The Lancia Appia is a car produced by Lancia from 1953 to 1963, with a 4-cylinder front engine of 1100 cc with overhead valves. The chassis is unibody, the suspensions are independent on the front wheels and live axle at the rear. Traction is rwd. Chassis were produced from 1956 to 1963 for the best Italian coachbuilders for the production of special versions (luxury coupes, convertibles, station wagons). Despite fashionable in those years, the first series of the Appia received no custom-built bodywork: the Lancia, engaged in competitions before and later in a deep restructuring, did not seem to show interest in this type of promotion. After the launch, in March 1956, of the second series, the company made platforms available for the most famous coachbuilders. Pininfarina and Vignale respectively built a coupe and a convertible, exhibited at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1957 and appeared on the official Lancia list starting from May '57 (LIT 1,775,000 the convertible). If the total number of "special" Appia built can be set at 5,161 units, the division by series and by models can be defined but without absolute certainties. As for the special Appia chassis derived from the third series, the chassis number 812.01 identifies all the Vignale Convertibles, the first tranche of the 2+2 Pininfarina Coupes, later marked 812.04, and most of the Zagato Berlinettes. The total of the "specials" of the third series is of 3,406 cars, out of 58,956 built in total, of which only about 6% were exported.Born from a sketch by Giovanni Michelotti and created by Vignale, the 2-seater convertible looks absolutely in line with the best Lancia tradition in terms of finishes and comfort. The advertising of the time thus enhances the features of the machine: bodied by Vignale as a convertible two doors, two separate, sliding and adjustable leather-covered seats, completely recessed side windows, large panoramic windshield, fully retractable canvas top, tachometer and water thermometer, removable hard top provided on request. Like the contemporary Pininfarina coupe, the convertible Appia also adopts the horizontal front grille, inspired by that of the Flaminia. The car immediately meets with consensus, especially for the clean line and it is honoured in the elegance competitions. The chassis, boxed and lowered, is the one with the most powerful engine and floor mounted gear-lever, prepared by Lancia for coachbuilders. Released for sale in May 1957, it remained on the list until March 1963. The Appia Convertible was a niche product, in the same category but not in competition with the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider, especially after the changes made in summer 1958: thanks to the creation of a special compartment behind the front seats, a bench was mounted that could accommodate two passengers in occasionally but quite comfortably. The Appia Convertible was the only one in its category to offer this possibility. There was also a variation in the waistline, now more linear, losing the slight elevation towards the tail. Another modified detail is the engine hood, now equipped with a large air intake. The hard top is also modified, with an enlarged rear window.
After the birth of the III sedan series in 1959, even the sporting derivatives of Appia underwent some updates, including a slight upgrade of the engine (from 53 to 54 hp). At the beginning of 1960, the double braking circuit was adopted and minor modifications were made to the lights to adapt them to the new Italian Codice della Strada. In the spring of 1960 other technical updates: a new head, a new manifold with separate supply lines, a new carburettor and distribution variations: the power reached 60 hp and the maximum speed, 150 km/h. The weekly magazine of the Automobile Club of Italy, in its May 15th, 1960 issue, reports these technical innovations and road test’s results of a Vignale convertible; a more lively drivability was noticed, which does not however go to the detriment of fuel economy. Habitability and comfort were also appreciated.The Lancia Appia Convertible (Vignale), chassis no. 812.01.4184, has a Rosso Arcoveggio (red) painted body with black interiors, it has been completely restored in mechanics, bodywork and interiors with a meticulous attention to the quality of the work carried out and to the accuracy of the details and materials. Everything is correct, from the badges, to the rare tail lights, the friezes, the handles, even the mats. The soft top is in perfect condition. There is an optional Blaupunkt car radio of the time, already FM equipped. The car, of USA origin, is regularly registered with new Italian number plates. Has a Crs ASI. An increasingly rare model to find in these exceptional conditions.
State of the Art: Completely restored. Perfect.
- Wim Oude Weernink, Appia, Lancia’s Family Jewel Explained, Stevin Simon, UK.
- Alfredo Zanellato Vignale. A. Sannia, Vignale. Ferrari and all the others, Il Cammello, Torino 2015.
Certificates and Statements: Crs ASI
Documents: New Italian registration and plates.
- Giro di Sicilia. Eligible.
- Targa Florio. Eligible.
- Goodwood Revival. Eligible
- Coppa d’Oro delle Dolomiti. Eligible.
- Coppa delle Alpi by 1000 Miglia. Eligible.
- Winther Marathon. Eligible.
- Nürburgring Classic. Eligible.
- Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Eligible.
- Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. Eligible.
- Chantilly Arts & Elegance Richard Mille. Eligible.
- Concorso d’eleganza Villa D’Este. Eligible.