Lancia Appia (1953 – 1963) Review

Lancia Appia (1953 – 1963) At A Glance


+Great performance and efficiency for its modest engine capacity, roomy and stylish

-Rare, not terribly easy to find, repair or work on

The Appia was Lancia’s entry-level model during the 1950s and into the 1960s, and although it was smaller and cheaper than the Aurelia, the Appia (named after a Roman road) shared a major family resemblance. It may have looked similar, but it was far more basic both mechanically and in terms of interior trim. The Appia was blessed with a brand new, small capacity V4 engine (with the V angle set at a very narrow 10 degrees) and although it wasn’t very powerful, performance was good. Favourable power to weight ratio helped – and clever detailing such as aluminium doors, boot, bonnet and rear wings showed that its designers were on the ball.

In 1956, a Series two model appeared, with a restyled rear end – and that resulted in a larger luggage compartment, as well as giving the car more contemporary look. Power output was given a useful uplift, which gave the car more performance. In 1959, power was raised again to 53bhp for the Series 3 facelift. As well as van, ambulance and pick-up versions, coachbuilt models appeared, styled by Carrozzeria such as Vignale, Farina, Lombardi, Viotti and Scioneri. Most notable of these special Appias was the rare Zagato GT coupé. Lancia also built its own coupe and cabriolet, but these are exceptionally hard to find today, with a total of 5161 examples built.

Ask Honest John

I'm considering a Lancia Appia. Are parts available for these classics?

"I'm looking at classic Italian autos. Currently living in Italy so I have some access. I like the Lancia Appia models from the late '50s to early '60s. I like the size, styling and room but am not very familiar with the model. The engine and transmission would be a consideration but am open to reworking. What are the inherent weaknesses? Are parts available?"
These are rare beasts that aren't that easy to work on. If you're serious, make contact with a Lancia club (the UK one is here: and speak to a few owners to get their views.
Answered by Keith Moody
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