Minis, Spiders and now a Jag and a DeTomaso Turbo…

JagXJS-InnocentiSo we all know Innocenti made Minis, right… Some of you will know that they made a rather pretty little sports car too… but this is new too me, an Innocenti Jag? It’s probably nothing more that a piece of Innocenti branded marketing material for Jaguar during the Innocenti / Leyland years, but an oddity none the less.

You can pick it up for £7 on eBay, here.

Also on eBay is this “extremley rare” Innocenti Mini Turbo de Tomaso from 1989… The quote marks are mine as it’s another car I know very little about, and I can’t vouch for it’s rarity …but I’ve not come across one for sale before! It’s something I wouldn’t have looked twice at back in the day, but now has got a certain 80’s charm about it!

The car currently resides in Carini, near Palermo, in Sicily… which if you google it looks like a wonderful place to visit!

InnocentiDTTurboInnocentiDTTurbo2It appears to be in great original condition. A rather more serious investment, it’s currently got a bid of £5000 on in, and it hasn’t met it’s reserve yet. on eBay, HERE.

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Classy classic combo

Gulf Racing themed Lambretta Sidecar COmbinationThe Gulf Racing colours of pale blue and bright orange are a classic and recognisable combination that work so well together.  I’ve seen them on many vehicles, from Porches to Beetles, Mini’s, bikes and a fair few scoots over the years. But I think this is the first time I’ve seen them on a Lambretta sidecar combination.  In my ever so humble opinion, it works. And it’s for sale on eBay. The scooter (a GP 150) has been upgraded to with a GT 186 kit, so should pull that Watsonian along nicely. It’s on eBay here. But be quick, the auction ends today.Gulf-Bambini-2-6-9-2014Gulf Bambini GP Gulf-Bambini-3-6-9-2014 Gulf-Bambini-4-6-9-2014 Gulf-Bambini-5-6-9-2014
Here’s that link again

F is for FORKS, F is for FURTHER INFORMATION

LambrettaModellFWhen I originally posted about Rod’s Western Australian Barn Find of a rare Model “F”, one of my eagle-eyed readers queried whether I’d made a mistake in classifying it as a F, as the forks didn’t have the distinctive ‘swept back’ look of the E’s and F’s. Check out the image above to see what I mean.

Well, you can write what I know about these early models on the back of a postage stamp… so I went back and queried it with Rod, who patiently sent me back pics of the frame and engine numbers both confirming it’s F status. Very weird. Was this some Aussie import F with D type forks? The explanation is a little simpler.

The Model F was based on the Model E… the E being a rethinking of the open frame Lambretta, with economy at it’s heart. It was stripped down, and the cheapest Lambretta you could buy, featuring an innovative, and frankly pretty poor “pull-cord” like a chainsaw or outboard engine instead of a kickstart. It was not well received by the Italian market, in fact it was a total flop. Innocenti then made some technical improvements, including reinstating a kickstart and this new model became the F. The improvements weren’t enough to radically improve sales however… and even an ‘elegant new colour’ (dark green) wasn’t enough to distinguish the F from it’s ill fated predecessor.

In 1955 a Second Series of the F was produced with many technical improvements from the first, more comfort, better electrics, and the more efficient fork and front fender from the Model D. It is one of these “Seconda Serie” with D forks that Rod discovered in a shed. The second series came in two colours… The putty like “Beige Sabbia” and “Grigio Chiaro”, a pale grey. Rod’s pics show traces of this original grey under the blue paint that was applied sometime back in the dim and distant.F1-F2

Unfortunately, although these changes had made the Seconda Serie F a much better scooter, it never shook off it’s Model E lineage. Sales figures could not justify it’s continued production, and the last F was made in early 1956. Which means one more thing… F stands for, erm, FLIPPING Rare.

Thanks Rod, for furnishing me with various articles that explain the complicated saga of the F with D forks!

A couple of Innocenti Mini’s…

Innocenti Mini Cooper 1300After yesterdays post featuring a couple of J125 Starstreams, I thought I’d post another couple of Innocenti vehicles again, this time of the four wheeled variety! As Mini afficionados will know, The Innocenti Mini Cooper is the Italian version of the Cooper S, arguably built to a higher standard! I found these two very nice examples for sale, if they tickle your fancy, you know what to do!Innocenti Mini Cooper 1300 InnocentiMini-3The first one is Immaculate Innocenti Cooper Export 1300. Subject to a full, nut and bolt restoration and bare metal respray completed in 2011. Very original car, rebuilt to virtually original specification (twin tank added). Rare original colour scheme, Sabbia Beige / Nero. A regular at the Mini car shows across the country, and featured in Classic and Sports Car Magazine in October 2011… more info over on eBay.

