The Innocenti "C"

Sergio Sartorelli designer

Between March '65 and September '66 Innocenti developed, in-house, a 2-door Sports Coupé based on the same running gear as the "S" Spider. The 'S' version of the Innocenti Spider had sold relatively well, mostly in Italy and the US, although never in the numbers in which the 950 Spider sold, largely due to pricing and competition in the main Italian home market.

This two door Coupé was to be called Innocenti Coupé or "C" and was designed by Sergio Sartorelli at OSI. Just 795 Coupés were produced by Innocenti between late '66 and August '68.

Hand built with Italian flair

Because of their "hand-built" quality and low-volume production, they were pretty expensive at the time (1,044,200 lire in Feb ’69); more than a Fiat 850 Sport Coupé (1,043,700) and a Fiat-Abarth 695 SS (963,157).

However, the Innocenti Coupé was still cheaper than more exotic marques - an Alfa Romeo GT 1300 Junior, for example was listed at 1,688,000 and a Lancia Fulvia Coupé Rallye 1.3 at 1,658,020 lire.

Wider and longer

On first look, the Coupé does seem quite similar to the Spider, however virtually all body panels, except the bonnet, doors and boot lid are different.

The Coupés are almost 4 inches wider and 6 inches longer than the Spider. All the extra width is in the wings, which produces a wider cabin; the additional length is all between the rear edge of the door and the start of the rear wheel arch which means that the Coupé uses a longer propshaft.

They were produced in just 3 colours - green, white and red - the colours of the Italian flag.

Attention to detail

Starting at the front of the Coupé the grill arrangement is completely different from the Spider, using a series of aluminium slats with a far simpler pair of indicators. Even the indicators on the wings were different on the Coupé. Under the bonnet everything was the same as on the Spider: the engine was by then the 1098cc; a top-centre-filling vertical flow radiator; unique airbox (using a pair of Fiat 600 air filters) on the twin 1.25 inch SUs; battery tray above the passenger footwell; Marelli heater box and under bonnet lighting (courtesy of Lancia).

Roomy, light interior

Inside the car, Innocenti had already introduced an updated dash arrangement for around the last 100 of the Spiders, but it still continued to use the same set of Veglia dials - the speedometer and revcounter being unique to these Innocenti models; the three smaller gauges for oil pressure, water temperature and fuel are the same as those used in Ferrari’s of the period, such as the 250 GTE, GTO and California Spider.

Stylish exterior

Outside, at the rear of the Coupé, the wings are completely different to the Spider. The stainless-edge-highlighting-strip continues all the way down to the unique horizontally mounted rear lights produced by Osla. Once more these are completely different to the vertically mounted versions used on the Spider, which although quite similar to those found on the Spridgets, are also unique Carello items.

Wheels and hubcaps

The wheels used on the Spider were the same as those found on the Frogeye and these continued until the introduction of the Coupé. Due to its widened wings another steel wheel was introduced, still with 4 inch pcd, but with a wider offset. They were also different in that they had slots rather than round holes in the design. The chromium plated hubcaps were also different from those produced for the Spider. The 950 hubcaps were embossed, first of all, with the Innocenti 3-pronged "propeller" logo, then when the corporate logo changed the "i" was embossed. But for the Coupé the hubcaps were borrowed from the Innocenti im3, their version of the Morris 1100. These had a plastic centre cap, again with the "i" logo, fixed in a centre hole.

The colours of the Italian flag

This green coupe was originally imported into the UK from Milan in 2006. It was manufactured in 1969 and is UK registered HUM 352G. It has appeared as a featured car in the acclaimed Italian classic car magazine: Ruoteclassiche.

This white coupe and the red coupe were originally imported into the UK from an Italian car collector in Belgium. The white coupé AUB 334E is an early example from 1967; the red coupé LWR 341H is from 1969. AUB 334E has appeared in a number of magazines (inc Classic Cars).

All three Coupés have featured together in Auto Italia magazine and the Jon Pressnell book 'Austin Healey - The British Bulldog'.