1948 Lancia Aprilia Spider 2 posti (439)

Pininfarina Speciale

Gino Bartali ordered a very special Lancia
to the master Giovanni Battista "Pinin" Farina back on 1948

Here is the one and only Lancia Aprilia Spider 2 posti Tipo 439 Speciale from 1948. The famous Italian bicycle champion Gino Bartali had a dream, he imagine to order a special car if he would win for a second time the most famous bicycle race in the world (Tour De France), the sponsorship of this race had the most valued money amound and that was a great opportunity for him to win again after 10 years ago (first was at 1938), after the race with the trophy & nomey return to Italy and order to Pinin Farina a special Lancia Spider, the complete name of the car is Lancia Aprilia Spider 2 posti Pinin Farina Speciale and based on the 1947 Lancia Aprilia Second series (439) chassis & Tipo 99 1,486 cc V4 engine.

Technical specs of Lancia Aprilia second series chassis (model 439).
Production period: from August 1939 to the end of 1949 (probably at the end of October).

Technical features Lancia Aprilia chassis (model 439).
Model type 439, chassis for body shops.
Progressive numbering from 4351 to 6002.
Numbering of the frame from 439-10001 to 439-12252.
Units produced 2252.
Type 99 engine; front 4-cylinder V-shaped 1486.50 cm³, power 48-49 hp to 4,000 - 4,300 rpm, overhead valves.
Boxed chassis, front and rear suspension with independent wheels.
Transmission with rear wheel drive, 4-speed gearbox + reverse gear.
Dimensions and weight, 285 cm, weight about 670 kg (with spare wheel).
Max speed km / h 110-125 approximately, depending on the ratio to the bridge adopted, the body and the weight.

The beautiful body designed from Battista "Pinin" Farina and looks very similar with the British Jaguar 120 XK design. 

The Battista start

When automobile designer and builder Battista "Pinin" Farina broke away from his brother's coach building firm, Stabilimenti Farina, in 1928, he founded "Carrozzeria Pinin Farina" with financial help from his wife's family and Vincenzo Lancia. That first year the firm employed eighteen and built 50 automobile bodies.

On May 22, 1930 papers were filed to become a corporation, Società anonima Carrozzeria Pinin Farina headquartered in Turin, Italy, at 107 Corso Trapani. During the 1930s, the company built bodies for LanciaAlfa RomeoIsotta FraschiniHispano-SuizaFiatCadillac, and Rolls-Royce. With its close relationship with Lancia, the pioneer of the monocoque in automobile design, Pininfarina became the first coachbuilder to build bodies for the new technique also known as unibody construction. This development happened in the mid-1930s when others saw the frameless construction as the end of the independent coachbilder.

In 1939, World War II ended automobile production, but the company had 400 employees building 150 bodies a month. The war effort against the Allies brought work making ambulances and searchlight carriages. The Pininfarina factory was destroyed by Allied bombers ending the firm's operations.

After World War II.

After the war, Italy was banned from the 1946 Paris Motor Show. The Paris show was attended by 809,000 visitors (twice the pre-war figure), lines of people stretched from the main gate all the way to the Seine. Pinin Farina and his son Sergio, determined to defy the ban, drove two of their cars – an Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 S and a Lancia Aprilia cabriolet – from Turin to Paris, and found a place at the entrance to the exhibition to display the two new creations. The managers of the Grand Palais said of the display, "the devil Pininfarina", but to the press and the public it was the successful "Turin coachbuilder's anti-salon".

At the end of 1945 the Cisitalia 202 Coupé was designed. An elegantly proportioned design with a low hood, it is the car that usually is given credit for establishing Pininfarina's reputation, 3 years later he designed this special ordered Lancia Aprilia Spider.

Now this special classic car stil in existence and carefully restored by experts in USA, owned by a very good friend of mine and maybe one day I write a book about his full history. 

Before you say this design "adopted" from Jaguar 120 XK you must check the previous Jaguar models lines and compare them with Pininfarina's Lancia lines back on 1938..

Edit story Vasileios Papaidis 

GET IN TOUCH

We'd love to hear from you

  • White Facebook Icon
Find us on Facebook