This extremely rare and very cute Italian Sports car is a totally original and unmolested, low mileage classic. It has been professionally refreshed to an outstanding condition visually and mechanically. The car is fully sorted and has been driven and enjoyed regularly, while being preserved in superb condition. Collector and Italian Moto enthusiast Gianluca Baldo purchased the car 2 years ago in Italy from a friend and fellow collector who had owned and enjoyed it for 15 years. It was driven exclusively in vintage display events and rallies during that period and treated to a full restoration before the recent purchase. It comes with the original Italian Libretto (Italian title) and the original black metal plate (from Verona). The car is now titled and registered in California with current documents.
The rust-free chassis has been repainted in the original factory deep Mediterranian blue and the interior completely redone with new upholstery and mats. The original BMC A-Series engine has been rebuilt and runs perfectly. Steering, brakes, suspension and chassis - all in top condition.
The odometer shows only 49,313 KM (30,641 miles) and the car drives young and free. The body is very straight and rust free, all trim is complete including the Innocenti and Ghia badges, the unique exterior mirror, bumpers, grille, wheels and hubcaps. As a Series I model the unique propeller version of the Innocenti logo appears in many places. Paintwork is rendered in a beautiful original shade and reasonably well done. The interior is complete, fully functional and fairly comfortable, if somewhat compact. The extremely hard to find original top frame was missing at the time of the most recent restoration and the Spider is currently arranged to go topless and neatly finished to that effect. In the interim we have found and purchased a complete original top frame which is supplied with the car. The purchaser has thus the option of refinishing the frame and adding the easy to source canvas top if desired or leaving the car as a topless roadster.
There is a full spare in the undercoated boot and the car is very complete, quite original and authentic. Overall condition is quite good, but not perfect and the car is well suited to being driven and enjoyed. Very, very attractive and special with a rare combination of great styling and detailling on a very compact chassis, this is a truly unique collectable that should be put to use often and experienced regularly. Not so precious to purchase and easy to maintain, it is a genuinely practical sports car. As an investment, the extreme rarity and very good overall condition bode well for future appreciation. All the fun and ruggedness of an early Sprite with gorgeous styling, upgraded comfort and convenience, plus the cachet of being really, really rare.
All the fun and ruggedness of an early Sprite with gorgeous styling, upgraded comfort and convenience, plus the cachet of being really, really rare.
INNOCENTI 950 Spider History
Italian manufacturer Innocenti produced several vehicles in partnership with British Motor Corporation. One of the most successful and desirable is the Innocenti Spider, a compact sports car with superb styling introduced at the 1960 Turin Auto Show. Innocenti made a splash with an attractive little Spider built upon Austin Healy Sprite underpinnings.
The car was the first major design by Tom Tjaarda, an American designer, working for Carrozzeria Ghia. Tjaarda went on to design several legendary exotics including the De Tomaso Pantera and Ferrari 330GT 2+2 Berlinetta, among other great sports cars. The car was manufactured by OSI in Turin, a company which had been set up by Ghia in 1959. Innocenti 950 series production began in early 1961.
The Innocenti Spider used all of the major mechanical assemblies from the Sprite including engine, driveline, suspension and brakes, but incorporated them into a much more modern bodyshell with roll up windows, an opening trunk compartment and wider track. The Spider was more than a styling exercise, as the entire bulkhead was moved forward to provide longer doors and a more stylish look. It is well regarded as a beautiful design, one of the most appealing compact sports cars of the 1960’s.
Following improvements introduced with the Sprite Mark II released in late 1961, Innocenti fitted an upgraded 948 cc engine (engine code 9CG), with larger twin 1 1⁄4 inch SU carburettors, increasing power to 46.5 bhp for the 1962 model. A close-ratio gearbox was fitted along with rack and pinion steering, dual wishbone front suspension and quarter elliptic leaf spring rear suspension. The Spider 950 was only slightly heavier than comparable Sprites and performance was quite similar. Zero to 60 mph in around 17 seconds and a top speed above 85 mph from contemporary road tests.
Innocenti upgraded the Spider again in 1963 with the 1098 cc engine and semi elliptic rear suspension of the Mark III Sprite. In total only 4,790 of the 950 Spiders and 2,074 of the 1098 cc Spiders were built, making these sexy roadsters quite rare, even in Europe, and virtually unknown in the States. By comparison, Austin Healy built 49,987 Bugeye Sprites, 31,665 of the Mark II model and well over 125,000 total units when the Mark III and Mark IV are counted.
The Innocenti Spider was an early sales success in Italy and Europe despite being rather more expensive than a contemporary Sprite. As the decade progressed and more modern versions of the Sprite as well as newer competitors were introduced, sales tailed off by 1965 and production ended soon thereafter. A short lived coupe model succeeded the Spiders but production ended in 1968.
The Innocenti Spider 950 is regarded as a fantastic period sports car with sleek styling, enjoyable performance and handling, reasonable comfort for its size and straightforward mechanicals with excellent reliability and parts availability.
1962 Innocenti 950 Spider
2-door roadster body type
Manual 4-speed gearbox
948 cc / 57.9 ci, 50 hp ( SAE ), torque: 70.5 Nm / 52 lb-ft
Length: 3427 mm / 134.9 in
Wheelbase: 2032 mm / 80 in
Width 57.8 in
Curb weight: 695 kg / 1532 lbs
Weight distribution f/r % 53 / 47