On eBay here

The second car is a 1974 1300 Export – Professionally restored About 8 years ago. As Described as being in “Stunning condition and very original specification”, again, there’s more info over on eBay

check it out on eBay, HERE.

Innocenti Mini Cooper 1300 InnocentiMini-5 MInnocentiMini-6

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

Lambretta World Land Speed Record Scooter

Lambretta Record Breaker LambrettaRecord02dailyicon LambrettaRecord03dailyiconFrom day one Innocenti were eager to to prove to the world that their engine was, for it’s capacity, the fastest and most economical in the world.

IW_Lambretta-record_06 IW_Lambretta-record_08 IW_Lambretta-record_09They participated, and won, many speed and endurance competitions, entering one off specials and works racers… with many of the lessons learned from the track making their way into later production scooters.

One of their great rival, in the scooter world, was of course was Piaggio… who were also keen to prove the prowess of their Vespas on the track. Both manufacturers saw the promotional opportunities in promoting their victories. Not only did it help establish the respective marques as viable purchase options, but it countered the entrenched wisdom of the time that these small wheeled, open framed machines could compete with motorcycles. It wouldn’t be too much of stretch to say these competitions helped establish the whole scooter category, that went on to dominate two wheeled vehicles in the 50’s and early 60’s.

After many close fought encounters Lambretta went on to dominate the category… breaking records over long and medium distances. But there was one goal yet to achieve… breaking the 200km/h barrier over the ‘flying kilometre’. This was achieved on the 8th August 1951, in the amazing, full enclosed vehicle shown below, with Romolo Ferri as the ‘pilot’.

LambrettaRecord04dailyicon 42-18541976With Lambretta now holding all the 125cc class records Piaggio decided there was no point in opposing them anymore, and the battle was over, with Lambretta the acknowledged champions.

Via Italian Ways

And Racing History on the LCGB site.

SX… Perfection?

My last post featured a cracking “Rat Racer” Series one… and I thought it was just about perfect. Something I’d love to own. There would be a few little tweaks I’d make… and that’s the way it is with most of the scoots I find. Nearly perfect, but with a couple of tweaks… a bit of chrome there… an accessory added, or removed… but that’s the joy of Lambretta’s. The machines rolled out of the factory, close to perfection… but somehow owners (and dealers) managed to improve them.

But, I think I’ve found a machine where I wouldn’t change a thing. And it’s this stunning SX. Well, an SX 150 S-Type GT 186 to be precise. Everything from the paint colour, to the Ancillotti exhaust screams perfection for me. The raydots at the Smith chrono all add to the package. It’s a classic look, and I don’t think it’s been bettered, to be honest. Perfect.

Lambretta SX 150 S-Type GT 186 Screen shot 2013-07-06 at 07.33.41 Screen shot 2013-07-06 at 07.34.10 Screen shot 2013-07-06 at 07.34.26 Screen shot 2013-07-06 at 07.34.58 Screen shot 2013-07-06 at 07.35.23 Screen shot 2013-07-06 at 07.35.58 Screen shot 2013-07-06 at 07.36.51

This lovely scoot was shot by Christian Gentilini, and you can see more of his photography, here, on flickr. He’s a member of the Lambretta Club Teste Cromate S.C.
The pics are copyright (Christian was kind enough to allow me to use them here) so please respect that.

Oh. I’ve spotted it. The tweak I’d make to this scooter. The crankcase side panel has something missing… it needs “Owned and run by Crocodile Jock” discretely signwritten on it. Small in the bottom right corner. And maybe a small enamel union flag badge under the sprint rack. There you go… proved… Lambrettisti just can’t help tinkering with perfection!

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.

1954 Lambretta F on eBay

Lambretta F Screen shot 2013-06-10 at 08.03.54 Screen shot 2013-06-10 at 08.04.16 Screen shot 2013-06-10 at 08.04.35 Screen shot 2013-06-10 at 08.04.55There’s a stunning Lambretta F on eBay, in it’s original maroon colour. Originally part of the famous Mike Karslake collection, this rare  scooter would turn heads wherever it went. And, as we now know, these scooters can now fly!