Introduced in 1936, and in production until 1949, the Lancia Aprilia was a revolutionary car in more than one way. It had a stiff, monocoque construction that combined with its sliding struts and torsion bar suspension, gave it handling that was superior to just about anything on the road at the time, by a wide margin, and that’s including sports cars! It was also very roomy. Designed in conjunction with Battista Farina in a wind tunnel (one of the first cars to be), it achieved a drag coefficient of 0.47Cd which allowed it to cruise comfortably at 70 miles per hour, close to its top speed. Interestingly, most Lancia Aprilia cars were produced with the right hand drive, even for markets seen as left-hand drive, but the left hand drive was at least offered as an option.
The Aprilia was by a V4 engine, a curious configuration in a car, but on which worked very well in this case. Maximum displacement was 1,486cc, and the engine produced 47 horsepower. This doesn’t sound like a lot, but get this: thanks to its aerodynamic profile, it could reach a top speed of 80 miles per hour – something exceptional at the time – and comfortably cruise at 70 mph! Of course, it took a while to get there (nothing’s perfect): 0-60 acceleration was a slow 25 seconds.
When it was introduced, the 1936 Lancia Aprilia was years ahead of its time, and was still a current, modern car when it was finally retired in 1949; over 20,000 of them have been made.