News

Intermeccanica Italia Advice

Discussion in 'Other Italian' started by beng, Aug 22, 2008.

  1. beng

    beng Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Jan 24, 2006
    416
    RSF, California
    Full Name:
    Benjamin Galdston
    Considering purchasing an Italia, but I have no driving experience or seat time in one. Just love the looks. Can anyone share first-hand experiences? I know all the history and specifications, but I would just like to know how the cockpit is laid out, whether it is suitable for a tall person, how the handling and performance compare to similar coach-built cars with Italian powerplant/transmission. Given the drama/anxiety that sometimes accompanies driving a Ferrari or Maser, it would be appealing to have an open car that looks the part but is reliable and relatively inexpensive and anxiety-free to run. Another example that comes to mind, although not an open car, is the Pantera. Again, having never driven one, I can only defer to those who have but my understanding is it's a brutal ride.

    Anyone have any experience with an Italia they'd care to share? Thanks, Ben
     
  2. Nembo1777

    Nembo1777 F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 4, 2006
    6,010
    opposite lock
    Full Name:
    Marc Sonnery
    Speak to Dave Kinney of the DC area: he writes for Sports Car Market, he used to own one that I drove before he bought it: those cars aren't the best enginered cars in the history of mankind but are very sexy: when I drove that car through Fort Lauderdale one day I got dozens of comments and thumbs up. It is basically a copy of my favorite car, the Ferrari Nembo spyder 1.
    Dave is a great guy with a wicked sense of humor.

    There used to be the best Intermeccanica in the Boca Raton area, purple, which was interesting, he restored t and improved it on a rotisserie, sorted out a lot of issues, I recall he would sell but for more money than you'd want to pay....as ever in these cases.

    Good luck,

    Marc
     
  3. GhostRider

    GhostRider Formula Junior

    Dec 20, 2002
    999
    Tulsa, OK
    Full Name:
    Matt
    I love the Italia. Beautiful machine. I would love to have one. I can't offer any advice about driving experience however.

    Now on the Pantera, that I'm very familiar with. I would not call the driving experience brutal at all. I'm not a tall person at 5'9", but I know owners who are well over 6' and they love them. I personally know of a guy about 6'5" and he has two! You can drop the floor pans to gain a couple of inches. The stock seats aren't the best at all. Matter of fact, they downright suck. Having said that, I have stock seats, though recovered, and I have no plans to replace mine. It just doesn't bother me enough for how I drive. If I was regularly driving hours at a time, I'd do it, but not for casual after-hours/weekend driving. The steering wheel is slightly off center, but you get over it real quick. Many people don't even notice. The pedals are slightly inclined to the right, but again, not uncomfortably so. My pedals seems closer together than others I've driven. Probably just has to do with the aspect of the cars being about half hand-built, and some unique quirks seen from car to car. I've got new Carrera shocks and springs on mine, and it makes a big difference in ride quality. I recommend you check to see if there is a Pantera club in your area, and go check some out. It's a friendly bunch, and I'm sure you can swing a drive and find out for yourself. For the money, they can't be beat.

    San Diego Pantera Club: http://www.sandiegopanteras.com/

    Other chapters: http://www.panteraclub.com/chapters.htm
     
  4. oceans

    oceans Karting

    Jan 3, 2008
    155
    Jacksonville, FL
    Full Name:
    Rob
    Beng,
    I've owned an Italia for the past nineteen years. It is absolutely the best car I have ever had which have included a Daytona, a DB5, Alfas, and even a Rolls Royce. It is also the car I will never sell. It's not as refined as the F550 I have owned for a few months now, but I can put the top down.
    My advice: Buy one now! They are way under valued and regarded as merely an "Etcetterini" by most in the vintage world.
    They are getting hard to find and most can't be pried out of their owner's hands. If you have a line on one, it would be best to move on it.
    The biggest problem these cars face is that their suspensions have played out and need refurbishing. I did mine myself several years ago. I rewired it with a "Painless Wiring Harness" last fall. The point I'm trying to make is that the work can be done by just about anyone with patience and the right tools.
    I wish you the best of luck if you get one. If you know of one and don't end up buying, please PM me with the details.
    Ciao,
    Rob
     
