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Lancia

Lancia

Italy Italy (1906 - present)
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History

Lancia Stratos, 1974

Lancia Stratos, 1974

© photo courtesy of: Lancia

The Italian company started producing its first ever model in 1908, known as the “12 HP”, powered by 58 hp and exposed at the VIII Turin Auto Show. The “Tipo 51”, which was the 12 HP’s project name, would be re-baptized in 1919 as the Lancia Alfa.

Vincenzo Lancia’s brother, Giovanni – who as a classical language student –, was the one that suggested that Lancia cars should use the letters from the Greek alphabet to identify them. So far, the company still uses that method.

Lancia took a “break” from car manufacturing during the two World Wars, in order to build military equipments. But after 1945, the company saw its horizons expand, kept on being quite profitable and was even being successful on motorsport, as Juan Manuel Fangio won his forth world title while driving a Lancia.
The automaker was also quite dominant in the world of Rally, in particular with its potent models StratosStratos HF Group 4Lancia Stratos HF Group 4Italy, 1974 > present4 photos
(powered by a FerrariFerrariFerrariItaly, 1947 > present227 models
5085 photos
37 videos
V6 engine) and Delta HF Integrale.

At some point, the company was no longer able to keep on sustaining its own high and too expensive production standards and, as a result, the FiatFiatFiatItaly, 1899 > present158 models
4864 photos
35 videos
Group bought Lancia in 1969. Lancia and the Swedish automaker Saab AutomobileSaabSaabSweden, 1947 > present28 models
718 photos
4 videos
worked together in the 1980’s on a new model and the partnership resulted on the Lancia Delta, which was sold as the Saab 600 in Sweden.

Nowadays, as part of the Fiat Group, Lancia’s line-up is based on Fiat chassis but is mostly intended to offer a more sophisticated alternative to Fiat’s cheap cars.

However, Lancia has undergone some serious injuries due to Fiat’s financial instability between 2000 and 2004 and is now the only subsidiary of the Group that hasn’t totally recovered yet.

Lancia’s traditional ambition of becoming the Italian rival to Mercedes-BenzMercedes-BenzMercedes-BenzGermany, 1924 > present196 models
9803 photos
33 videos
is still a goal that the company intends to achieve.

 



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Logo

The first and original logo that Lancia used to badge its automobiles was drawn in 1911 by the Italian count Carlo Biscaretti di Ruffia, who was known for being an artist and also a journalist, an industrial designer and an automobile enthusiast.

The logo that remained as the company’s symbol for almost a century consisted on a blue lance on top of a white and blue shield, with white letters spelling “Lancia” over the blue lance.

In 2007, Lancia’s identifying logo was revised and reformulated. An advertising agency that is focused on brand consultancy and strategic design, Robilant Associati, and Lancia Styling Centre worked together to create the new symbol.

The company declares the new logo as a “symbol of change in continuity”, which means that Lancia is very proud of its historical tradition and bases its current work on its past in order to look forwards and beat the future challenges with bravery.

Following this point of view, Lancia retains its traditional blue colour and the white shield but innovates on modernizing the symbol, particularly by giving it a 3D volumetric shape. Therefore, this is how the company validates its philosophy of “Tradition and Innovation”.



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Motorsport

Lancia Delta

Lancia Delta

© photo courtesy of: Lancia

Lancia began being more participative in motorsports when founder Vincenzo Lancia’s son, Gianni Lancia, took over the company’s control. He then decided that the Lancia factory should build a Grand Prix vehicle and designer Vittorio Jano was chosen to conceive what would be the Lancia D50D50Lancia D50Italy, 1954 > 19541 photo
. Driver Alberto Ascari drove the D50 to the pole position at the 1954 Spanish Grand Prix, besides completing the fastest lap there.

However, Ascari tragically died the following year at Monza while driving a Ferrari. The accident and the company’s economic difficulties forced Lancia to give up on the Grand Prix racing. Lancia summed up two Formula 1 champion titles and ten podiums overall.

The Italian car builder was also an active contestant in sports car racing, even if for a short period of time, from the late 1970’s to the mid-1890’s.

Lancia initially entered the Group 4 and briefly the rare Group 5. Then, with the Lancia LC1 Spyder, the brand eventually moved up into the Group 6 in 1982. One year later the Lancia LC2 began competing in the Group C and managed to score 13 pole positions there, besides having won three European and World Endurance Championship titles.

Nevertheless, Lancia ultimately withdrew from sports car racing in 1986. The Italian company realised they couldn’t compete with PorschePorschePorscheGermany, 1931 > present43 models
4558 photos
29 videos
’s awfully potent models 956956Porsche 956Germany, 1982 > 198522 photos
1 video
and 962962CPorsche 962CGermany, 1985 > present1 photo
that were controlling the whole race. Lancia chose otherwise to give more attention to their participation on rallying.

The rallies are the motorsport competitions where Lancia cars are most notably successful. The Italian brand is actually the best ranked in the World Rally Championship’s statistics, having won 11 constructors’ titles with Lancia cars (1972, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1983 and every year from 1987 to 1992). In addition to that, the most successful model ever to have competed in rallying is in fact a Lancia model, the Delta.



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