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1961 Lancia Appia 4 door


mudpud123
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Trying to get more information on this car. Excellent condition. Always kept under cover. Runs well. All original parts. Suicide Doors? (what is that?). Looks fantastic.

Like to find out if there is any interest, and what the value is.

:confused:

Note:Car is in Los Angeles.

Edited by mudpud123
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As an owner of an Alfa Romeo I can tell you that Italian cars in the US have a very limited market. They SHOULD be valuable and desirable, but they are NOT, as parts are never available locally and no one knows how to work on one. This goes double for Lancias as they are rare in the US; it is likely worth little and to only a few possible buyers, even though it is likely a very interesting car.

For a better source to ask about this take a look at Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums Good luck, Todd

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Suicide doors refers to doors hinged at the back. They make it easy to get in and out but dangerous if someone opens a door at speed because the wind catches it, rips the door off its hinges and throws the person out in the road where they get run over by a bus. Thus suicide doors.

My old cars price guide does not even list Lancia. It goes right from Lamborghini to Maserati.

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That is a 3rd Series Appia. The earlier ones looked much like a smaller Aurelia sedan. The engine is a narrow V4. If anyone wants a very good performance , very economical modern car for everyday use including city driving there are very few that can compare with this Appia. One of my friends in Melbourne who is a medical specialist has had an identical one as his modern transport for at least 40 years. The distance a Lancia covers on the road is astonishing in relation to its top speed. You spend little time below your chosen speed because acceleration and braking are so good. If I was not so far away and just now on restricted budget I would buy it immediately. I just hope someone on the forum will buy it, appreciate and understand it, and enjoy driving it.

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Suicide doors refers to doors hinged at the back. They make it easy to get in and out but dangerous if someone opens a door at speed because the wind catches it, rips the door off its hinges and throws the person out in the road where they get run over by a bus. Thus suicide doors.

My old cars price guide does not even list Lancia. It goes right from Lamborghini to Maserati.

Mmmm...I was under the impression that suicide doors were named so because they were dangerous if you were exiting the car from the driver's side and a car came up from behind and squished you between the door and door jamb.

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The rear hinged doors were used on a lot of cars. I just did a quick count in Fred Roe's book on Duesenberg of the identifiably different J and SJ cars built with rear-hinged doorson front, rear, or both. Most are identified by engine and serial numbers. This totaled 128. I did not count one car with a recent body built on a bare chassis by or for Harrahs. One Murphy body type, of which 50 were built, the majority had rear-hinged door. This indicates that probably more than half total J production had at least one rear-hinged door.

One of my first antique car friends, now long gone, had a 1936 Oldsmobile sedan wwhich he left rest where he parked it in the early 1960's. The doors hinged on the centre post. Family driving along one day with the two kids in the back seat, when Bill said "Dad. Lynne's fell out". She was gone alright. Theydid a U-turn and found her several miles back, bruised and dusted, but basically quite OK. Lynne is still fine, but Dollar Bill is un-hinged. He is an Australian that we are not proud to inflict on you, because he frequently travels to USA to buy and sell to someone's disadvantage, and to abuse your compulsive politeness and hospitality. Be wary.

Rear hinged back doors on Lancias really are well engineered and secure. I used my 1953 B22 Aurelia as a family car for some years with three in the front seat and three in the back. One is autistic but we never had any problem. We could reach the lock control from the front seat. You should not let the hinge arrangement deter your interest. The quality of a Lancia Appia is impecable, and they are a fabulous car to own and drive.

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My old cars price guide does not even list Lancia. It goes right from Lamborghini to Maserati.

I've got a newer one (2009, Old Cars Weekly 3rd ed.). It goes from Lamborghini to Lexus.:D

NADA Classic Car Value Guide ( 1961 Lancia Appia S-III Berlina 4 Door Sedan price report at NADAguides.com ) lists the 1961 Appia as $1625 "low retail" (a basic, running/driving car), $4800 for "average retail" (a "20-footer", basically a good looking car), and $13,750 for a "high retail" (mint condition) car.

That's one of the biggest spreads in value I've ever seen, and I think it reflects strongly the expense of getting parts and restoring these great cars.

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Mr.Saxton,

Do you have any sugestions about where I can get any info as to salability and sales

price?

These cars sell in the U.S. VERY infrequently. Lancia sales in that era were measured in the dozens per year per model in the U.S., with very few survivors.

The good news is that it's a very desirable car for a very select clientele. The bad news is with such a select clientele you're going to be hit-or-miss as to whether any one of them is in the market, and you'll really need 2 or more to get a good price.

