Let's show off . . .
The first 13 cars were completely assembled by Vignale. Their badging reflects this with more mention of both Vignale and Michelotti than on the subsequent "production" cars.
These cars were used for road testing, motor shows and, in the case of Italia #1, to interest Standard-Triumph in the new "Triumph Italia."
But, wait a minute . . .
Yes, there were some "production" Italias used in later shows. These cars were seen in the 1961 New York Auto Show on the Stutz Plaisted stand and the 1960 Geneva Show. They were available for sale off the show floor.
At the 1960 New York Auto show, there was a gathering of classic and historic cars for a car show within a car show. One of the entries was a 1960 Triumph Italia belonging to an Ensign Peter Borre. Appropriately parked next to a Ferrari. From the marker lights on the front fenders, it is one of the "production" Italias. (Sports Cars Illustrated, August 1960. Photo by Irv Dolin)
We've recently found that Stutz Plaisted's display was on the third floor next to the Shasta Campers. There were two displays on either side of the Italia and we've identified the one as a Sabra Sussita pickup truck. Coincidentally, Sabra was built by Autocars of Israel which would eventually be taken over by Triumph. Sabra also had a stand on the first floor for their newly released sportscar. The other display is, what may be, a Ford Thames van. It was probably from the Travel Equipment Corporation, a manufacturer of folding camper tops for vans. We were able to finally place where Stutz's stand was located. The logo for the Ford Gyron, which was on display across the open gallery from the Italia, is visible through the Italia windshield in the rear three-quarter view. Stutz can be seen in the passenger seat.
1959 Turin Show
I have some great photos of the Italia at the Turin show. I'm awaiting permission to post these as the are copyrighted by the photographer. One photo can be seen in the February 1960 issue of Road&Track magazine. From the timing and the color, this is most likely Italia #3.
While I'm awaiting permission, here are some photos taken in Valentino Park outside where the Motor Show was being held. Based on the date of the show, this Italia should be between #4 and #7.
These images are copyright "The Ludvigson Collection at The Revs Institute for Automotive Research." No reproduction is allowed without a license from the Revs Institute. Please feel free to view the images here and at the Revs Institute.
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1960 Turin Show
A "production" Italia appeared on the Vignale stand at the 1960 Turin show at the end of October. We haven't found any reference to the Italia being on the Triumph stand that year.
1960 Geneva Show
By the time the Italia was shown at the Geneva show in March of 1960, Ruffino was in full production. As at the 1961 New York Auto Show, the cars on display were from the "regular" production run.
1961 New York Auto Show
We are in the process of trying to determine which car this may be. It's possible that it eventually went to Mexico. It's a mid-production car with a Vignale number higher than 135 but lower than 235. We are always interested in period photographs. If you know anyone that was at the show or may have photos, we'd love to hear from you.