Sports & Racing Cars

Imola, Saturday 28 August 2021


1957 Lancia Appia Coupé (Motto)

chassis no. 812.01-1031, engine no. 814.00*1014

  • The Lancia Appia coupé Motto, as a former participant in the speed edition, is eligible for the Mille Miglia.
  • Coachwork by Motto.
  • It is believed to be the only survivor of 10 produced (estimated).
  • It is believed to be the last chassis built by Motto. 
  • In need of a bodywork restoration.

Sold € 144.999,00

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The chassis no. 812.01-1031 is probably a unique example: it seems that it is, in fact, the only survivor of the 10 Lancia Appia bodied by Motto and made of aluminum. It is a model built in 1957, particularly suitable and easily eligible for endurance races for vintage vehicles such as the Mille Miglia, where the model raced in 1957. The car was purchased already restored in 1993; over the years the mechanics and chassis have been revised. Between 1993 and 2003 the car was used for regularity races. Since 2003 the car has been kept but set-aside; It comes with bodywork to be reviewed, while the interior is in good condition. The car has undergone a mechanical overhaul.

When the Appia left the scene, Ferruccio Bernabò, a well-known journalist and ardent Lancia-lover, wrote: "... you had the look of a young aristocrat, as elegant as sober ... in mechanics, as well as in the line, you had dared to go against the flow - like so many Lancias that preceded you - and for this it was a little difficult for you to impose yourself immediately. And besides it was part of your shy nature ... You had been dressed ... and then, as always without fuss, you won in the competitions of elegance ... "
But the clothes that the "little" Appia wore in its career were different; one, particularly apt, enhanced its sporting qualities, being modeled in light aluminum alloy. It was the work of Rocco Motto, who was the coachbuilder of many famous cars, but has almost always worked undercover. Specializing in constructions that involved the use of aluminum, before and after the war he set up countless racing cars, which raced successfully in Europe and America. In the 1950s he built sports cars and GT cars; he coached, at the request of Lancia, some lightened Aurelia for racing and a small series of racing models of Appia. In the 1960s he then ended up diversifying production and focusing on leisure vehicles.
The chassis no. 812.01-1031 is one of, it is assumed, 10 Lancia Appia bodyworked by Motto and made of aluminum, with a very contained cockpit, compared to the proportions of the car and long front and rear hoods. The lines are taut and tapered, very proportionate, interrupted only by the two large side vents. The glazing is large for good visibility. The nose, from the photos observed in comparison with other two specimens, seems to vary slightly from specimen to specimen; in this is a mouth tapered upwards with a chrome mustache and the Lancia shield, which is joined by two small side grilles inside the headlights. Inside, a sober but not bare cockpit; the dashboard is clearly legible and complete with rev-counter.
The general attention to weight leans towards the racing vocation of the vehicle: aluminum construction, simple passenger compartment, lack of bumpers;rear and quarter windows are in perspex. The presence of details suitable for long duration races such as an oversized large capacity tank. The generous air intakes, the sports seats. However, the model has an important sporting history. There is photographic evidence of two other specimens that took part in sporting events of the time. One raced in the 1st Autumn Cup at the Monza racetrack with Franco Patria. A second specimen raced in the 1957 season with Enrico Coda at the wheel; among the races held: the Coppa Intereuropa, the Trieste-Opicina (where a photo portrays it with the number 94 and a completely street set-up) and the most significant event, the Mille Miglia (for the World Sportscar Championship and which included the Gran Premio Nuvolari), competing with the number 019 and finishing 124th overall. The history of the car chassis no. 812.01-1031 has always been held in northern Italy. A probable and possible sporting use is still being studied. The car, from the supplementary sheet, was registered in Sondrio, in Como and later in Milan, a registration that still has today. The car was purchased already restored by the present owner in 1993; over the years the mechanics and chassis (head and brakes) have been revised. Between 1993 and 2003 the car was used for regularity races. In 2003 the owner stopped using the car, leaving it guarded, but somewhat forgotten, in a cottage; despite the years spent indoors but without a protective cover the car shows paint defects on parts of the body, while the interior is in good condition; from a first inspection there are no holes or rust. The car has undergone a mechanical overhaul, without testing. It is assumed that the present is the only surviving example of the small series.



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