Rusty, Not Trusty – 1964 Innocenti S Spider

The Innocenti Spider is a great example of something the Italians did really well – put a fancy frock on a set of plain mechanicals. In this case, you get the greasy parts from a Mark 2 Sprite/Midget – a 1098cc A-series inline four cylinder and four speed transmission. In the 1950s and 1960s, Innocenti was best known for its Lambretta scooters and a bunch of rebadged BMC products, but this car can drop the names of some very influential people and companies in the Italian car business – it was designed by Tom Tjaarda for Ghia and built by OSI. The original Spider did not include the S in its model designation, featuring the 948cc engine of the bug/frogeye Sprite, while the S got the larger engine and front disc brakes. The car sold well in Italy, but couldn’t compete well in foreign markets due to price, and as demand waned, Innocenti transformed the car into a hardtop. But for today, we’ll have to be happy with a folding roof, or perhaps no roof at all – check out this 1964 Innocenti S Spider for sale for $2500 in Annandale, VA.

1964 Innocenti S Spider left rear

Hmmm, Eastern car parked on a big pile of leaves – it’s no wonder it looks the way it does. That said, it appears to have been someone’s parts car already – note the missing tail light lenses, incorrect rear wheel, and lack of seats. Fortunately, interior pieces (aside from the dash) are likely shared with their British cousin, so you won’t have any issues with finding those.

1964 Innocenti S Spider front detail

The seller describes the car as rotten, but cites a $350 value in each turn signal lens – perhaps there’s a discount for ones that have spent the past 35 years outdoors in all kinds of weather? As you can see in this detail shot, the grill and engine are both missing, though the engine will be easy to find. And since you’re not getting the original unit anyway, why not find a 1275cc or 1500cc unit to make things a little more fun, or a Datsun unit if you want to mix things up even more?

1964 Innocenti S Spider interior

Oops, no transmission either – fortunately those are just as common, and in fact, this should allow upgrading to a 5-speed for easier cruising. Something’s a little wonky with the steering wheel trim, and the instrument cluster is missing, and the floors seem to be made of leaves. On the plus side, the glove box door is included. The seller does not indicate if any missing parts are available, or in the trunk. It’s nice to see that many of the other interior bits are present, though they’ll likely all need some kind of attention.

1964 Innocenti S Spider rear detail

Off the road since 1981. It looks like it’s sustained a light tap on the passenger rear light cluster, and the red paint seems to be giving way to the original white. Odds are you’d have more fun driving a complete Spridget, but there’s no doubt this is a more elegant bodystyle. Unfortunately, this will probably end up being a parts donor – even restored examples get about $30,000, but if you’re a fan of the chase, sourcing parts and welding panels, this is one of the lowest costs of entry you’ll find.


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5 Responses to “Rusty, Not Trusty – 1964 Innocenti S Spider”

  1. Mark Says:

    I bought the car this past month. Hope to pull together updated engine and drivetrain. Still trying to find the bonnet:-(.

  2. Mark Hankewycz Says:

    Thought I would provide a quick update. My Rusty but Trusty Innocenti S has undergone allot of changes; new floor and trunk pans, rockers, etc. I’m currently making the foot wells. Found some great resources to find parts (doors, bonnet, gauges, conv top frame, etc., etc.). I never received some parts from the owner when purchased, so I decided not to go original and currently updating suspension, brakes, and drive train. I’m currently have a 1.8 T Rover K Series engine, Ford Type 9 gearbox and RX7 rear diff (Disk/LSD). Still need another couple years to finish it. Anyone with parts (glass, rear-view mirror, door and dash handles, chrome trim), please post.

  3. Jim Evans Says:

    Mark – I am trying to revive a 64 Innocenti in rough shape, if you have leftover parts in your project I would be interested (chrome, emblems,etc,)

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