  5. oceans

    oceans Karting

    Jan 3, 2008
    155
    Jacksonville, FL
    Full Name:
    Rob
    Beng,
    The lights have been flickering here in "Sunny" Florida due to Tropical Storm Fay fo a couple of days now and I'm hoping to address your questions before the power is interrupted again.
    My Italia has been for lack of a better word, a "Girlfriend's" car. Women adore the styling and it's easy to drive. That said, I don't have to freak out when it's out of my sight. The thought of someone else driving my Daytona was terrifying.
    They will keep up well with modern traffic and soccer moms in minivans can't just have their way with you. Like all cars of the era, they leak like seives in the rain and are prone to swap ends on wet roads if power is applied injudiciously.
    A friend of mine-machineshop owner-part time race driver is about 6'3'' and fit into the car. He thought it was the bees knees. It doesn't have very many vices. It's not as chuckable as a Ferrari of the sixties, but still a lot of fun to drive.
    Rob
     
  6. beng

    beng Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Jan 24, 2006
    416
    RSF, California
    Full Name:
    Benjamin Galdston
    Thanks all. Keep it coming!

    Does it feel like a heavy car to drive? My experience with '60s era-American muscle is that they are lots of gut and grunt straight ahead, but messy and dull in corners. Also, is the suspension harsh - my experience driving a '67 Mustang back from Monterey one year nearly knocked my kidneys loose.
     
  7. oceans

    oceans Karting

    Jan 3, 2008
    155
    Jacksonville, FL
    Full Name:
    Rob
    At 2900 lbs curb weight it's not a heavy car. They will all, by now have had their suspensions rebuilt and rides may vary. It's a pretty nimble car compared to muscle cars. They had various powerplants during the production run, so it's hard to say what kind of BHP they will deliver. There is a specialist named Drac Conley in LA who did one for a friend of mine. John's car was in "Thoroughbred and Classic Cars" a few years ago.

    Rob
     
  8. velocetwo

    velocetwo F1 World Champ

    Dec 11, 2006
    12,461
    Left Coast
    I Agree with the statements above about suspensions needing to be rebuilt, buck heck that's true for all these old cars.

    Italia's drive real nice and like they said you can work on them yourself. If you want excellent handling the best of all the Italian cars is the Iso, designed by Bizzarrini they have De Dion and coil overs making them excellent drivers.

    I think the Italia is the best Italian value out there. Buy it drive it and enjoy it.
     
  9. beng

    beng Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Jan 24, 2006
    416
    RSF, California
    Full Name:
    Benjamin Galdston
    Thanks for all the advice. I pulled the trigger and will keep you up to date when it arrives.
     
  10. oceans

    oceans Karting

    Jan 3, 2008
    155
    Jacksonville, FL
    Full Name:
    Rob
    Ben,
    Now that you pulled the trigger, can you illuminate us on where and what condition and such? I have noticed a '71 coupe on autotrader.com for $10k. Needs work, but would still be worth it.
    Rob
     
  11. pks41805

    pks41805 Formula 3

    Aug 4, 2007
    1,145
    Colorado Springs, Co
    Full Name:
    Paul Sloan
    Please post as many pics as you can. The resto would make a nice running blog.
     
  12. Miltonian

    Miltonian F1 Veteran

    Dec 11, 2002
    5,956
    Milton, Wash.
    Full Name:
    Jeff B.
    Taking a quick look through my library, I know of only one road test of the Intermeccanica that was done in period, this being in "Sports Car Graphic", November 1970.

    The article from "Thoroughbred & Classic Car" that Rob mentions in post #7 is in the issue of November 2000.

    There is also a feature article in "Classic & Sportscar", June 1993.

    I can scan and send these to you if you haven't seen them and wish to check them out.
     
  13. oceans

    oceans Karting

    Jan 3, 2008
    155
    Jacksonville, FL
    Full Name:
    Rob
    Ben,
    Did you get your Italia yet, just gonna leave us twisting in the wind?
    Rob
     
  14. beng

    beng Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Jan 24, 2006
    416
    RSF, California
    Full Name:
    Benjamin Galdston
    Sorry for being MIA - took the family to Hawaii for over the Labor Day Holiday so I've been blissfully away from a computer for the past week. I was able to reach an agreement with Peter Sweeney at Forza Motors in Connecticut on the Italia he had listed on his website (http://www.forzamotorsports.com) and eBay. While I am in Southern California, however, the car is still on the east coast so it may be some time before it arrives out west. I will post pictures and impressions as soon as I can. Needless to say I am eagerly awaiting its arrival.