If this car is in really good condition (as the photos suggest), I'd take it to an auction of European collector cars and hope for the best. You might get the price NADA says it's worth, or you might not. It'd be luck-of-the-draw as to who's at the auction.

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There is no way to estimate the value without looking the car over and talking to the owner. We are waiting to hear from the guy who knows the most about this car - you.

Rusty is right in a way. Only an experienced preson who looks over this car with a fine tooth comb is going to give an accurate appraisal. The link I gave for NADA values I think gives a pretty good spead as to what the car could be worth. However no amount of photos, let alone the 2 so far provided, could narrow the car's condition down enough to make an accurate judgment.

If pictures were provided of the engine compartment , interior, etc. ,along with close ups of the paint/interior materials/instruments/etc., you might get a good guess as to it's minimum value. Bun until someone can stick their fingers into the undercarriage and determine how mint/deteriorated/worked the car is (and how good any of the work that has been done is), a minimum value is about all you're going to get.

Condition is everything for this car, more so than most due to the rarity of restoration parts/materials. This car really needs to be professionally appraised (by a person experienced with European cars) to get a hard number. And at that point, with a low production model like this, it will still be just a good guess. The only real way to get top dollar for a car like this is to luck into 2 people at an auction who both want it.

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They SHOULD be valuable and desirable, but they are NOT, as parts are never available locally and no one knows how to work on one.

The exact reason I passed on a 1979 FIAT Spider last year. There is no one locally anymore who knows anything about a FIAT, nevermind VIR is two miles down the road.

I'd like a little 2-seat roadster, but I hate to be part of the herd and get a Miata.

We do have 2 British car repair shops here so I guess an MG or Triumph would be the way to go. One of them is run by a noddy Welshman who has been in the States about 30 years and knows MG, Triumph and real Minis like the back of his hand. He's also reasonably experienced with TVRs and pre- XJ Jaguar.

Also interesting that Ivan mentions having used Lancias as daily transportation in Oz, when Lancia are so few and far between here in the States.

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I had only hoped to get an estimate in the form of a spread, as in XX,000.00-XX,000.00. Wouldn't be happy with the figure in NADA.

AS to wanting to know more about the car, if you're in the LA area arangements can be made to look at it in person

A car this rare, and in this shape, should certainly be worth more than it's book value. I'm looking for a buyer more in the Jay Leno catagory who is more interested in adding to a collection rather than driving enough to need parts. Also, I'm sure parts can be found in Italy. Im going to check that out.

I'm going to have to put this on hold for a little while. I've got something else to take care of. Anyone wanting to can still post and I'll be checking in.

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I had only hoped to get an estimate in the form of a spread, as in XX,000.00-XX,000.00. Wouldn't be happy with the figure in NADA.

For the life of me, I can't think of a single European 4 door sedan with an engine under 1200 cc's worth more than $13.75K in mint condition. If this were a sports car or even a convertible of that displacement that would still be a very good figure. Even sports models of considerably higher displacement (most notably Fiat Spiders, but also MG Midgets, Austin-Healey Sprites, Renault Caravella, etc.) aren't worth this much. The Appia's most popular direct competitor in the U.S. at the time, the Renault Ghordini, is worth less than 1/2 of this figure.

Even 4 door American compacts don't touch that number, and post-war American antiques almost always are worth more than imports of the same period (except for the really patrician offerings).

At $13,750 you probably have the most valuable 1.1L 4 cylinder post-war 4 door sedan there is.

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We do have 2 British car repair shops here so I guess an MG or Triumph would be the way to go. One of them is run by a noddy Welshman who has been in the States about 30 years and knows MG, Triumph and real Minis like the back of his hand. He's also reasonably experienced with TVRs and pre- XJ Jaguar.

Glenn, I got into Triumphs for this very reason. The parts situation is as good as the most popular U.S. cars for many models. If fact you can build a brand new TR6 or MGB out of new parts if all you have is data plate and a couple of catalogs (& if you're a little nuts)! I like TR6s for their appearance, and Triumphs for their simplicity of construction. Early MGs are just as good, but MGBs are an early unibody that's very rust-prone and a little more difficult to repair. All of them are NOT hard cars to work on.

Like Mustangs or '57 Chevys you can order almost everything from a catalog, but also like them some parts are tough and expensive because they're not reproduced. For instance an overdrive transmission is a $1K-$1.5K purchase used, close to double that rebuilt. Also every year has the odd part used only that year that's tough to get, but generally everything is available. The older a car is, the more of these items it will have. My 1960 Buick parts were a nightmare to find by comparison to any British sports car.

