The Lancia Aprilia was the final car developed by Vincenzo Lancia and entered production in the month of his death. It was a car which would set new standards in production car design with a list of innovative features that defied belief on a pre-war saloon. These features include a highly efficient aerodynamic monocoque body with ‘pillarless doors’ for improved access; axles positioned on the car’s extremities for maximum occupancy; sliding pillar front suspension and trailing link rear suspension together with inboard hydraulic brakes; and a small but spritely V4 engine of 1,352cc (later increased to 1,485cc) which propelled the car upto 80mph via a four speed synchromesh gearbox. Anyone with an eye for engineering will undoubtedly appreciate an Aprilia. On the road, their handling and braking efficiency set new standards and they still impress today! When new and the hands of privateers, Aprilias gained class wins on the Mille Miglia, the Monte Carlo Rally, the Spa 24-hours, to name but a few. Racing drivers such as Woolf Barnato and Mike Hawthorn were notable owners of these cars, which is a testament to the model.
This example was produced in 1949, and being a 2nd series car, it benefits from the increased engine capacity of 1496cc. When new, the car was sold to a famous Italian playboy of that time, Mr. Rino Baldelli. He was a wealthy man from Cortona (Tuscany). In 1951 it was in the hands of Mr. Orlando Palanga, a Ferrari dealer and race car driver from Genova. In 1950 Palanga also raced in the Mille Miglia with an Aprilia and arrived 52nd overall, however that was with a different car. The car has since remained in Italy with a succession of owners. Today the car remains highly original, in good running order and presents well. As the car is still registered on its original Italian registration, the current owner will pay the necessary duty due if the car is to be registered in the UK.
The Aprilia is a wonderful balance of engineering excellence, pedigree and practicality which will outperform contemporary rivals.