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Top 10: Forgotten Italians

There have been plenty of brilliantly successful Italian cars launched over the years, models that have either sold in huge numbers or have gone on to achieve iconic status – particularly amongst British enthusiasts. And then there’ve been others that have sunk without a trace. Well, almost…

So we thought we’d celebrate some of the Italian-badged underdogs that failed to make it big. Not all of them were officially sold in the UK, but even those that were have long since been forgotten by your average Brit. The sad part is, not all of them were terrible. Let us know your thoughts! 

Paul Guinness, Contributor

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Lancia Gamma Berlina

Lancia was once a seriously upmarket brand, with models like the Flaminia saloon of the ’60s being well into Jaguar territory. The Italian firm tried a similar trick in 1976 when it launched the intriguing-looking Gamma saloon (or Berlina in Italy) and its gorgeous cousin, the Gamma Coupe – each featuring an unusual 2.5-litre ‘flat-four’ engine. They were slightly more affordable than the cheapest XJ and lasted until 1984, yet sold only in tiny numbers. The Gamma Berlina was the last truly idiosyncratic Lancia saloon, which probably explains why just 15,272 were built in eight years.

Read our Lancia Gamma Berlina review

Comments

francdever    on 23 May 2016

Hi, i was living in italy in those years and i cannot remember a fiat 133 or anything that looks like the car in the photo. I think it was a Seat that was never sold in Italy, if it was sold in Italy it must have been sold in very small quantities. More likely it was built and sold in Spain as Seat.

Fiat named with higher numbers like 130-131-132 used to be big cars, the higher the number, the bigger the car. Of course the 500 and 600 are not from the same period.

And of course i could be wrong, it was a while ago.

Kind regards

Giuseppe

PG1234    on 23 May 2016

Hi Giuseppe

Yes, as the article says, the 133 was a SEAT built in Spain - but it was sold in Britain (for a very short time) as the Fiat 133.

The 133 was based around the platform, engine and running gear of the old SEAT 850 (the same as the Fiat 850 but Spanish-built), albeit with all-new bodywork.

The Fiat 133 wasn't a success in the UK and remained on sale for just a few months.

Hope this helps?

Best wishes

Paul

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