Lancia als coureur in dienst van FIAT, 1907

Alfa Corsa, 1908

Beta, 1909

Theta, 1913

Theta Landaulette Schutter en van Bakel, 1919

Trikappa, circa 1923


From Alfa to Trikappa

What always surprises me is that the early Lancias are so conventional, with a straightforward chassis, live axles and a four-cylinder side-valve engine. From the Alfa in 1907 to the Dikappa of 1921 Lancia made well-built but not particularly innovative cars. In 1919 came a detachable cylinder head for the Kappa while overhead valves came in 1921 on the Dikappa. The 1913 Theta on the other hand was one of the first European cars with full electrical equipment.

It was probably wise to start with conventional, well-made cars and build a reputation. A new make with exotic technology only scares potential customers away.

In 1919 Lancia history becomes really interesting: a prototype was presented with a V12 engine with an included angle between the two cylinder banks of only 22?. This feature made it possible to use a single cylinder head and the engine was barely longer or wider than a six in line! This “narrow-V” engine became a unique feature of Lancia, and engines of this design have continuously been built from the V8 Trikappa of 1919 to the last Fulvia V4 built in 1976. Complex castings are necessary and to this day Volkswagen is the only other manufacturer that has produced a narrow-V engine, the VR6 introduced in 1991.

Alfa 1907-1908
12 hp, 2543 cc, four cylinder sidevalve, 2543 cc, 28 bhp, 90 km/h.

Dialfa 1907-1908
18 hp, 3815 cc, six cylinder sidevalve, 3815 cc, 40 bhp, 110 km/h.

Hp. Beta 1909
15/20 hp, four cylinder sidevalve, 3120 cc, 34 bhp, 95 km/h.

Gamma 1910
20 hp, four cylinder sidevalve, 3460 cc, 40 bhk, 110 km/h.

Delta 1911
20/30 hp, four cylinder sidevalve, 4080 cc, 60 bhp, 115 km/h.

Epsilon 1911-1913
20/30 hp, four cylinder sidevalve, 4080, 60 bhp, 115 km/h.

Eta 1913
20/30 hp, four cylinder sidevalve, 4080, 60 bhp, 115 km/h.

Zeta 1912-1916
12 hp, four cylinder sidevalve, 2620, 35 bhp, 100 km/h.

Theta 1913-1918
35 hp, four cylinder sidevalve, 4940, 70 bhp, 120 km/h.

Kappa 1919-1922
35 hp, four cylinder sidevalve, 4940, 70 bhp, 120 km/h.

Dikappa 1921-1922
35 hp, four cylinder, overheadvalve, 4940 cc, 87 bhp. 125 km/h.

Trikappa 1922-1925
44 hp, V-8, overhead camshaft, 4594 cc, 98 bhp, 130 km/h.