1961 Appia Zagato GTE Original SOLD
Engine: 1.1L V4
Transmission: 4-Speed Manual
Mileage Reads: 44,882 Miles
*Single Owner From New
*Original Italian Delivery Car
*Highly Original With Superb Panel Fitments
*One of 134 Final Series Car With 60-bhp Engine
*Original Black on Red Livery
Desperately needing to update the brand following a near 20 year run of the Aprilia (and smaller brother, Ardea) Lancia made the public aware of their newest offering. The Appia quickly became a success as a somewhat sporty -though mostly practical- redesign of the preceding sedan; or Berlina. The Appia was a near complete redesign and was destined to create an exceptional reputation for the Turin firm – provided the car was of a decent build quality… Indeed, it was excellent.
These unusual little cars ran in Lancia’s production from 1953 to 1962 and were produced in many iterations including sedans, pickup trucks and even an ambulance! The most successful car Lancia had produced to date (proceeded by the beloved Fulvia) included some interesting engineering – notably, the narrow angle V-4 engine. This unit features a common cylinder head between banks and is tall, though extremely compact. In the car offered here power was rated at 60-bhp and was said to propel the 1,900-lb car to near 100-mph. In fact, the Zagato cars were raced extensively at events such as the Hill Climb Consuma, 12 Hours of Sebring and the Mille Miglia – with drivers including Luciano Mantovani, Giorgio Lurani and Enrico Anselmi.
The GTE was bodied by Zagato but broke ground for Lancia as being the first of the Zagato built cars to be sold by Lancia as a supplier of high quality coach-built cars. The GTE was considered by many to be the most luxurious of the 3rd series cars and also well known as a highly reliable car; the magazine Quattroruote test drove their Appia for over 160,000km with reportedly no problems. There are believed to be fewer than 100 S-III GTE cars remaining today.
Purchased new off the showroom floor in Italy, the then 20 year old buyer remained the sole owner for the next half-century until its discovery in late 2016. The native Italian had the car imported to the U.S. when he moved to New York and was reportedly so happy with the car (not once breaking down!) that it sparked in him a fascination, ultimately leading to a large Lancia collection among few other cars. After years of enjoyment, the car was tucked away in a secluded underground garage where it was protected from the elements for the next 30 years.
As it sits now, the car presents as almost completely original, save an older repaint – originally black. The numbers matching engine and remainder of mechanicals are a tangible time machine for the discerning collector. The interior remains entirely original including hides and carpet – a rarity among cars of this vintage; and especially helpful for the restoration process! Requiring a cosmetic restoration and mechanical overhaul, the original interior does look to be savable should the owner want to compliment the provenance of this rare automobile.
This car has not been available for public sale in 55 years(!) and now sits awaiting your inspection. Note: the owner’s hand-written notes detailing service work through the ’60’s and ’70’s. Not currently running, Classic Investments is skilled in the service and restoration of the Lancia marque and we look forward to answering all of your questions. For the fastest answers, call Stephen at 303.668.4555.