What is the last ‘true’ Lancia? For some it is the Aprilia
because that was the last design supervised by Vincenzo Lancia, for others
the Appia because a true Lancia must have the sliding-pillar front suspension,
while Flaminia an Montecarlo owners unite in the claim that a proper Lancia
must have rear-wheel drive. For me the Gamma, with all its problems, is
the last Lancia.
The Beta, designed after the Fiat takeover, was clearly a Fiat product.
But for the design of the Gamma Lancia was given a last chance as an independent
organisation. Starting with a clean sheet of paper they chose front wheel
drive, a large four-cylinder boxer engine with overhead camshafts and
all-round independent suspension with McPherson struts (as on the Beta).
The beautiful Berlina and equaly attractive Coupé were both designed
by Pininfarina and have exceptionally good looks, steering and road-holding
thanks to the light and compact boxer engine.
But for a large and expensive car only four cylinders were regarded by
potential buyers as insufficient, while build quality and finish were
not exactly top-class. Major mechanical problems with cooling and camshaft
drive make the Gamma the least-loved Lancia. Its failure brought an end
to Lancia’s independent design tradition and ever since its demise
all their cars have been based on Fiat platforms.
Four cylinder boxer engine, two single overhead camshafts driven by
two cambelts, 1999 and 2484 cc, 120 and 140 pk.
Five speed, three speed automatic gearbox optional.
2670 mm, Coupé 2555 mm.
Berlina 1320 kg., Coupé 1270 kg.