1985 de Tomaso Innocenti Turbo

If you catch yourself saying, well, the original Mini is just a bit boring for me, then meet its Italian cousin, the Innocenti Mini. Developed when British Leyland Motor Corporation owned Innocenti, this car was a revamped version of the original Mini with bodywork styled by Bertone. Upon BL’s bankruptcy in 1976, Innocenti was sold to de Tomaso, and a year later, the Mini de Tomaso arrived on the scene with styling tweaks and a higher horsepower engine. In the early 1980s, the BL engines were swapped for units supplied by Daihatsu, much to the dismay of Italian enthusiasts. The Turbo version we see here bowed in 1983, and featured a 993 cc three cylinder turbocharged engine good for about 71 horsepower, or 67 horsepower in Canadian trim. These were brought into Canada new via an importer by the name of Incacars Inc., but only from 1984 through 1986. This particular example for sale in Quebec City looks clean but is listed as a project car.

1985 de Tomaso Innocenti Turbo

Little is given in the way of a description for this vehicle, but I have a hard time seeing how this is a project car, as it looks rather complete. It could have mechanical issues, but as far as the bodywork, trim and interior go, it looks solid. Since the Charade was sold in North America, parts would not be as difficult to source as one may think. One could also go the unconventional route and fit a breathed on engine from a period Mini Cooper as well. Either way, this is a neat piece of automotive history that has the fingerprints of several manufacturers on it. With such a chequered history, it is amazing that these lived on in production until 1993.

-Paul

1 Comment

  1. Great little car i have 3 of them 1 /100 percent restored second 99persent just needs interior put back in and third is not a turbo but body is good and extra parts dash boards fans engine carbs ecc ecc tomuch to list trying to sell i was told they go or I go spent the last 7 years restoring and traveled for parts and she is fed up can u healp do you know if anyonne interested cant afford her she will cost me more