Also you'll find that this end of the hobby emphasizes driving over showing, as that's what these cars were made for. AT least one major club (The Vintage Triumph Register) requires cars to be in a driving event (road or competitive) at the national meet prior to being judged in the concours! I really like that part of it.:cool:

Edited by Dave@Moon (see edit history)
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I had only hoped to get an estimate in the form of a spread, as in XX,000.00-XX,000.00. Wouldn't be happy with the figure in NADA.

AS to wanting to know more about the car, if you're in the LA area arangements can be made to look at it in person

A car this rare, and in this shape, should certainly be worth more than it's book value. I'm looking for a buyer more in the Jay Leno catagory who is more interested in adding to a collection rather than driving enough to need parts. Also, I'm sure parts can be found in Italy. Im going to check that out.

I'm going to have to put this on hold for a little while. I've got something else to take care of. Anyone wanting to can still post and I'll be checking in.

Everybody wants to sell their car to someone for more than it's worth. Jay Leno already has 300 cars and is probably not interested in a Lancia. Your best bet is to find someone who recently came into a lot of money such as someone who got a big insurance settlement, preferably involving head injuries.

Edited by R W Burgess
strong language-edited (see edit history)
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I currently have an Alfa Spider for sale in the Buy/Sell forum for which I would love to get "book value" (whatever that is).

Just in case anyone is wondering the mail order parts availability for Fiats and Alfas is very good. I can get parts from 3-4 US sources easier than I can for my Pontiacs. But there is no herd of speculators looking for fun Italian sports cars at bargan prices, much less a four door sedan at over retail, sorry to say.

To mudpud123, once again, you will get no response here, not even in the Italian forum which no one ever reads. Go to Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums for more feedback. Todd

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Now it is clear you are in Southern California and wish to exchange it for money. Perhaps it is worth the trouble to consult Randy Ema in Annaheim on what it might be worth there. A contact that I know elsewhere is Tom Stewart in Leesburg VA, who is a long time Lancia owner and enthusiast. Tom had lunch with us here once, and at least has Lancia Lambda and Aurelia; but he would also know other members of the American Lancia Club.

I am afraid I really have no first-hand knowledge of market values for anything, as I do not participate in the market. It is however clear that what you have is far better to own and drive, and maintain, than it is as an investment. The availability of parts does not seem to be much problem to people who are running cars. I got a couple of late 70's Lancia Betas recently to fix as daily drivers for my son and I, and they had replacement brake master cylinder kits for me within a day. Most people here with FIATs or Lancias work on them when they need to. And people drive Lancia Lambdas of the 20's very long round trips for major interstate meets. And Glenn, it is a pity you missed that little FIAT Spyder. I received in the mail this week my copy of Guy Croft's new book on modifying and tuning those 4 cyl twin OHC engines. It would have to be the among the best workshop manuals ever. He is a past F1 engine man, I understand; and he had a very good technical web site under his own name.

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Mud pud,

I got an email from Mary,..if that was Via you,..thanks.

She has basically stated the same thing as you have:

"The car is in LA and is open for inspection, BUT she is still trying to determine the value".

I respect the fact that you want more time to research this car and get the greatest value from it.......but I think its fair to summate your sitiation as this..... You've basically got a London Taxi,.....here they are rare, but over in the UK,..people will not be interested. If I am wrong,...I will here about it from readers in the forum in follow up posts,...

The most important thing I want to communicate with you ,..is that I have a potential buyer for this car,...If I don't here from you or Mary,...I'll respect that you are still undecided.

4HQ1@MSN,COM

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The "London Taxi" part is not correct. Certainly the earlier series Appias were very popular as taxis in Italy, but they were normal cars. London taxis were bulky, heavy duty vehicles tthat were purpose built and very different in form from the manufacturer's product for the wider market. They are a close analogy to the Yellow Cab of the 1920's. Some of these still survive here, possibly even the sleeve -valve O5 model. Everything was made of very heavy material possibly in self-defence. One old motor wrecker told me that Yellow Cabs were the most difficult cars to break up that he ever encountered. The Appia is not slow on the road. I remember Peter telling that on a trip to Queensland for a meet he was warned by the trucks on the CB radio of the location of police gathering revenue. (Peter used a CB in the car so he could be contacted in connection with his medical practice, before the first mobile phones came out.)

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I did not mean to say he/she lietrally had a London Taxi or Yellow cab.

I was simply trying to communicate " what is rare here,... is not rare there".

Any way,.. I have forwarded the email to the buyer in LA, hopefully this come to new ownership.

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