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Old 02-06-2012, 07:34 PM   #558 (permalink)
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Botsapper is the winner! The car is the InterMeccanica Puch, aka IMP 700 GT, created by Frank & Paula Reisner in 1960, back when they were still in Italy. The IMP was based on the Steyr-Daimler-Puch 500 produced at that time which looks like this:

As you might be able to tell, the Steyr-Daimler-Puch 500 used the FIAT 500 chassis; FIAT had a deal in place to sell the 'body-in-white' to S-D-P, and then S-D-P provided the vehicles to Intermeccanica.

The Steyr-Puch engine was co-designed by Ferdinand Porsche, and was a 500cc boxer twin. For the IMP, the engine was rebuilt with pistons and cylinders intended for the Porsche 356, bumping the displacement to 700cc. This helped bump hp from 16 to 40.

A better picture of the IMP... a lot of Porsche flavoring! Only ~930 lbs in race form:

The IMP was 'too good'; one of them was entered at the Nurburgring race in 1961 and won its class, defeating the favorite FIAT Zagatos. This annoyed the Zagato team owner / driver Carlo Abarth (yes, THAT Abarth) enough to convince FIAT to no longer allow the FIAT chassis to be sold to InterMeccanica (or anyone else, for that matter), thereby killing the IMP.

Fortunately that didn't kill InterMeccanica; they are now in Canada making these:

Two days ago, around 8am, I'd never even heard of the IMP...

Botsapper, the floor is yours!
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