Lancia Appia

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Lancia Appia
Lancia Appia.jpg
Lancia Appia 3rd series (1959-1963)
Manufacturer Lancia
Production 1953-1963
98,027 produced
Designer Pininfarina (Coupé)
Giovanni Michelotti at Vignale (Convertible and Coupe Lusso)[1]
Zagato (Sport, GT, GTS and GTE)
Body and chassis
Class Small family car
Body style 4-door Berlina
2-door Coupé (Pininfarina)
2-door Coupé (Zagato)
2-door Coupé Lusso (Vignale)
2-door Convertible (Vignale)
3-door estate Viotti
Layout FR layout
Related Lancia Aurelia
Engine 1.1 L Lancia V4 engine
Wheelbase 2,480 mm (97.6 in) S.I
2,510 mm (98.8 in) S.II, S.III
2,350 mm (92.5 in) Sport
Length 3,865 mm (152.2 in)
Width 1,420 mm (55.9 in)
Height 1,422 mm (56.0 in)
Curb weight 820 kg (1,808 lb)-920 kg (2,028 lb)
Predecessor Lancia Ardea
Successor Lancia Fulvia

The Lancia Appia (Tipo 808/809/812) was a car introduced in 1953 as a replacement for the Ardea and in production for 10 years. The Appia was the last in a long line of Lancia production cars dating back to the Lancia Lambda (introduced in 1922) to use the famous sliding pillar front suspension.[2] All three series produced had a V4 engine of 1089 cc.

In addition to the saloons, a number of special bodied Appias were produced, including a Coupe by Pininfarina, a convertible and Coupe Lusso by Vignale and an aluminium bodied GT by Zagato.

The Appia was renowned for its high quality and simple engineering refinement, which helped it gain a deserved reputation for reliability and longevity. When leaving the factory they would originally fit Pirelli Cinturato 155HR15 tyres (CA67).

Often overlooked by classic car enthusiasts (and the press) in favour of its more prestigious stable mates the Aurelia and Flaminia, those who own and run these cars know that they are equally deserving of recognition and preservation.

Three series of Appia were built:

  • 1st series, produced between 1953 and 1956. Only sedan (Berlina) body style built, similar style to the Aurelia.
  • 2nd series, produced between 1956 and 1959. Longer wheelbase, different boot and higher engine power.

A sportier 2-door version was also available.

  • 3rd series, produced between 1959 and 1963. New front end with new horizontal grille and lower bonnet line and more engine power.

Approximately 98,000 Appias were built as Berlinas, 3,900 as commercial vehicles and 5,161 supplied to coachbuilders.


The Appia has a V4 engine with a 10.2° cylinder angle and a single head for all 4 cylinders.

Model Production years Engine Displacement Power Fuel system
Berlina S.I 1953-56 V4 OHV 1089 cc 38 hp Single carburetor
Berlina S.II 1956-59 V4 OHV 1089 cc 43 hp Single carburetor
Berlina S.III 1959-63 V4 OHV 1089 cc 48 hp Single carburetor
Coupé, Cabrio 1956-63 V4 OHV 1089 cc 53 hp Single carburetor
GTS 1956-58 V4 OHV 1089 cc 58 hp Single carburetor
Sport 1960-63 V4 OHV 1089 cc 60 hp Single carburetor


The Berlina (sedan) version of the C10 was introduced in April 1953 at the Turin Motor Show. The body style was similar to the sister model Aurelia. At the Geneva Motor Show in March 1956 the second series was introduced with 3 centimetres (1.2 in) longer wheelbase and a modernized body. In March 1959 the third series (Tipo 808) was introduced at the Geneva Motor Show with new front end, inspired by the Flaminia. Between 1960 and 1962 a three-door estate version was built by Viotto, it was called as Giardinetta.

Commercial variants[edit]

Lancia Appia ambulance version.

Lancia also built light commercial bodies on the Appia chassis: the Furgoncino (Van), Camioncino (pick-up) and an ambulance version the Autolettiga.


Pininfarina built a coupé version between 1957 and 1963. 302 second series cars were made at Pininfarina. Some 785 third series cars were also coachbuilt by Carrozzeria Viotti due to lack of production capabilities at Pininfarina's factory. 1,087 cars were built overall.

Convertible and Coupé Lusso[edit]

Vignale built a cabriolet version between 1957 and 1963. Styled by Giovanni Michelotti, it was first built on a second series Appia platform with a 53 bhp engine. Later it was slightly re-styled with the fitment of a rear seat and produced on the third series platform fitted with the more powerful 60 bhp engine. From 1957 to 1962 1,584 convertibles were built in two series: the first series cars were two seaters while the later cars were 2+2 seaters.[1]

Between 1959 and 1961 the Coupé Lusso, derived from Lancia Gran Lusso prototype, was also available with same designer as the Vignale cabriolet.[1] 477 Appias were bodied in the Vignale factory on series 3, Tipo 812.02, Appia platform.


Lancia Appia GTE (Zagato)

Zagato built four coupé versions based on the Berlina between 1957 and 1962.

  • GT same engine as Pininfarina and Vignale models.
  • GTS more powerful engine.
  • GTE Gran Turismo Esportazione had modified body with headlamps mounted higher and farther back into the bodywork.

521 total of GT, GTS and GTE built.


Zagato built around 200 Sport SWB cars on the Appia chassis. A Lancia Appia Zagato was raced in the 1959 12 Hours of Sebring, among the drivers was newsman Walter Cronkite.[3]


Carrozzeria Viotti built a 3-door estate based on Tipo 808.21 Appia platform. Total of 300 were made.


An S1 Berlina saloon tested by the British The Motor magazine in 1954 had a top speed of 76.1 mph (122.5 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 32.5 seconds. A fuel consumption of 29.0 miles per imperial gallon (9.7 L/100 km; 24.1 mpg-US) was recorded. The car was not at the time available on the UK market but an Italian price of 1,328,600 Lire was reported (converted to £780).[4]

Model gallery[edit]

Lancia Appia Berlina 1st series (1953) 
Lancia Appia Berlina 2nd series (1958) 
Lancia Appia Berlina 3rd series 
Lancia Appia Pininfarina Coupé Series II 
Lancia Appia GT Zagato 


  1. ^ a b c "Registro Vignale". 
  2. ^ Setright, L. J. K. (1976). "Overdrive". In Ian Ward. Anatomy of the Motor Car. Orbis. p. 159. ISBN 0-85613-230-6. 
  3. ^ McCluggage, Denise (August 24, 2009). "That's the Way It Was". AutoWeek 59 (17): 15. 
  4. ^ "The Lancia Appia". The Motor. January 27, 1954. 

External links[edit]