1961 Lancia Appia 3rd Series
Rare Italian classic; engine rebuilt in 1978 and only lightly used since; recently serviced; original RHD; would benefit from attention to the paintwork
The Lancia Appia was introduced in 1953 as a replacement for the ageing Ardea which dated from before the war. The Appia had a larger (1,100cc) version of Lancia’s characteristic V4 engine but in a clean-sheet design by Vittorio Jano which borrowed elements from the sensational Aurelia. The new engine was coupled to a four-speed gearbox with rear-wheel drive. The independent sliding pillar front suspension and pillarless doors were a long-standing Lancia tradition which also carried over to the Appia.
In common with all Lancias of the era, the Appia was beautifully engineered with excellent build quality ('the thinking man's Alfa Romeo') but sales were slow initially thanks to its high price compared with a Fiat or Alfa's new Giulietta – a peach of a car which provided fierce competition. Performance was good for the time and the 40bhp engine could propel the car along at nearly 80mph, with 30mpg economy, at a time when the Ford equivalent struggled to exceed 60mph. Although the Lancia was not sold in this country, it cost the equivalent of £780 while the Ford cost only £400.
By the time the 3rd Series came out in 1959, sales had improved thanks to a continuous process of development and when production ended in 1963 around 107,000 Appias had been sold in total, 55,000 of them 3rd Series models and around 5,000 of them with special coachbuilt bodies by Pinin Farina, Vignale and Zagato.
This 3rd Series Appia Berlina dates from 1961 and has the wide, horizontal grille inspired by the flagship Flaminia. By this time engine power had increased to 48bhp and the front brakes were improved with dual circuit hydraulics for added safety. The defining feature of the Berlina was the wonderful pillarless construction which made entry and exit a doddle – opening the front and rear doors at the same time always impresses onlookers. You will also note that it is right-hand drive, always an option on Lancias of this era, even in Italy. It looks particularly elegant in a period shade of pale green with a matching green and cream interior.
The history of the car picks up in February 1969 when it was registered to a Mr R Chapman of St Peter Port, Guernsey. Invoices on file show that in 1978 he had the car restored by Lancia specialists HF Cars of High Wycombe which included a full repaint in the original colour, an engine rebuild with new pistons etc, rebuilt cylinder head, new clutch, water pump and radiator plus much else besides.
Imported to mainland UK in December 1981, there is then a gap in the history until 2003 by which time the car was owned by a Mr Andrew Clarke of Tetbury. Notes and invoices on file show that he extensively recommissioned the car in 2003/04 including a full brake overhaul, carburettor rebuild, new tyres, exhaust and battery, full service and tune-up, underside cleaned and sprayed with oil. Various old MOTs and tax discs then show that it was in light regular use from 2005 to 2015, clocking up some 2,000 miles during this period. Front seat belts were also specially made and fitted in Nov 2014 while a new rubber boot seal and under-bonnet sound-proofing felt have also been installed. An original handbook is present (in English), along with much useful technical information about the model.
Little used in the last five years, we are told that it was last serviced about a year ago but would doubtless benefit from a precautionary check-over before being pressed back into regular use once more, the last MOT having expired in September 2016. Impressively straight and solid all round, it could be transformed into a very nice example with attention to the paintwork which is now very faded all over.
For more information on this Lot please call James Dennison on 07970 309907 or email [email protected]
Reg No: 475CXU
Chassis Number: 84852
Engine Number: 36254
Engine Size: 1090
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