    I greatly appreciate all your advice and information. I do plan on a cosmetic overhaul - addressing rust, suspension, paint and new interior - but it may not be right away. I would also like to replace the wheels with Borranis so if anyone has any information or advice on that, please let me know.

    The Italia is going to be competing for garage space so if anyone is interested in a '75 308 GT/4 in exceptional mechanical condition/average cosmetic condition, send me an email or PM. These cars are great fun and mine is completely overhauled with mild performance upgrades, but alas I have to let one of the toys go.

    Finally, I would like to offer my commendations for Peter Sweeney and Forza Motors. I have bought bits and pieces from Peter over the past few years, but this was my first car purchase from him. While it's not one of his higher-end sales, I was really satisfied with his responsiveness, the time and effort he put into speaking with me, and his forthright answers to all my questions. He is a straight-shooter and abundantly fair. I recommend him highly.

    Regards, Ben
     
  15. oceans

    oceans Karting

    Jan 3, 2008
    155
    Jacksonville, FL
    Full Name:
    Rob
    Ben,
    Unless you are willing to shorten the rear axle, there are few, very few resources for wheels for that Italia. I know, I've been down that road. I went to bigger front discs when I added more BHP. The only wheels that would fit were Panasport Minilites from "Pack Racing" with the maximum 5-1/2" offset, but luckily, they look period and are 16" and thus give more tire options in today's market. If you like the style it will save you a lot of grief, trust me.
    Hope you get your new toy soon. I just piddled with mine all week, rectifying wrongs that had been a thorn in my side for the past decade or so.
    It sure looks pretty when it's parked next to my Ferrari in the garage.
    Cheers,
    Rob
     
  16. velocetwo

    velocetwo F1 World Champ

    Dec 11, 2006
    12,461
    Left Coast
    Just curious, what is the lug size and distance for the Italia
     
  17. msdesignltd

    msdesignltd F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Nov 17, 2003
    11,183
    NYC. / E. Hampton
    Full Name:
    Michael
    #17 msdesignltd, Sep 6, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    I had a 69 289 convert. a 71 351 clevland coupe and a 71 windsor convert. All fun fun cars...but scary scary scary...you just dont know what element of the car isnt going to make it home for you, Brakes, susp. carbs ,electric window, heater....Dont buy anything that hasnt been fully sorted....These cars, unless fully updated are prehistoric relics of dangerous life...The brakes pull, the rear end is a simple straight axle and the spring rates are pogo sticks....I have heard of someone putting an XKE rear end in and the result was good, however the safty factor of this entire car is the lowest in history...The bodies came with tons of Bondo and rotted out quickly...the reason they have not appreciated is because while you may pick up a good one for 40 to 50 g's , not many have sunk another 75 to 100 in them for authentic restoration...then you might set a new standard for pricing....almost like a restored dino has done...the car becomes worth what a dog would be worth plus what the restoration cost is...But the reason people dont do that is the overall poor chassis design and lack of knowledge on the breed...I do not think this car will ever enter the collectability circut anytime soon...
    One Memory I have on one of my cars was that the word ITALIA written across the front nose section was missing some letters when I bought it...It turns out they were borrowed from a early sixties Lincoln Continental...like the ones on the over the bumper spare tires, called continental kits...you could spell ITALIA from LINCOLN CONTINENTAL...Thats where they got it from

    My coupe was Identical to this picture,I actually think this is my old car as I put vitaloni mirrors on it too..

    There are alot of die hard clubs and sites still out there..heres a few
    http://www.autohistories.com/intermeccanica/intermeccanica_history.html
    http://www.intermeccanica.org/vehicles/italia/italiagallery/gallery.htm
    http://www.conceptcarz.com/vehicle/z11750/Intermeccanica_Italia.aspx
    http://www.wheelsofitaly.com/wiki/index.php/Image:IMXgreenweb.jpg
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
  18. msdesignltd

    msdesignltd F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Nov 17, 2003
    11,183
    NYC. / E. Hampton
    Full Name:
    Michael
    #18 msdesignltd, Sep 6, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2008
    The Reason I had three was because When I was in High school in the 70's, There was a pizza shop owner in Oceanside NY...who customized one...I would ride my bicycle every day to his shop just to stare at it ...it was Candy apple red and always parked out side on Long Beach Blvd....he had put Huge chrome Cragers on it jacked up the back, Installed sequencial full width rear blinkers from a cougar of that time, and had Thrush pack mufflers and 2 wide tail pipes sticking out the rear...He also put red lights inside the wheel wells so at night the wells were illuminated...He took series 3 jaguar front and rear wheel well flared arches and grafted them onto all 4 corners...This car took up 3 lanes going down the road....I never forgot that car and wanted to duplicate it so bad...I still do...who Knows?


