1947 - 1996

Innocenti

Information about Innocenti

Innocenti, originally founded by Ferdinando Innocenti in Milan in 1931, rose from modest beginnings to a pivotal role in Italy’s automotive scene. Initially a steel tubing manufacturer, the company ventured into the automotive world after gaining fame with their Lambretta scooters post-World War II.

The brand took a significant turn in 1960 when it began assembling the British Morris Mini under license, which eventually evolved into an Italian-styled Mini by famed designer Bertone. This marked the start of Innocenti’s special relationship with small, stylish cars, a niche that defined much of its later history.

However, the company faced challenges over the years. After being acquired by De Tomaso in 1976, Innocenti experimented with various models including the Mini de Tomaso, which featured performance enhancements and styling tweaks. The 1980s and early 1990s saw partnerships with Daihatsu, with Innocenti producing models like the Minitre, which utilized Daihatsu engines and offered advanced features for the time.

Despite efforts to innovate and adapt, Innocenti’s journey was not without struggles, and production ceased in 1996 after a final stint producing versions of the Fiat Uno. The brand left behind a legacy of unique Italian flair mixed with practical British engineering—a combination that still intrigues automotive enthusiasts today.

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