A NEW APPROACH IN AN AGE OLD BUSINESS+44 (0) 1926 691 141
By 1952, Lancia’s Ardea was starting to look a touch dated for a recovering post-war Europe keen to move on and when its replacement - the Appia - was premiered at the Turin Motor Show in 1953 it was welcomed as the future. However, Lancia’s tradition of innovation in automotive technology wisely continued with the Appia's ultra-compact engine: a narrow-angle (10 degrees), 1,089cc V4 whose inclined overhead-valves were set in hemispherical combustion chambers and operated by twin, block-mounted camshafts. The unitary chassis construction adopted on the pre-war Aprilia also continued, as did Lancia's traditional sliding-pillar independent front suspension. Body styling was similar to that of the bigger Aurelia, and Series I cars featured aluminium doors, wings, and bumpers. In a tradition inaugurated by the pre-war Augusta, the front doors were hinged forwards, the rears aft, and there was no central pillar.
A passion for Motorsport and Italy are synonymous and naturally, the new Appia was pressed into service in the hands of privateers in the late 1950's and early 1960's. In 59 international races, the Appia scored four overall victories, 19 class wins, four poles and 12 podiums, not bad for a 1.1-litre car.
The first owner of this Series 1 Appia was Piero Taruffi, the Italian racing diver whose Grand Prix career included works drives for Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, Maserati, and Vanwall. A former motorcycle champion and holder of various speed records on both two and four wheels, Taruffi was also an accomplished sports car driver winning the Mille Miglia in 1957.
First registered as RA 20851 in Ravenna, the Appia appears to have changed hands by 1956 when it was entered in that year's Rally Lido di Venezia driven by Sergio Lipizer and also competed in the Rally Sestriere in 1957. It is currently fitted with a FIAT twin-cam engine, though when this conversion was done is not known.
By 1978, the Appia was in the ownership of the Scianna family of Padua, there being bills on file addressed to Dr Rosario Scianna (1978) and Dr Francesco Scianna (1994) together with an ACI registration document (issued December 2011) in the name of Emma Scianna. Whilst in the Sciannas' possession the Appia has competed in the Targa Florio (1986), Vernasca Silver Flag (2006 and 2015), Grand Tour of Sicily 'Targa Florio' (2009), and Mille Miglia (2010). Copies of the car's original Italian libretto, various press cuttings, and the aforementioned bills may be found in the car's fascinating history file.
If Italian motorsport from the fifties interests you and the chance to sit where Italy's most charismatic Grand Prix driver once sat appeals, then this little Lancia rally car may well be the answer.