The Italia 2000 GT was the concept of the Italian Triumph importer, Commendator Salvador Ruffino. His aim was to create a sports coupe which had the proven reliability of British engineering and the design artistry of the contemporary Italian coachbuilders. In 1958, Ruffino approached Giovanni Michelotti to handle the design of the Italia, and he arranged to have the cars built by Alfredo Vignale. Ruffino negotiated a handshake deal with Standard Triumph to produce 1,500 cars. The Tr3A chassis was selected, and shipped in 'knocked down' form to the Vignale coachworks in Turin. The first Italia was shown, to high praise, at the Turin Auto Show in late 1958. The car went into full production in 1959, and sales were good, although the price, at $5,000, was twice that of the TR3A. As Triumph entered negotiations with British Leyland, though, management backed out of the handshake deal, and production ended with only 329 cars completed. The Italia 2000 Styling cues, however, were carried on into the new TR4. This car, Vignale body number 194, is one of the 35 imported into the United States.
The first Italia received high praise at the Turin Auto Show in late 1958. The car went into full production in 1959 with Vignale initially turning out just one car per day. Sales were good at first, although they were priced at $4,500 to $5,000, almost twice that of a new TR3A. As time went on, Michelotti became involved in the design of many Triumph cars. As Triumph entered negotiations with Leyland Motors, production of the Italia 2000 came to a halt in 1962.
The new Triumph management now viewed the Italia project as expensive competition to the soon-to-be released TR4, so the Italia came to an end with only 329 built of the intended 1500.
This Italia 2000, Vignale body #194, is one of the some 35 believed to be imported into the United States. It had a full 'body off' concours restoration from 1992 to 1995.
This Triumph Italia 2000 is finished in Italian racing red motif of the 1958 Turin Show Car, with a tan interior. The last Italia was built in 1962 and is believed that in all some 329 examples were produced. Around 50 were exported to the United States and 17 appear to have survived according to the registry. This car, number 319, is the 10th to the last car built.
In 2011, this Triumph Italia was offered for sale at the Quail Lodge auction presented by Bonhams. It was estimated to sell for $90,000 - $110,000 but its reserve was not met and the car would leave the auction unsold.