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Lancia is an Italian automobile company founded by Vincenzo Lancia in 1906. It’s headquartered in Turin and owned by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Apart from cars, it made vans, trolley buses, military and special equipment, and buses.

What Everything Began With

The history of the world-known automotive company started in 1906 when an outstanding racing driver Vincenzo Lancia together with his friend Claudio Fogolin established Fabbrica Automobili Lancia that has been headquartered in Turin up to the present.

Soon after, they produced the Lancia 18-24 HP. The engineers focused on its appearance and aerodynamics as well as a level of technical performance. With such an attitude, they managed to make a lightweight, compact, comfortable, and fast auto, which became top selling. It could accelerate to 80 km/h that was unbelievable for mass-produced cars of the beginning of the 20th century.

The model even overcame Fiat-produced autos that prevailed in the automotive market then. Although Lancias were a bit more expensive, they were more comfortable, reliable, and faster than Fiats. Obviously, these were the features people appreciated the most.

Lancia Gains Momentum

The Lancia Alfa was produced next. It was equipped with a high-speed 4-cylinder 2.5-litre 28 hp engine. It’s worthy of note that Lancia’s engineers tried to construct a high-quality product in the first place.

The Lancia Theta was the first auto in the world with an electric start. This model became famous in Italy and abroad as a very reliable vehicle, which could serve its owner many years. Moreover, the Theta was the first car in the world with electric lighting. It gained even more popularity and confidence among perspective buyers.

Another stage in the company’s development was the Lancia Lambda that hit the headlines across the world. That was the first car equipped with an independent front suspension on vertical MacPherson struts. This technology provided smooth driving.

In 1950, at the Turin Motor Show, the Lancia Aurelia was represented. It was powered with a 6-cylinder 1.7-litre 56 hp motor that was equalled to a miracle because theoretically such an engine couldn’t be installed in any automobile. Since then, the name ‘Lancia’ became even more prestigious and each self-respecting automobilist craved to own this car.

There’s no doubt that the Lancia Flaminia wasn’t less worth. Its distinguishing feature was rear windscreen wipers, the innovation that hadn’t been used in the automobile industry before. In the course of 13 years, the Flaminia was the best-selling car in Italy.

Consequences of Restructuring

A new stage in Lancia’s development was amalgamation of Fabbrica Automobili Lancia with the most powerful automotive corporation of the time Fiat in 1969. The alliance was rather successful for both parts.

In 1979, the Lancia Delta was turned out that marked the beginning of a new era for the Italian company. This auto sped up to 100 km/h in 7.5 sec that was improbable back then.

In the 80s, such models as the Ypsilon, the Delta, the Dedra, the Kappa, and the Zeta rolled off the production line.

Today, Fabbrica Automobili Lancia produces autos together with the Fiat (the Ypsilon and the Voyager) and holds a leading position as a manufacturer of luxurious sports cars.


Lancias started to participate in motor races when Vincenzo’s son Gianni began to run the company. Vittorio Jano constructed the first Lancia racing car the D50 that took part in the 1954 Spanish Grand Prix. A legendary racing driver Alberto Ascani behind its wheel demonstrated an excellent result. However, after he crashed representing Scuderia Ferrari team, Lancia never participated in Grand Prix again (moreover, the company went through financially tough times then).

Lancia was most successful in rallies. It won the World Rally Championship as many times – eleven – as no other brand in history mainly with the Delta and the Stratos cars. Such talented racing drivers as Didier Auriol, Bernard Darniche, Henry Toivonen, Markku Alén, Walter Röhrl, Attilio Bettega, and Björn Waldergård gained victory for Lancia. Unfortunately, Bettega and Toivonen couldn’t enjoy the success – they crashed during the racing.

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