Innocenti Mini 90 and 120 (1974 – 1982) Review

Innocenti Mini 90 and 120 (1974 – 1982) At A Glance


+Cute 1970s styling wrapping tried and tested Mini mechanicals

-They're prone to rust, but so few in the UK all that are here seem to be cherished

In 1974, Leyland’s Italian subsidiary Innocenti introduced a rebodied, three-door hatchback Mini, sytled by Bertone. However, within a year of its launch, BLMC went bankrupt and Innocenti was sold to de Tomaso. Prior to the launch of the Metro, the Innocenti was briefly available in the UK, and it continued to be sold as part of BL’s range in many mainland European countries even after the Metro’s appearance.

The new-style Mini was originally launched in two versions, the 90L and 120L – the former having the 998cc A-series engine putting out 43bhp, and the latter the 1275cc unit, with an extra 20bhp on tap. These outputs were later uprated to 49bhp and 65bhp respectively. Following the sale of Innocenti to de Tomaso in 1975, an uprated version of the 120L was launched in 1976, producing a useful 71bhp (74bhp from 1978 onwards); known simply as the Innocenti de Tomaso, this version featured moulded plastic bumpers (in place of the original chrome items), with integral front foglamps and a go-faster air intake mounted on the bonnet.

Towards the end of 1979, with the Metro’s launch still almost a year away, Islington-based dealer London Garages Ltd offered the Innocenti range in limited numbers. The 998cc 90L cost £3515, the 1275cc 120L was £3675, and the range-topping De Tomaso version came in at £4040. For comparison, a basic 1.1-litre Allegro cost £3085 at the time, while £4100 would have bought you Triumph Dolomite 1500.