bus when he worked with Intermeccanica. Surprisingly, he did not drive a car as his eyesight was poor... (Reminds me of Beethoven being deaf).

    I do not see how your Dutch book could have confused the LMX with Intermeccanica's IMX concept car, but it seems likely to me that it did.

    I'd love to hear from readers of this post if they know of any manufacturing connections between LMX and Intermeccanica as it would contribute very interestingly to the history of Intermeccanica.

    http://www.ultimatecarpage.com/forum...ad.php?t=19572

    http://www.carfolio.com/specificatio...specifications
    Last edited by Motorace; 04-15-2014 at 01:12 PM. Reason: grammatical improvements, removal of a dead link
    Honi soit qui mal y pense

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    Many thanks for your reply. I was about to believe all you said about the confusion regarding the IMX and LMX, until I found that this infamous Dutch book of mine has also a small entry regarding the LMX. According to this source the car was desinged by Liprandi and Mandelli and first presented at the Turin Motor show in 1968. It did have a had glasfiber body on a tubular chassis, front suspension was taken from the English Ford Zodiac, while the 2,3 litre engine came from the German Ford factory, as you already suggested. Apparently versions up to 210 BHP could be supplied. It stayed in production from 1969-1974, but apparently only 43 were built.

    The bodies were made by Carozzeria Eurostyle based in Turin, and not Milan....

    this is going to be interesting....
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    Wasn't there a song with the words: "I say Milano, you say Torino"?

    Quote Originally Posted by henk4 View Post
    It stayed in production from 1969-1974, but apparently only 43 were built.

    The bodies were made by Carozzeria Eurostyle based in Turin, and not Milan....

    this is going to be interesting....
    Interesting indeed!!!

    I love studying the works of Franco Scaglione - a very unrecognized designer, and I only knew of the LMX's existence from having Googled extensively on "Franco Scaglione".

    If your book was not confusing the LMX with Intermeccanica's IMX, then I sure would like to know where they got their information that Intermeccanica built fiberglass-bodied IMX cars until 1974. Did the book have only one author, or was it edited by someone from articles written by several authors who were not comparing notes? Any possibility you could contact them to find the source of their Intermeccanica glass-fibre IMX information?

    I've found several references saying that the LMX's production began in 1968 (not 1969 as your book suggests), but then 1968's production might have ONLY been the initial concept cars shown at the 1968 Turin Auto Show (the Coupe) and the 1968 Geneva Auto Show (the convertible), with real production ramping up in 1969.

    Vaigra posted here in UltimateCarPage.com that the production process was very problematic:
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaigra View Post
    LMX Sirex 2300 HCS.
    The cars were manufactured in Turin, if the term "manufactured" could be used. There were significant difficulties with the body forming processes...
    No doubt - if they only produced 43 cars over 6 or 7 years.

    As to where they were made, I have a copy of an original LMX factory brochure that says "LMX AUTOMOBILE srl MILANO", and shows both a yellow coupe and the maroon spyder parked next to a lake with a large castle or monastery-looking building atop a hill behind some trees in the background. (Can anyone identify where the picture was taken... Turin? Milano? Geneva?).

    So, if their company brochure said the company was based in Milano, then why were the cars produced in Turin? - Or, were the bodies made in Turin by Carozzeria Eurostyle (as you kindly provided) and then shipped to Milano for assembly?

    Interesting Indeed!
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    Last edited by Motorace; 02-12-2007 at 12:29 AM.
    Honi soit qui mal y pense

  12. #12
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    Earlier Pictures Labeled Here

    Now that I am no longer having difficulties uploading pictures to my posts, I went back to add six pictures to an earlier post... but when I attempted to add the picture descriptions, I exceeded the word limit for that posting, so I'll describe them here:

    Picture #1 = The Apollo Chassis w/ Buick components, designed by Milt Brown and built by Intermeccanica
    Picture #2 = Apollo Convertibles designed by Franco Scaglione at the 2006 Concorso Italiano Apollo Reunion
    Picture #3 = The wooden body buck over which Italian craftsmen hammered the Griffith 600/Italia coupe bodies
    Picture #4 = Recent photo of Jack Griffith, whose Griffith 600 vision led to the Intermeccanica Italia
    Picture #5 = An original Plymouth-powered Griffith 600 at the Ameilia Island Concours, of which Jack Griffith is a founder.
    Picture #6 = Early Italia Brochure showing an initial attempt to call it the Italia "GFX".
    Last edited by Motorace; 02-11-2007 at 11:37 PM. Reason: Clarification of details
    Honi soit qui mal y pense

  13. #13
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    Sorting out the LMX design

    [QUOTE=henk4;667593] this infamous Dutch book of mine has also a small entry regarding the LMX. According to this source the car was designed by Liprandi and Mandelli. It did have a glasfiber body on a tubular chassis…
    The bodies were made by Carozzeria Eurostyle based in Turin, and not Milan.... [QUOTE]

    Thankyou for naming Carrozzeria Eurostyle as the body-maker.

