Showing posts with label Lancia Classic Cars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lancia Classic Cars. Show all posts

Lancia Fulvia

Lancia Fulvia 1970s Italian classic sports car

The Lancia Fulvia is a full-on automotive legend. An 'homologation special', only 1,180 Fulvias were built - just enough to qualify the car to compete in international rallying. As such, it went on to win two world championships. In standard form, the Fulvia was impressive. But the 1.6 HF model took it to another level. Revered as a roadster, it sported many of the features of a competition car.

The HF was powered by a narrow-angle V4 engine. It produced 115bhp - though a few factory-tuned units upped that number to 132. Even the less potent motors provided a top speed of 115mph. Fuel was supplied by twin Weber 42 carburettors. Power peaked at 6,200rpm. Transmission was by way of a 5-speed gearbox. Technically, a 4-speed 'box was used - and then a 'piggy-back' set of cogs was added. With all that hooked up to the front wheels, the HF handled well. Braking was via Dunlop discs. However, Lancia decided a servo was surplus to requirements.

The Fulvia's bodywork was designed to cleave cleanly through air - be it in a baking-hot desert or freezing forest! A clear pointer to the car's rally-bred roots could be found in its large 7″ headlamps. As far as wheels went, neatly flared arches topped off a set of suitably wide tyres. The rubber was fitted to deep-rimmed Campagnolo alloys. A touch of negative camber at the front - and a slightly raised rear - were hallmarks of a car for which road-holding was sacrosant. The HF's interior d├ęcor - or lack of it - indicated that weight loss was at a premium. At the front, high-backed bucket seats prioritised rigidity over comfort. Behind them was a padded bench ... something to sit on, and not much more! Standard Fulvias - and the 'luxury' 1600HF - gave slightly more by way of mollycoddling. Nevertheless, it is the unadorned HF which is the most sought-after Fulvia of all. Seriously iconic, it is arguably the most illustrious Lancia of all!

Lancia Delta HF Integrale

Lancia Delta HF Integrale 1980s Italian sports car

It would be difficult to overstate the impact made by the Lancia Delta HF Integrale. It swept aside all comers - on the road and in competition. In the year and a half following its '87 launch, the Delta Integrale won 14 World Championship rallies. Miki Biasion made the most of its dominance. He garnered two world drivers' titles in the car.

The Integrale's 8-valve engine made 185bhp. In '89, it was replaced by a 16-valve head. Power increased to 200bhp. The new model totted up 13 top-echelon rally wins. Juha Kankunnen duly took the '91 drivers' title. Over time, the fruits of such success trickled down to the showrooms. The road-going Integrale's finely-tuned 4-wheel-drive set-up gave good handling - in all conditions. Combine that with a 2-litre turbocharged motor - and you had a perfect blend of speed and precision. As a hatchback, practicality was a given. But, there were luxuries, too. Like Recaro seats, electric front windows and a cutting edge instrument panel.

Wide wheels and fat tyres helped give the Integrale a look of purposeful muscularity. Giorgetto Giugiaro - at the Italdesign agency - did the styling honours. The bodywork was minimalist, not boxy! The original Delta - built for rally homologation reasons - was first glimpsed at '79's Frankfurt Motor Show. It was followed by a Delta dynasty of progessively more sophisticated models. Lancia's HF acronym stood for High Fidelity. It was applied to several of the marque's cars over the years. Never more fittingly, though, than to the Delta Integrale!

Lancia Aurelia B20

Lancia Aurelia B20 1950s Italian classic car

The Lancia Aurelia B20 was the first GT - or, Gran Turismo car. It passed through six production phases - from 1950 to '58. F1 stars Juan Manuel Fangio and Mike Hawthorn both drove B20s - when off-duty, of course! That would suggest they were on the speedy side - and they were. Styling-wise, too, B20s were ahead of the field. After all, they had been designed by Pininfarina. Credit, though, must also go to Vittorio Jano. He it was who conceived the Aurelia B10 saloon - in 1950. The B20 was based on that model.

The Aurelia was powered by a V6 motor. Again, this was the first time that that layout had been used in series production. Output was 112bhp. Co-incidentally, that was the same figure as the B20's top speed. The V6's alloy block was rubber-mounted - to reduce engine vibration. A single camshaft operated on light alloy push-rods. Hemispherical combustion chambers housed in-line valves. A double-choke Weber 40 carburettor squeezed through the juice. Transmission was via a 4-speed 'box - and column-shift. Later versions of the B20 were fitted with DeDion rear suspension. That improved the car's wet weather handling. Front suspension, too, was beefed up - to counteract brake judder and steering shimmy. On the fifth and sixth versions of the B20, handling and braking were helped by increased torque stats. That was achieved by de-tuning the motor - with a 'softer' cam profile.

To produce the B20 series, Lancia supplied a a rolling chassis to a succession of coachbuilders. Chief amongst them was Vignale. None of them, though, topped the simple sophistication of Pininfarina's original. Rarely has coupé bodywork looked as good. You could almost say Lancia broke the GT mould with the Aurelia B20 - at the first time of asking!