John Ling has always played an instrumental role at StreetWorks, whether he serves as a technical restoration advisor, historian, or in this case a top-tier client – which brings us to the story of the 1974 Intermeccanica Indra. John has always been a big fan of custom coachwork and Italian cars of the 60’s & 70’s. Often times early on in my career at StreetWorks, John would stop by and tell me about his most recent acquisition, sometimes Monte Verdi’s or Bizzarrinis and often cars I had never even heard of, like the Intermeccanica Indra.
When John purchased the car it had already been very poorly restored by a collision repair shop or similar. At that time the car was white and had a blue velour interior. John did not have intentions of restoring the vehicle at that time. However upon driving the car he had two problems; squeaky wheel bearings and an overheating engine. The overheating issue seemed to always be with this car, being that this Indra was the only one ever made with the 428 CJ and top loader four speed. A lot of time could go into the reasoning Intermeccanica built this one of kind, but that’s a story for another time (see link below).
- For a deeper dive into the history of our 1974 Intermeccanica Indra, check out Winston Goodfellow’s blog here; Winston Goodfellow blogs – INTERMECCANICA’S INDRA—WHEN HYBRID MEANT FAST AND FUN
After getting the Indra to the shop, we soon found that the ultra bizarre front hubs would not be easily repaired. We searched the world over for what was apparently the only bearing that did not exist. This shortcoming led us to the machine shop.
“Let’s make new hubs” so that’s just what we did. John, being his typical perfectionist self decided “Hey let’s restore the whole front suspension while we are waiting for the hubs”, which turned into “let’s re-do the rear suspension as well”. Finally all this work was followed by “Okay, what the hell. Let’s get that motor out and get to the root cause of the overheating.”
1 + 1+ 2 = Total restoration, and sometimes that’s the way it goes.
Turns out that big 428 had always overheated from day one. Believe me, it was shoehorned in there like I have never seen before, or since! We ended up making some theoretical changes here and there and did manage to get the car drivable. The pictures you see here are in the AZ desert, WITH air conditioning on…so I guess it all worked out in the end.
And oh boy, if you dump the clutch on this one you better make sure no one’s going to report a fire because it’s going to leave some serious tire smoke.
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