List of model for Lancia
People who find the strength to give away their well – payed job in pursuit of their true passion are rare. Fortunately, some of those who do become known through their accomplishments. Such is the case with Vicenzo Lancia who gave up his accounting career so that he could built cars and deliver the world some of the most advanced vehicles at the time.
Though some may say that 1906 was screaming with boredom in terms of entertaining and job opportunities compared to 2008, the beginning of the 20th century was arguably one of the most productive eras in history. Vicenzo Lancia was only 25 in 1906 when he founded his own car company with colleague Claudio Fogolin.
With a propensity for everything mechanical and a nearly unsurpassed skill in engine diagnosis and repair as well as experience as a test driver for Fiat, Vicenzo Lancia was set to develop a vehicle that would change the Italian's and maybe the world's perception on cars. In 1907, he revealed the Alpha, a car offensively innovative for its time. Apart from having been equipped with a sturdy, reliable and responsive engine, the Alpha was surprisingly light: Vicenzo had used a tubular structure for the car's front axle instead of solid steel like the car makers.
Six years later, Lancia would release the Theta, the first European automobile to have been fitted with a built-in electrical system. Before the 20's, Lancia had also patented two types of engines, a 45 º V8 and a massive and narrow 22º V 12. Such developments would lead to the launch of the spectacular Lambda in 1922, a model that was a sum of engineering and design breakthroughs. The Lambda had independent front suspension, floor-incorporated transmission tunnel and the world's first narrow V4 engine, to name just a few of the car's innovations.
By 1931, ride comfort had been upgraded to the extent of introducing flexible engine mountings on the Astura. Similar to the “floating engine” patented by Chrysler, the system used small rubber shock-absorbers to dampen noise and cut vibrations. The legacy of technological improvements and innovative patens would be carried on by the 1933 Augusta, a model equipped with hydraulic brakes, advanced front and rear brakes and a “wardrobe” door opening system. The latter did not make use of a central pillar and thus made car interior access and exiting very easy.
After the 1937 release of the Aprilia, Lancia went forth to take on racing. Commensurate with the company's cutting-edge engineering, results obtained in rallies throughout Italy and the rest of Europe introduced Lancia as the next great racing force. Benefitting from three fuel tanks, two external and a rear mounted one, behind the pilot, as well as full 4 wheel drive, Lancia's racing cars seemed as result of designs from the future.
Lancia would also borrow Ferrari its whole team of technicians as well as designs, aiding the Scuderia in winning the World F1 championship during the 50's. The 70's witnessed the birth of a racing legend, the Stratos. Its ultra-light body made of aluminum and plastic reinforced with fiber glass inspired the appearance of later models such as the Beta, the Rally 037 and the Delta S4, the latter having made use of composite construction materials and advanced twin turbocharging and four-wheel drive.
As many firsts Lancia have brought, its reputation started to decline during the 90's due to low reliability claims. Ever since, the company has strived to make a comeback through the release of models such as the 95' release and the more recent Thesis, an elegant sedan claimed to be the epitome of driving comfort. Though the Thesis launch in 2002, the brand has partially returned to its core values, that of jaw-dropping elegant designs and under-bonnet near-perfection.