Here’s one that you don’t see at every gas station and/or big-box store parking lot, it’s a 1952 Lancia Ardea and it’s super unique. It’s listed here on eBay with a bid of $1,950 but the reserve isn’t met, of course. It was recently imported from the Motherland – Italy – and is located in New Egypt, New Jersey.
What a profile! It has a bit of an early Rambler American look with the wheelbase being shorter than the wheel openings. You know that I mean no disrespect by this because by now hopefully you’re figured out that I love every single vehicle ever made, but this one looks like a car that a cartoon character would drive, I love it! That’s about the most unique profile that I’ve ever seen, other than my own.
But, this is a beautiful car on most angles and views. The Ardea was made by Lancia from 1939 to 1953 and this is a “4th Series” car. It’s one of 11,700 4th series cars built between 1949 and 1953. This beautiful car is in gorgeous condition and is actually dark blue, not black! Supposedly, the former owner in Italy had two similar cars and he sold this one to the dealer/seller who is listing it here; it “runs and drives beautifully.”
Hagerty lists a value of a 1952 Lancia Ardea in #3 “fair” condition as being $11,300! This car is at least in #4 “good” condition and that value is $15,900, so this one won’t be had for a song. This blue velvet (velour?) interior is in great condition, but it isn’t original, of course. I had pants like that back in the late-70s. I’m not sure why the seller didn’t include an overall photo with the doors open, it seems like it would be a good selling point, or at least a good talking point. The right hand drive configuration was seen as a benefit, or not a drawback, due to being able to see the edge of the road while driving on mountain roads. The seller says that this is a 4-speed manual, but I think it may be a 5-speed, unless it has been changed? The 4-speed wasn’t used after 1948.
There aren’t any good, overall engine photos, but this car, supposedly, has the smallest V4 ever used in a commercially-produced family car. It’s a 903 cc, V4 and by 1949 the power was up to 30 hp! Zinnnng! This really looks like a nice version of a rare car in the US. You would most likely have the only one around. Have you seen a Lancia Ardea before? How about that profile!