There is something about this video, just seeing these amazing cars with their wide rear ends. The epic backfires, the sound of that high-strung supercharged 4 cylinder. Groupe B was such a mad and amazing era.
Entries in Lancia (20)
Somewhere off the highway between Verona and Mantova, there is a museum that is a must for any car lover visiting the Veneto region of Italy. The Nicolis museum celebrates the legacy of collector Luciano Nicolis, who passed away a few years ago leaving behind an amazing and diverse collection of cars, motorcycles, bicycles, and machinery, as well as ephemera and even period clothing from the 20th century.
The Museo Nicolis is multiple floors of beautifully presented Lancias, Alfas, Maseratis and more, contextualized amid design objects and costumes that would have been used by their wealthy owners. Perhaps the crown jewels of the collection are the ex-Eva Peron Maserati A6 1500 coupe Pininfarina, and the Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8, which was used as a display model to sell these sumptuous cars in the States.For Lancisti, this is probably one of the finer collections you could hope to see of pre-1970 Lancias. The most special Lancia would be the Astura that is still run in the classic Mille Miglia by the children of Mr. Nicolis.
There are also plenty of obscure Etceterini, and interestign one-offs and customs to dazzle the eye. Another incredible object on display is the Vanderbilt Cup, on loan from the Alfa Romeo museum. Produced by Cartier, It may be the finest trophy I have ever laid eyes on. Just two names are engraved on its base: those of Bernd Rosemeyer and local Mantovan hero Tazio Nuvolari.Have a look through the full gallery of the museum HERE.
Local car nut and friend Phillip Toledano was on Petrolicious last week with his electric blue Stratos, which I rode in and photographed a few months back. Some memorable quotes. In particular I like his description of the Stratos as "a weapons grade product." Perfectly said, sir!
I take a small amount of melancholy comfort to hear that Lancia will be discontinued, according to a teleconference given by Sergio Marchionne today. The indignities it was forced to suffer over the past 10 years or more were greater and greater with each passing year of mismanagement. When the final lineup of rebadged Chryslers was unveiled, it was a bridge too far. Lancia will now join the all time great nameplates in the pantheon of disappeared grands marques. It will be where it belongs, in the company of Duesenberg, Packard, Cord, Auburn, Delahaye, and yes even Pontiac. Let's hope maybe someday the name will be revived and stand once again for technological innovation and beautiful Italian design. Until then, let's try to forget its sad decline and remember the halcyon days of Lancia's remarkable racing history and their achingly beautiful road cars of the midcentury years.