When former chemical engineer Frank Reisner founded Construzione Automobili Intermeccanica in 1959 Turin, Italy, his vision was one of providing tuning kits for a select few car makes while venturing into the European racing community. A subsequent partnership with American engineer Milt Brown would set Reisner on a design/development trajectory that would shape his business throughout the next decade, and beyond. The 1971 Intermeccanica Italia was released five years after the Reisner/Brown Apollo project had succumbed to financial problems, and Reisner had used the time in between to revitalize Jack Griffiths ill-fated Griffith GT. What the 1971 Intermeccanica Italia signified was the lessons Reisner had learned with his first Euro-American project and the general viability of Griffiths original GT concept.
Whereas the Apollo had been manufactured in phases (and on opposite sides of the Atlantic), the 1971 Intermeccanica Italia was a product entirely of Italy, at least in terms of its assembly. For in keeping with the spirit of Reisners international vision, the steel-framed, British-designed, Italian-manufactured Italia was in fact powered by an American engine, a Ford V-8 motor. Just as the defunct Apollo had used a Buick V-8, the Italia was an amalgamation of European sports car appearance and American engine power. The concept appealed to certain buyers, even if unit sales were reliably in the 100 per year range. Not as rare as its direct predecessors. the Italia is still a tricky find for modern buyers.
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