Production, sort of . . .

With approximately 45 cars spread between the prototypes, the show cars and the TSF Italias, that leaves about 255 cars for the 'production' run. Rare by any standards, more so today.

If you found your way here from the Restoration section you might be surprised to see #126 again. As the most original of any of the surviving "production" cars, it is the best example to use in this section.

Exterior

Lights

Front parking light and turn signals were of two types. The pointed Altissimmo lens on four separate housings, these were most often clear but some export models used amber for the turn signal. The second choice was a rectangular Carello housing incorporating both the turn signal and parking lamp. These came with clear lenses.

For the rear, aluminum taillight housings with Lucas 523 lenses (the lens was also used on Alfa's, Lancia's and the Austin/Nash Metropolitan) or chromed taillight housings with the Carello lenses. Both of these were also used on the Lancia Appia Vignale. There were a number of variations in the Carello lenses and #126 uses one of the rarer styles. You may see cars where the red section is on top. If you were to follow the lettering cast on the lens, the red should be at the top. But these were often mounted either way.

All the production cars featured small, round, orange side marker lights on the front wings. Keep in mind that the holes were not always drilled in exactly the same spot from car to car. The round style is now readily available and inexpensive since they were used on many FIATs. Please note that the long tear drop shape seen on some cars was probably a later interchange made by owners missing the originals. While it is possible that they were original, I would suggest that since the majority of cars use the round style this is more likely to be correct. None of the existing period photos of the Italia show it with the tear drop style.

Badges

The badges had become standardized on the "production" cars. "Italia 2000" on the nose and trunk (boot) lid, the "Vignale" cloisonné badge on both front fenders (wings), "T.M. Triumph" and the crossed "Vignale/Michelotti" flags on the rear fenders. One variation was the occasional appearance of a small "Styled by G. Michelotti" badge on the boot handle.

Side trim

The bars along the side were made from aluminum. These mounted along the bottom edge of the door (not on the sills) and were fastened using machine screws that fit in a channel in the aluminum. This was done so that the screws could be positioned to fit the drilled holes. There were three sections, on the front wings, along the door edge and a very short piece at the front of the rear wings.

 

Boot handle

#126 uses the long handle of the early cars which has a light for the license plate integrated into it. It also uses the later light housing mounted on a plinth around the trunk latch, below the opening. This light was also used on Maseratis.

Earlier production cars used only the long handle. A very few production cars also used this handle with an additional light mounted on the mid-section of the bumper.

Fuel (Petrol) tank

We can now narrow down the introduction of the outside fuel filler and it's unusual tank to somewhere between #228 and #235. #227 has an internal filler and #235 has the outside filler.

License plate

As the major market was Europe, the space for the rear license plate is square. The plate itself was fastened with three stamped stainless steel trim sections. The front plate was a small rectangle and mounted on a stamped mounting plinth made to fit in the center of the front bumper.

Bumpers

Bumpers remained the same through the show car and production run. These were made from chrome-plated steel. The front was one piece with two overriders (bumperettes). The rear bumper was made in three sections as it had to meet the wings. The center section could be adjusted to fit the width of the body. The rear also used two overriders. All four were made to fit their specific location on the car.

The bumpers were also the same design as used on the Lancia Appia Vignale. The Lancia is a wider car and the center section of the rear bumper could be adjusted to fit. The front bumper would have been made specifically for the Lancia.

More soon . . .