Austria Post launched a special stamp featuring the unique sport car
According to info received by FindYourStampsValue.com Austrian Post has presented a new stamp that features a sports coupe: the IMP 700 GT. The specific model is the result of the conversion of a Puch vehicle by an Italian sports car manufacturer. The issue was unveiled and put on sale on the 29th of May.
Frank Reisner, a Canadian of Hungarian origins, and his wife were both great car enthusiasts. In 1959, they founded the Costruzione Automobili Intermeccanica company in Turin, originally producing tuning sets for cars. A short time later, they began to build their own vehicles, using engines made by other manufacturers.
On the basis of the Steyr Puch 500, finally, in cooperation with Johann Puch of the Graz Puch Works (which had entered into a cooperation with Fiat), a small two-seater coupe in the style of the Fiat 500 Abarth was designed, and given the name IMP, for "Intermeccanica Puch". A few models were converted into racing cars, and in 1961 the Carinthian Johann Ortner even won a race on the Nürburgring.
As a result of this, however, Carlo Abarth, the Fiat racing car tuner, succeeded in preventing the use of any Puch vehicle parts for the production, and thus the IMP project came to an end in the same year.
In the following years, the Italian company produced various large sports car series equipped with American engines – above all from Ford and General Motors – and largely delivered to the USA. The Intermeccanica Indra became the precursor of the Opel conversion Bitter CD. In 1975, the company moved to California, and shortly afterwards to Vancouver in Canada. Since the 1970s, the company has above all produced series replicas of successful models.
In total, only very few Puch IMP 700 GT coupes were built, of which only a handful have survived. Each vehicle is unique, with all the bodywork parts being made and assembled by hand. Puch supplied the chassis and the 500 or 700 cc engines. For the first models, the bodywork from used Puch 500s was simply cropped and a new one created.