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20 Italian Sports Cars With American V8 Engines

Vukasin Herbez June 12, 2019

Monteverdi Hai 450 - Monteverdi

5. Monteverdi

Monteverdi was a Swiss luxury car brand active from 1967 until 1984. Over the years, Monteverdi produced many premium models they marketed as cars with “German quality, Italian design and American power.” This was a winning combination. Monteverdi cars featured a Chrysler engine to produce an effortless performance. It also had the speed and raw power many European manufacturers of the period lacked.

The most extreme Monteverdi model was the Hai 450 from 1970. It featured a new chassis and body, as well as the famous Hemi 426 V8 engine. Monteverdi wanted the most powerful engine Mopar had to offer so in 1970, that was the mighty Hemi. The car was called “Hai,” which is a German word for a shark. The 0 to 60 mph acceleration time took only 4.5 seconds, making it the quickest car of the era.

4. AC 428 Frua

The British AC company is known for its part in the Cobra legend as a provider of bodies for early Shelby cars. They also continued producing the best 289 and 427 Cobras after Shelby ceased production in 1967. However, the company introduced another interesting European-American hybrid in 1965. They called it the AC 428 Frua.

It was a refined Gran Turismo coupe or convertible that the Frua design studio in Italy designed and assembled. They built the basic mechanics in England and then sent the cars to Turin where the final fabrication took place. Under the hood were American-made engines like Ford’s 428 V8 with 345 HP. The car was a fast cruiser with updated equipment, but it was also expensive. AC built only 81 Fruas before they ceased production in 1973.

Chevrolet Corvette (C2) - Car

3. Chevrolet Corvette Rondine

In 1963, the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray stunned the global automotive audience with its fantastic design, sharp edges, split window feature and brutal performance. It was the epitome of the American sports car at its finest. However, in Turin, Italy the talented designers at Pininfarina thought they could do it better. So, in cooperation with Chevrolet, they got the chance to prove themselves.

The result was the Corvette Rondine, a fully operational and usable concept car from 1963 that debuted at the Paris Motor Show. Since Chevrolet commissioned the car, it graced the General Motors stand with the 327/360 V8 engine, four-speed manual and disc brakes. Although there were pleas for production, this gorgeous car remained a unique example of one of the most beautiful American cars with an Italian design.

2. Fissore Magnum LaForza

The Fissore Magnum LaForza is an obscure Italian luxury SUV they sold in America from the late ‘80s until the early 2000s. Because they developed it using a military vehicle, it was an Italian competitor to the Range Rover. However, because of limited funds, they designed and built the car using an independent company that used components from other cars. Most noticeable were the rear lights and doors from the economy compact Fiat Uno.

However, the most powerful version they called the LaForza used a Ford 5.0-liter V8 with 200 HP for an interesting performance in its class. And because they equipped it with a capable AWD system, the LaForza was competent on off-road terrain. However, problems with production and the high price left this interesting Italian/American luxury SUV on the margins of the industry.

1. Ford Mustang Bertone

Since the Mustang was a hot car in the mid-60s, coachbuilders and design houses tried to improve the design. They were busy introducing their creations based on the Ford bestseller like the 1965 Bertone Mustang.

First presented at the Geneva Motor Show in 1965, the Bertone Mustang was a redesigned car on the Mustang GT platform. Bertone made an aerodynamically-enhanced body, custom interior, and special details. But since Ford wasn’t interested, they only sold this car to a string of owners. No one’s sure where they are today.

This list covered 20 of the most beautiful Italian sports cars with American V8s. Which one caught your eye? Some of these cars are obscure and rare, while others are still on the roads today. Hopefully, you chose one that is still up for sale.

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