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The Italia is a two-seater sports car initially sold by the Italian automaker Construzione Automobili Intermeccanica from 1968 to 1970, offered as a coupe and convertible. It is often considered a "hybrid", having combined a European chassis with American drive technology.

History

The Italia was a last link in a chain of sports cars that began in 1963 with the Apollo GT, which was sold under various labels by American manufacturers, and eventually began carrying the name Omega GT. Even though each manufacturer implemented its own drive unit, all the cars shared the same Intermeccanica-built body. When the last American manufacturer gave up the effort of producing such cars, Intermeccanica acquired the rights to sell vehicles of the design, and continued the project.

Production

The Italia, like its predecessor, was primarily intended to be sold in the United States. Frank Reisner, the founder of Intermeccanica, eventually managed to find a dealer who promised to sell about 100 vehicles a year in the American market. At its launch, the Intermeccanica Torino was presented, its name being a reference to the Italian city of Turin where Intermeccanica was headquartered. However, because Ford had trademarked the Torino name for one of its vehicles around the same time, the company was forced to rename its product after 97 examples had already been built. The car was later dubbed the Intermeccanica Italia, and under this designation, a further 411 examples were made.

The Italia began being sold in the European market in 1970. Sales were taken over by Erich Bitter, who later introduced his own similarly-designed vehicle.

Engineering and specifications

The Italia was fitted with a 5.7-litre Ford V8 engine capable of generating 310 bhp of output, and had a very high torque. This gave the car a slightly unusual elasticity. In a road test conducted by Auto Road and Sport in 1970, a top speed of 220 km/h was recorded. The Italia weighs roughly 1240 kg, measures 4521 mm long, 1676 mm wide, and 1270 mm high, and rides on a wheelbase of 2489 mm.

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Intermeccanica vehicles