Saturday, January 16, 2016

Innocenti Spider (1961-65)

In 1959 Innocenti signed a licence agreement with the British Motor Corporation (BMC) to manufacture their version of the Austin-Healey Sprite. Alongside this Innocenti had ideas to make a small sports car, the same size as an Austin Healy Sprite MkI (photos below), but they didn't believe the 'unique' looks of the Frogeye would appeal strongly enough to the Italian market. So in order to get around this Carrozzeria Ghia was commissioned to design a completely new body design to integrate with the Sprite MkI platform.

Designing the Innocenti 950 was the first complete car project for Tom Tjaarda (De Tomaso PanteraFerrari 330GT 2+2 Berlinetta) who had just started at Ghia. The car was then to be manufactured by OSI in Turin, a company which had been set up by Ghia in 1959. The Innocenti 950 was launched at the November 1960 Turin show, but series production only began in 1961.

The original Innocenti 950 Spider had the Frogeye's 948 cc engine with 43 hp (32 kW), 624 of these were built. Later in 1961 an uprated 46.5 hp (35 kW) was installed. In February 1963 the 1098 cc "S" model, which provided 58 hp (43 kW), was introduced. This also had front disc brakes to cope with the extra power. The Innocenti Spider could also be fitted with a removable hardtop. 

A total of 4,790 Spiders (950’s) were manufactured up until February 1963, when the Innocenti 'S' was introduced with an 1100cc engine, disc brakes and revised rear suspension. Just over 2,000 Innocenti 'S' Spiders were produced between February '63 and February '65, making a total Spider production figure of 6,864 in four years. (

Innocenti 950 Spider (1961-63)

Innocenti Spider S (1963-65)

(Below White) Innocenti C Coupé (1966-68)      (Below Red) Innocenti Spider (1961-65)

Austin-Healey Sprite "Frogeye" Mk I (1958-61)

(Photos from,, &

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