Obscure Italian Sports Cars We’d Love To Own

sports cars Going with Italy hand in hand, the mere mention of a fast exotic car conjures up stunning images of Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maseratis, even though they’re not the only Italian automakers with a back catalog of coveted machines.

A fact borne out by the growing number of modern if slightly obscure brands that emerge from time to time, Pagani only started in 1992 and has recently been joined by companies such as Automobili Turismo e Sport, Fornasari and a handful of Italian automakers turned manufacturers. Sure, the business is booming, but in terms of rare, mysterious sports cars we’d love to own, going back in time produces some of the most beautiful cars we’ve ever seen, many of which have long been forgotten.

The good news is that none of the ten Italian sports cars listed came from the Big Three, each the product of countless hours of design, engineering and the pursuit of perfection, names that deserve more recognition rather than slipping into obscurity.

10 Intermechanika Indra

Intermechanika Indra - Front
through history

The Italian sports car scene of the 1970s is littered with wedge shapes from all the big names, however, there are a few little-known gems out there that look good. In 1971 Intermeccanica entered the fray, Indra was sold on both sides of the Atlantic, and the Opel badge for European cars in the United States bore the Intermeccanica brand.

Intermeccanica Indra - Side
through history

The differences are much deeper too, fortunately, American gearheads get a better deal with GM’s source 327/350 cu-in, higher-spec Indras engines hitting 280 hp. Production details are vague at best, approximately 127 models, a mixture of coupes and convertibles, were built, and the international collaboration ended in 1974.

9 Ghia 450 SS

Ghia 450 SS - Front
By bringing a trailer

The Barracuda foundation and Carrozzeria Ghia redesigned running gear had all the makings of a world class car, great lines, and the power of an American V8. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case, buyers who were unsure or unaware of the Ghia brand at the time led to a 57-car run down the line.

Ghia 450 SS - Side
By bringing a trailer

Mechanical similarities aside, the 450SS is an entirely different beast that is built on a custom ladder chassis, and is shorter, slimmer, and more useful in appearance. The 450/SS model name is derived from the 273 cu-in or 4.5-liter Commando V8 under the hood.

RELATED: Euro-Muscle: The Coolest European Sports Cars That Used American V8s

8 Furnasari Gigi 311 GT

Fornasari Gigi 311 GT - Front
via Autogespot

Founded for newcomers in 1999, which expired in 2015, only to rise phoenix-style from the ashes in 2019 with a new two-seater sports car inspired by the 1950s era of Mile Miglia racers, Fornasari Cars. Superb style racers built entirely in carbon fibre, sporting a 6.2-liter V8 from General Motors that produces 500 horsepower in the region.

Fornasari Gigi 311 GT - Rear
via Autogespot

Built as a bespoke sports car with buyers able to customize final specs making defining actual performance numbers hazy at best, Fornasari opted for a self-imposed limit of 186 mph.


ATS GT - Front
Via Car Wallpapers HD

Not only does the self-imposed production limit of 12 make the ATS GT one of the rarest modern sports cars, but you likely won’t see most gear heads in metal. The ATS is undergoing a revival of sorts for 2019, combining design cues from the 1960s 2500 GT with a modern twist, its chassis and drivetrain borrowed from McLaren 12C/650S sports cars.

ATS-GT - Side -1
Via Car Wallpapers HD

How has ATS profoundly changed the GT’s driving characteristics? However, anyone who wants all the performance of the 3.8-liter twin-turbo in a nicer body should arguably consider joining the GT waiting list.

6 Alfa Romeo 2600 Pininfarina Special

Alfa Romeo 2600 Pininfarina Special
via Pinterest

The Alfa Romeo flagship was conceived of in the late 1960s, with 2,600 cars sold over 11,000 in a mixture of Berlina, Sprint, Spider and Zagato versions crafted by Italy’s greatest designers is not a rare commodity.

