As automakers, airplane designers and engineers alike began to realize not only the physical appeal of streamlined designs but also their dramatic effect on performance, wind tunnel engineering became increasingly commonplace. In 1936, Vincenzo Lancia’s marque, now 30 years old, premiered one of the very first results of development using the revolutionary wind tunnel at the Polytechnic University of Turin, the Lancia Aprilia.
The last vehicle conceived by Vincenzo Lancia himself before his passing in February 1937, the Aprilia, like every Lancia before it, possessed a tremendous level of technology in an attractive, sporty package. With a remarkably low drag coefficient of 0.47, the monocoque Aprilia was an immediate success. Adding to its appeal was a unique, fully independent suspension. Its fastback shape and pillarless coachwork ensured that it was a remarkable sight on the roads. The Aprilia featured Lancia’s compact and capable V-4, initially in 47 horsepower, 1,352 cc tune, and later, as a 48 horsepower, 1,486 cc displacement engine.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in May of 2012 at the Grimaldi Forum, Monaco.
48 bhp, 1,486 cc V-4 single overhead cam engine with four-speed manual transmission, sliding pillar independent front suspension and swing arm, torsion bar, transverse leaf spring independent rear suspension, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 2,750 mm (108.3")
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Guido Bissattini