    Anyone grow up on the south shore of Long Island remember that car..It got around
     
  19. beng

    beng Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Jan 24, 2006
    416
    RSF, California
    Full Name:
    Benjamin Galdston
    Rob - I sent you a PM looking for some additional insights. I'm puzzled why wheel choices would be so limited? Many of the Italias I have seen are fitted with genuine Borranis (admittedly, I've seen a few fakey-wire wheels fitted, too). I believe I read that many of the cars were sold new with Borranis.

    In any event, it does look like the car would look and handle better with larger wheel/tire fitment. A brake upgrade would be an improvement, too.

    When I bought my 308, it was easy to learn from the wisdom and experience of others who had figured out what improvements work best and what to avoid. I would love to hear from Italia owners about their experiences and modifications that work - and those to avoid. I generally try to keep cars as original as possible, but I'm a driver not a collector.
     
  20. oceans

    oceans Karting

    Jan 3, 2008
    155
    Jacksonville, FL
    Full Name:
    Rob
    Ben,
    The reason for the limitation is down to offsets. To get the same wheel to fit the front and rear is tricky because the "hats" on the front discs are very tall and may push the hub outside the fender line. While a wheel may fit the front with one offset it will rub on the rear suspension. With the proper offset on the rear, the inner part of the wheel will not clear the front calipers. I was determined to have the same wheels on all four corners and the spare.
    Going to wires is another option, but a pricey one. My lug pattern is "Ford" 5 on 4-1/2" with 1/2" studs.
    Rob
     
  21. msdesignltd

    msdesignltd F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Nov 17, 2003
    11,183
    NYC. / E. Hampton
    Full Name:
    Michael
    #21 msdesignltd, Sep 8, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Found a pic of my 351 cleveland Coupe....Vitolonis and all

    What a gorgeous car it was.This particular car was a 10....visually and mechanically.I remember people at stoplights would have the Jaws dropped open...The Lines of the coupe are nicer than the cab...

    The sound and the Fury of this car is unmistakeable...notice snaps type ansa exhaust...with a Ford V8 blowing through, the Music was wild!!!

    The insignia in the grill was a Bull as well...Taurus Like Me.
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
    MK1044 likes this.
  22. msdesignltd

    msdesignltd F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Nov 17, 2003
    11,183
    NYC. / E. Hampton
    Full Name:
    Michael
  23. msdesignltd

    msdesignltd F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Nov 17, 2003
    11,183
    NYC. / E. Hampton
    Full Name:
    Michael
    #23 msdesignltd, Sep 8, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  24. ebrown5686

    ebrown5686 Rookie

    Sep 14, 2008
    19
    Albuquerque
    Full Name:
    Ed Brown
    #24 ebrown5686, Sep 14, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Just finished a lengthy restoration of a '72 Italia Spyder. I'm delighted with the car, but can tell you that these are deceptively difficult cars to restore. A great car in terms of looks, weight distribution and basic layout, but as many before me have said, it has to gone through and the details re-engineered to an extent to get to a satisfying result. It certainly is the most solid and rattle-free convertible I've ever owned.
    I'd be glad to share any info we've learned (and are still learning!) in rebuilding the car if it would help anyone avoid some of the difficulties we ran into with restoration.
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
  25. msdesignltd

    msdesignltd F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Nov 17, 2003
    11,183
    NYC. / E. Hampton
    Full Name:
    Michael
    #25 msdesignltd, Sep 15, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2008


    VERY...VERY.... VERY.....Well Done...72 is best year...cleveland or windsor?
    How do you think the Ford gt engine with a SC would be in that car?

    Did you find any bondo in the metal?? ( Kidding)

    Can you post some pics with the top up..

    interested in selling it???


    BTW welcome to FC with your first post!
     

Share This Page