*This is a translation done by a machine.
The Appia was Lancia’s defining small sedan during the 1950's. The first series debuted at the Turin Show in 1953. Vittorio Jano was in charge of engineering. It was named after the famous Roman Highway "Via Appia" built in 312 BC and known as the "Queen of Roads".
This small size sedan sporting a narrow 10.14 degree V4 engine offered a variety of different models by Carrozzeria in addition to the standard model Berlina (sedan). Pininfarina’s coupe and Vignale’s convertible are famous, but the most stylish and distinctive model is this Passo Lungo (long wheelbase) Appia GTE Zagato based on the Appia Series 2.
The Appia GTE was first shown at the Turin Show in November 1958 and delivery began early the next year. At this time, Zagato was also pushing their limits in another way. Although Zagato had produced special model Lancia’s in the past, this Appia GTE was the first to be published in the Lancia catalog and the first Zagato to be sold through Lancia dealerships.
The plexiglass headlights are characteristic of the early models. They were changed to open headlights in 1959 to conform to new regulations. By 1960, the V4 engine had increased power from 53HP to 60HP.
Only 200 units of the Appia GTE Zagato were ever produced. Out of those, it is said that only 167 units came with the 53 HP engine.
|Jun Nishikawa’s Highlights!|
This is an early year Appia GTE Zagato with headlight covers. There are supposedly two vehicles like this in Japan including vehicle (2759). This vehicle underwent restoration around 2012-13 in Japan and was painted red. (The white stripe is a vinyl sheet applied by the current owner).
The vehicle has been maintained in very good condition and the well serviced mechanical components are capable of enduring long distance rally events. The steering wheel and Zagato seats are valuable original items. Although small scratches and cracks are visible, it is a testament to the various events completed in the past. FIA paperwork is currently being processed for ownership change.
I became captivated several times while shooting the unique styling of this coupe. From the details to the form, I never got tired of looking at the design highlights such as the funny front fascia, the long slender side view, the characteristic pillars and fender arches, as well as the slightly Betty-styled tail lamps. The inclusion of the white stripe seems to have accentuated Zagat’s bold, yet sensitive design.
A vehicle with design that makes one want to keep it in a garage is actually the one we hope would get driven for enjoyment.
Originally written by Jun Nishikawa
Photo by Yukio Yoshimi
Published on February 2019
|Year of Purchase||Sep 1996|