    I've suspected that the name of the company LMX may have had something to do with Michel Liprandi and Giovanni Mandelli's names providing the L and M, so I assumed that they were the founders/owners rather than the designers... and I've seen a lot of references to the design of the body work having been done by Franco Scaglione....

    Here are a few of my "Scaglione-as-designer" sources:
    http://www.alfaclub.nl/phpbb/viewtop...33dbe55638dc84
    http://auta5p.car.cz/katalog/lmx/lmx_2300_02.htm

    Granted, these are not definitive sources... so it would be nice if I had my hands on an original LMX brochure to see if it named the designer... Is it possible that Liprandi and Mandelli were the founders of the company and may have also done the chassis design, but that they hired Franco Scaglione to design the body shape?

    I found a reference to the LMX on another forum where someone explained that the company name 'LMX' stood for "Linea Moderna Executive"!

    Your Dutch book called the LMX chassis a "tubular" design. I've posted some pictures of the LMX Sirex 2300 chassis below, and would have called it a "Backbone" design with stamped or welded sheetmetal panels carrying most of the stresses - even though there may be some tubes inside the tunnel section. One web site described the LMX chassis as "Stamped plate, central beam chassis". Regardless - it looks to be a very sophisticated and lightweight design.

    I'm concerned that all this focus on the LMX is going to create a false impression in readers' minds that there must be some connection between the LMX and the Intermeccanica Italia, when in fact (to keep our eye on the prize) we are merely trying to resolve why the Dutch book said that Intermeccanica built glasfiber IMX cars for several years in the early 1970's... sigh.
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    Last edited by Motorace; 04-15-2014 at 01:22 PM. Reason: gramatical improvements
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  14. #14
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    Intermeccanica Italia

    I just wanted to post a follow up to this discussion. I first saw the Italia in a Sports Car Graphic Magazine article in the 70's always remebered it. Two years ago I had an opportunity to acquire one of the 56 coupes made and my wife and I love it.

    I would like to here from onther Italia owners as I am trying to resurrect a registry to determine what cars are still out there. I know two other local owners who have three cars between them.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by alsantoro View Post
    I first saw the Italia in a Sports Car Graphic Magazine article in the 70's always remembered it. Two years ago I had an opportunity to acquire one of the 56 coupes made and my wife and I love it.

    I would like to hear from other Italia owners as I am trying to resurrect a registry to determine what cars are still out there. I know two other local owners who have three cars between them.
    The 1971 article in Automobile Quarterly (Vol 9-3) had that effect on me. Our library had a subscription to AQ (if you can believe that - it was fate!), and when I read that article, my world changed. I didn't acquire my Italia until 31 years later, but I'd never forgotten the AQ article. Every other sports car I bought in the meantime was merely a "placeholder" until I finally found my Italia.

    In theory, there is a registry already, but it needs resurrection - the holder of it won't release any information about it other than to say there are maybe 25 cars registered, but he won't allow us to find out if there are other owners in our area - so what good is it doing? He says he'll get around to publishing it to those registered someday, but that was several years ago and I wonder why those of us who have registered cannot access it now. Since registering several years ago, I've received no communication from him so I think he is not serious about maintaining a registry.

    I know it takes work to set something up, so I cannot complain if I'm not willing to do the work. It's more of a case of I do not have the skillset to set up a website, so instead, I've been posting articles about Intermeccanica in general (not just Italias) on various websites to build awareness and hopefully hear from other owners.

    I've found 2 other Italia owners in my area - mostly by accident. Once my car was on the road and being seen again (after 22 years in storage) then occasionally someone would say 'I think I've seen a car like that when I was over at somebody's place... and eventually we found each other.

    We have 6 Italias between us in this area. I have my one on the road and another stripped & rusty 'shell' that I bought on eBay. It will never be restored, but it is my insurance policy to have the correct body restoration dimensions should mine ever be in an accident. Another owner is actively restoring one and will probably have it on the road this summer, and a third owner has three 'accident victims' that he might be able to combine to make one good car someday/oneday.

    You did not say how to get in touch with you, but if you have any computer skills to start a website or a Yahoo discussion group, that might be a good way to start up an online registry. I hope you do because my computer skills aren't up to it...

    Many owners of expensive cars prefer to not go posting their posessions in public forums for fear of becoming targets - so you may have to establish some credibility first by creating a website or active discussion group. I've made other Italia-owner contacts and I will be happy to let them know how to contact you if they should choose to, but I should give them the choice. The fact that you are an owner yourself goes a long way to establishing credibility, and if you'll private mail me, I'll give you my contact info.

    Do you have any closeup photos of the headlight covers on your car? They look great - but the photo is too small to appreciate them fully! Who made them?

    I keep an album of photos of my car available on PicasaWeb here:
    Picasa Web Albums - Dan - '69 Intermecc...

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