Alfa Romeo 2600 Pininfarina Special - Side
via Pinterest

One or rather two that never made it to production, in 1962 as production began, the Pininfarina created the stunning 2600 Special, one of each, a cabriolet and a coupe. Under the skin, it’s almost identical to mainstream Alfa models, featuring a 2.6-liter inline-six engine paired to a 5-speed manual. As amazing as it was, Alfa Romeo rejected the Pininfarina design for mainstream production.

Related: A look back at the greatest cars by Pininfarina

5 Cesitalia 202 Gran Sport

Cesitalia 202 Gran Sport - Front
via Autoarch

The famous Italian racing car manufacturer has turned into a modern producer of stylish road cars, Cisitalia is one of those names that most gear heads won’t recognize, but before its sudden demise in 1963, the little-known Italian carmaker in collaboration with Pininfarina created the 202 Gran Sport. Stunning.

Sisitalia 202 GranSport - Rear
via Autoarch

With its bare body, Pininfarina sculpted a stunning aluminum body that impressed buyers and critics alike in its debut in 1947, and went on to be praised by the New York Museum of Modern Art in 1951. Designed as a one-piece design, the panels integrate seamlessly in the cover. However, the 202 Gran Sport was not a success, and the hand-carved bodies were too expensive, Cisitalia found only 170 buyers for the 202 Gran Sport.

4 Ciata 208S Sports

Ciata 208S Sports - Front
via Bonhams

Ciata who? You probably haven’t heard of this long-running Italian sports car maker, Siata once best known for its 1970’s two-seater roadster lineup. Unfortunately, Michelotti-designed 208S Sports is one of the best-looking ever if it’s Soft Italian blouses are mysterious.

Siata 208S Sport - Rear
via Bonhams

In all, only 33 models were produced, powered by Fiat Tipo 104’s two-liter all-alloy V8 engines with 125 hp, and an aluminum chassis on a completely independently spring-loaded chassis was considered advanced at the time.

3 b engineering edonis

B - Edonis engineering - front
via Wallpaperbetter

Developed with a production run of a forensic Bugatti EB110, B Engineerings Edonis picked up the supercar’s baton and ran with it, using leftover engines and chassis to stellar effect. In all, 21 Edonis are completed, with a revised sportier body that bears little or no resemblance to the EB110.

via WallpaperUp

Under the skin, former Ferrari engineer Nicola Materazzi extended the V12’s displacement to 3.8 liters, lowering the four-turbocharger setup in favor of two larger IHI turbos, yielding 671 hp and a top speed of 215 mph.

RELATED: Here’s what everyone forgot about Bugatti’s first supercar: The EB110

2 By Tommaso Guara

By Tommaso Guara - The Front
Via Classic Driver

The last sports car launched under the leadership of Alejandro de Tommaso, the Guara was initially available as a coupe only, and the range was eventually expanded to include both the Roadster and Barchetta. The BMW M60 was launched in 1994, and early examples used BMW M60 4-liter V8s tuned specifically for the 279-hp Guara, transformed into a supercharged Ford V8 later in life.

By Tomaso Guara - Side
Via Classic Driver

Certainly overlooked for its time, the Guara was a well-regulated road race built in a lightweight aluminum chassis mixed with F1-style drivetrain suspension, all wrapped in a sharp blend of Kevlar and fiberglass. If anything, the Guara was very good, with its agility proving to be a bit too tense for casual drivers.

1 90- Ali

ISO Grifo 90 - Front
via FavCars

More state of what could have been, Iso Grifo 90 until recently did not go beyond the stage of the “wooden” model. In the late 1980s, owner Piero Revolta contracted famous racing car designer Dallara to develop a new chassis and engine, turning to Gandini for the futuristic Iso Grifo 90s wedge profile.

ISO Grivo 90 - Rear
via FavCars

Debuted in 1991, the limited production was due three years later, and remained shuttered until 2007 when US-based Mako-Shark picked up the pieces to finish the Grifo 90 story. Under the hood, a missing C5 Z06 V8 fills the Dallara engine Tuned by Callaway with 495 hp.

Honda Del Sol - Front
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