Styled like its Aurelia B10 big brother, Lancia's new small car - the Appia - was premiered at the Turin Motor Show in 1953. The Lancia tradition of innovation in automotive technology was exemplified by the Appia's ultra-compact engine: a narrow-angle (10 degrees), 1,089cc V4 whose inclined overhead-valves were set in hemispherical combustion chambers and operated by twin, block-mounted camshafts. The unitary chassis construction adopted on the pre-war Aprilia was, naturally enough, continued, as was Lancia's traditional sliding-pillar independent front suspension. Body styling was similar to that of the bigger Aurelia, and Series I cars featured aluminium doors, wings, and bumpers. In a tradition inaugurated by the pre-war Augusta, the front doors were hinged forwards, the rears aft, and there was no central pillar.
'Notchback'-styled Series II cars came with a lengthened wheelbase and more power (up from 38 to 43bhp) while the final (third) series boasted further styling revisions and 48bhp. Complementing the standard Appia saloon was a series of limited edition models produced on a separate chassis and bodied by leading carrozzeria, Pinin Farina being responsible for the coupé, Vignale the cabriolet, and Zagato the GT coupé. Engine power was increased to 53bhp for these more sporting Appias which, when equipped with lightweight coachwork, could touch 100mph.
Confirmed by Lancia Motor Club inspection as having been manufactured in December 1959, this chic Italian is one of 1,586 Appia cabriolets made. The Turin maker's original data plate is attached to the front bulkhead, and the chassis number '81201-3487' is correctly stamped into the bulkhead's forward face. The Lancia was imported into the UK from New Jersey, USA in 2016 and fully restored to original specification the following year, many of the components used being sourced from the Appia Spares Consortium. Related invoices totalling £8,360 for parts alone are on file together with the 2016 importation and customs taxes-paid documents; State of New Jersey Certificate of Title; MoT to March 2019; and a V5C Registration Certificate. An auxiliary switch panel (to the right of the dashboard) and full-harness front safety belts (detachable) are the only notified deviations from factory specification. A charming Appia soft-top eligible for earlier 'sliding pillar' Lancia events.