Classic Italian Collection (and more) up for auction…

Got the heads up on the next Brightwells Classic and Vintage Auction at Leominster on the 8th March. As well as a clutch of other interesting cars and bikes there is a collection of Italian Classics from Andy Heyward… see the video above for an overview. The vehicles I’ve included below are a just a couple that caught my eye, get the full details on the Brightwells site… here’s a link to the online catalogue.

There’s a Lambretta J125 that’ll need a little love and attention… (there’s a couple of other “J’s” too)tn_lambretta_j125

A rare Mercury Hermes scooter, built in the Black Country…img_0756

A Lambro…tn_lambro_3

One I haven’t seen before, a Gitan Joligri from around 1970tn_p1050216_1tn_p1050217_1

A ‘Vespa-ish’ Gilera G50 from 1967

Another Rarity… the rather ‘awkward looking’ Ducati’s Brio. How could a company that makes such beautiful motorcycles produce something so fugly?tn_p1060510_1tn_p1060517_1tn_p1060519_1

The equally awkward Casalini Sulky microcar… (Read the catalogue write-up for this one, it’s hilarious!).
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The rather prettier little 50cc BM Pokerino… never mind a scooter I’d never even heard of – an Italian marque (Bonvicin Marini) I’d never even heard of! It appears to be sans side panels, which is a shame as I don’t think they’d be the easiest thing to source – but a nice, sporty looking little scoot. That ‘straight flush’ legshield badge is a cracker.tn_p1050080tn_p1050084_1tn_p1050093

Next up an Italian marque you will have heard of… Benelli… one of a brace of Benelli’s in the auction… and the only motorcycle I’m featuring here (although there are plenty in the auction). A popular bike in Italy (and amongst Italian Motorcycle Fans). This Benelli Leoncino (Leoncino translates to Lion Cub in Italian) correctly  features the cast ali Lion mascot on the front mudguard…

There’s a bunch of classic four-wheelers too… including a bunch of Italian classics, some lovely FIAT’s, Lancia’s and Ferraris, my favourite is this cracking little chocolate-brown Autobianchi Bianchina Speciale. It’s got an estimate of £2,500 – £3,000, which seems an absolute bargain to me!

And finally for now, we’ll end on another scooter… the rather elegant looking Aer Macchi Brezza – the clean, aerodynamic lines demonstrating the aircraft manufacturing roots behind this company. With only 2,000 Brezza’s made, it’s a pretty rare scoot.

That’s it for now. See the Brightwells site for full details and how to get involved in the auction.

 

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Spiders even an arachnophobiac would love…

Spider 3 280510 resizedMost Lambrettisti know about the Innocenti Minis, which I have posted about before. Well, while Innocenti were making deals to manufacture British cars, they also had their eye on the blossoming Italian sportscar market. They wanted to make a small sport car, along the lines of the Frogeye Sprite… but thought that it’s rather distinctive look would not go down too well with Italian buyers. They commissioned Carrozzeria Ghia to design new bodywork based on the Sprite platform, but more to Italian tastes.

I think the results speak for themselves, a very elegant vehicle with shades of Triumph, Healy, MG, Alfa Romeo and even Ferrari about it, depending on the angle you look at it from. The Innocenti 950 Spider is a very handsome sports car.950 Spider (b) Spider just before doing Buttertubs resized

Innocenti Coupé
As well as the Spider there was also a Coupé version. Known as the Innocenti Coupé, or simply the Innocenti C, these had the larger 1098 engine. These little beauties are now extremely rare… with only 795 examples built… and all in one of the three colours of the italian flag. They were also pretty expensive at the time, due to their low production number, and the high quality, ‘hand-built’ finish.  At first glance, the Coupé seems like a Spider with a roof, but virtually all the body panels, including the bonnet, are completely different from the Spider. It is in fact a bigger car all round than the Spider, 4″ wider and 6″ longer. The width produces a roomier cabin, whilst the extra length is all between the rear edge of the door and the start of the rear wheel arch which proportions the car nicely, and helps give the Coupé it’s elegant ‘rear end’.
3 Coupes l to rAuto Italia Brooklands Flying Lady    Copyright Ian Hunt Digital Photography resized White Coupe b

All four of the cars shown above, the Spider and three Coupés, make up the Collezione Innocenti. Further details of these four wonderful vehicles, including the various books and magazine articles they have appeared in, and the many concours d’élélegance competitions they have won are on the Collezione Innocenti website, here. And now, after many years in the same ownership this group of four unique cars, is for sale. Well, since I started typing this article, the red coupé has been sold, so if you’re interested, you’d better be quick. Email info@innocentispider.co.uk or call 01943 608900 for more information.

© All information and photography  is copyright of Collezione Innocenti 2014

Innocenti Mini

Innocenti MiniBrowsing the Nerves Autos site I mentioned yesterday I found a couple of nice Innocenti items. A 1971 Mk2 Mini, and an Innocenti Small.

The mini is a lovely little car, resprayed in it’s original pea green colour, and restored to the high standards demanded by FIVA, and the ASI Targa Oro (Gold Plate) …only given to vehicles restored to original condition.

Innocenti Mini Mini-1001-0001 Mini-1001-0006 Mini-1001-0002 It’s in lovely condition throughout, I particularly like the original “Mille Miglia” wheels, and the small, Italian front number plate – I don’t know the rules of keeping this in the UK, but as a historic vehicle, your might be ok. I think it’s a bit of a bargain at €5.700.  More here.

Innocenti Small 500 LSThe other car an Innocenti Small – a 500cc dating from 1993. While not as immediately attractive as the Mini, it’s got a late 80’s/early 90’s appeal all of it’s own… a future classic, and an steal at €1.900. Maybe.Alfa-Romeo-Junior-1300-GT-Scalino-1972-0000

Unfortunately sold, and rather more to my personal taste, is a rather nice 1960 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider, but there’s a lovely 1970 Giulia GT 1300 Junior Scalino still available. And you won’t find many small, sporty saloons prettier than that.