The initials “IM3” merged the initials of the two brands Innocenti and Morris, whilst the “3” referred to the third model produced in collaboration with the British group, after the A40 and the Spider.
In almost forty years of activities as a car manufacturer, Innocenti di Lambrate is remembered mainly for the Mini models produced under licence, and for the subsequent Mini Bertone version. However, at the beginning of activities as a car manufacturer in the 1960s, the Milanese company expanded its collaboration with the British BMC to produce other British products as well. From the partnership sprang the IM3, derived from the ADO 16 project which led to production of the Austin and Morris 1100 with a 48 bhp engine, the MG 1100 with a similar-sized engine but producing 54 bhp, the Wolseley 1100, Riley Kestrel 1100 and finally the Vanden Plas Princess 1100.
The initials “IM3” merged the initials of the two brands Innocenti and Morris, whilst the “3” referred to the third model produced in collaboration with the British group, after the A40 and the Spider. The car entered production in 1963 and differed from the British version at the front, styled by Pininfarina and with vertical lights and better-quality internal finishes. Qualities shared with the British version were the remarkable abilities of the car, the innovative Hydrolastic suspension and the 55 bhp 1100 cc engine combined with front-wheel drive, which positioned the car almost in the luxury sector, also highlighted by the rather high price.
To expand market share following the moderate success of the IM3, the I4 was launched in 1965, adopting the Morris-derived bodywork, simplified without modifications and with a 48 bhp engine, to which the I4S was also added in 1966 with the 55 bhp engine from the IM3. Towards the end of the sixties, by which time the model had become rather long in the tooth, Innocenti revised the range as follows: the IM3 was updated in some detail areas, becoming the IM3 S, whilst the I4 was renamed I5 and differed from the previous model with a revised front and interior. Im3 S and I5 production ceased in 1974 when they were replaced by the Regent model, derived from the British Austin Allegro.
Text by Tommaso Lai
Translation by Norman Hawkes
Copyright © Cars Forgotten Stories. All rights reserved.