British Heart, Italian Soul

Everything you ever wanted to know . . .

This section of pages contains links to period and modern articles, advertisements, and brochures. Some modern articles may link to the magazine where they appeared.

Here is a PDF of an article I wrote that appeared in the June 1995 issue of British Car magazine. It is also available by clicking the images below. Be sure to read the updated information to the article. The featured car had recently been purchased from a dealer named, Secondi, in Italy by Jörg von Appen. It had never been previously sold or registered.

In the 1980's, Secondi had, at least, eight brand-new Italias in his warehouse. This one, #126, with 27km from new, was first sold in 1991. In the last few of these to be sold, a crankcase ventilation system was installed to meet the required standards of the day. We know that Italia #215, another very low mileage car, and #62 were part of Secondi's stock.

British Car, June, 1995

British Car magazine June, 1995. British Car magazine June, 1995. British Car magazine June, 1995. British Car magazine June, 1995. British Car magazine June, 1995.

British Car was an interesting and informative magazine. They were a perfect fit for the article and very willing to give it the space it deserved. The German photographer, Detlev Krehl, kindly offered the use of his photos to the magazine. It was the beginning of a resurgence of interest in this rare car.

Italia #126 in 1991

Updates to the article

We now know of 325 chassis being shipped to Italy. We belive it probable that there were 5 more but to prove this will require another visit to the archives. As you can see in the "Surviving Cars" section, 123 have been found so far.

The "Slope nose" prototype was called a "Triumph Italia" in an article from the July 1959 issue of Esquire magazine. A plaque in front of the prototype on the stand at the 1958 Turin Auto Salon also names the car the "Triumph Italia 2000." The 1958-1959 edition of Automobile Year called it a "Michelotti designed TR3 to be built by Vignale."

Before the Italia, there was the Special TR3

Alick Dick certainly must have seen, and probably driven, the second Italia prototype and #1 as both were at the Triumph factory. The car in the article he was mentioned as driving was more likely the earlier black and white Michelotti-designed TR3 show car.

Parts can still be an issue but not a major one. We have identified many pieces and the donor cars which share them. Quite a few parts have been remanufactured, too. Check the "Parts" page.

There was a fourth arrangement of the boot handle. The combination of the early handle and the later light mounted on the body around the trunk lock which can be seen on Italia #126. See the Restoration page for a list of production changes.