This Lancia is an oddity among oddities. We generally think of etceterinis as tiny, small displacement Fiat engine specials, but this one, built around 1947 by Luigi Pagani, is powered by the Lancia Aprilia. Pagani, a Milano-based Lancia dealer, constructed several Lancia and Fiat based sports racers in the post war era.
The coachwork, by Riva di Merate, was simple yet well designed and apparently well constructed as it has survived the ravages of time and many owners. Those square headlights openings were unusual for the era, and in general, the lines are very advanced for the immediate post-war years.
The Aprilia V4 engine was the forerunner to the Appia, and was very difficult to modify due to the one piece heads. Pagani, along with other tuners such as Dagrada , found unique ways to improve the performance. According to Andrea Curami, the co-author of La Sport e i suoi artigiani , "Pagani patented and used a special twin breaker points distributor giving two sparks in rapid succession to the same plug." According to Lancia specialist Geoff Goldberg , “Pagani, I believe, offered souped up heads for Aprilias - a kind of aftermarket kit. There was an Aprilia racing barchetta for sale for the longest time, I think it was read, two seater, with squarish headlights (a bit unusual). I have some recollection that it was restored by KCA, Giancarlo Kappa in the early 1990's”
The car came to our attention via Mark Steigerwald of the International Motor Racing Research in Watkins Glen, who says that the current owner would like to determine if the car was ever raced in the Mille Miglia or other contemporary races. The answer came from Curami, who found a photo of the car as entered in the Como-Lieto-Colle in 1948, but also stated that the Lancia Pagani never entered the Mille Miglia. Small
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