Last True Lancia? 1971 Lancia 2000 Sedan

In 1969, Fiat launched a successful takeover of Lancia. That means that the 2000 has always been viewed by enthusiasts as the last “true” Lancia. This 1971 model is a tidy survivor that needs a new home. Barn Finder Rex M spotted this beauty for us, so I have to say thank you for that, Rex. It is located in Santa Barbara, California, and has been listed for sale here on craigslist. All you need to do is hand the owner $9,100, and you can drive away in this classic.

The development and introduction of the 2000 is an interesting story. It was intended to be introduced as a successor to the Flavia and used some sections of its predecessor in its development. This included the roof, doors, and interior structure. It was ready for introduction in 1969, but the Fiat takeover meant that it initially scrapped the entire project. Their thinking was that this would be a relatively expensive car to build, and Fiat was unwilling to proceed. However, with no new model under development to replace the Flavia, the go-ahead was given for the 2000 to be introduced in the 1971 model year. This vehicle is one of those first-year cars, and it has survived in what appears to be excellent condition. The Epsom Grey paint shines beautifully, with no evidence of any significant defects. This is an Italian classic so that naturally raises the question of rust. There is nothing in evidence, but the wording of the listing does cause some confusion. The owner refers to the Lancia as being “pretty rust free.” I’m not sure if that indicates a rust-free car that is pretty, or if it indicates that it has relatively little rust. It appears that the Lancia has spent at least part of its life in California, which will have helped to slow any potential corrosion progress. The stainless steel bumpers look to be in good condition, as does the remaining trim and glass. The 2000 rolls on a set of Cromodora wheels and these appear to be faultless.

Powering the Lancia is a 1,991cc flat-four engine, which produces 115hp. These ponies find their way to the front wheels via a 4-speed manual transmission. The Lancia also comes outfitted with power steering, along with 4-wheel power disc brakes. The Lancia didn’t have a lot of power to play with, but it did use it effectively. With a weight of 2,723lbs, it was not a heavy car for a 4-seat sedan. That allowed it to cover the ¼ mile in a respectable 17.9 seconds. Frustratingly, the owner provides us with a lot of technical information in his listing. What he doesn’t offer is information on how well this classic runs or drives. However, the engine bay looks clean, and small details like the shiny oil filter suggest that the 2000 has been appropriately maintained. If this is true, we can be at least quietly optimistic about the vehicle’s mechanical health.

The 2000 was designed to be the company’s flagship model, which meant that it brought a touch of luxury for lucky owners. Seats could be upholstered in velvet or leather, and the dash featured vast expanses of real timber. This 2000 features the velvet upholstery, and the majority of it is in good condition. The exception is the driver’s seat, which is showing significant wear and stretching. This could be a problem, as locating replacement covers can be difficult. A good upholsterer might be able to find the right material and custom-make new upholstery. An alternative might be to see whether the existing cover could be dyed and stretched back into shape. The carpet looks like it might be a bit stained, but it is hard to be sure from the supplied photos. The timber on the dash looks superb, as does the matching Nardo wheel. There are no problems with the dash pad, while the rest of the plastic is free from apparent deterioration.

The Lancia 2000 Sedan remained in production from 1971 until 1975. During that time, 14,319 cars rolled off the production line for worldwide sales. Even though production totals for the 2000 Coupe and the HF Coupe were significantly lower, you are more likely to see one of those on the market today. That makes this car a slightly unusual Italian classic. It is a shame that the owner isn’t more forthcoming about the Lancia’s mechanical health, because that will largely determine how viable this classic is. I suspect that the owner will be fielding a few questions before he finally secures a buyer.

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Comments

  1. alphasud Member

    I wonder if Subaru took some ideas from Lancia on the water cooled boxer engine. I like Lancia’s in general from the Integrale to the Flaminia and Fulvia models. I did not know about this model. Doesn’t light my world on fire and looks pretty bland compared to the other models. If you look at the side profile picture it looks to have body repairs in the rockers and lower doors. Also the Fiam battery suggests this was a recent import?

    • Elanguy

      You would think that would be true. But I have read that it actually was the Goliath 1100 that inspired Subaru.

      I noticed that Fiamm battery too, and is that an Italian license plate, SA from Salerno?

      Like 1
    • Geoff

      No idea where Subaru got their ideas, but this Lancia layout would predate the Goliath and the Subaru. The Lancia 2000 model is a continuation of the Flavia model, and the previous Cemsa (1947), designed by the same Lancia engineer Fessa.

      Like 1
      • Martin Horrocks

        Correct! Lancisti tend to venerate Fessa, although his only commercial success was the Fulvia, which was cheaper, more attractive and not so much smaller than the Flavia, thereby drastically cannibalising the sales of the Flavia sedan.

        Then they blame Fiat for picking up the pieces

        Like 2
      • Elanguy

        The Subaru – Goliath link is a fairly common theme on the interwebs,
        https://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/115952-something-unusual-1958-goliath/
        Not sure if there is much to it. It might make sense that Subaru would be impressed by a cheap car using the format more than a pricey one?

    • Quidditas

      Subaru bought Borgward’s flat “boxer” design.

      • Donek

        Could you provide a source for that?

  2. DRV

    As a box, it sure reminds me of a 244 volvio.

    Like 1
    • alphasud Member

      That’s what I thought. Taillights scream Volvo 144.

    • BobinBexley Bob in Bexley Member

      Other way around. The Swedes ALWAYS follow.

  3. Martin Horrocks

    This is the best of the Flavia sedans and hard to find anywhere, would compares well against a Giulia Super at twice the price. Not as sporting, but very comfortable.

    You can source the interior fabrics from Italy (though I don´t think this car needs that, more patina). Look and feel is of a well-preserved car, original radio, tidy everywhere. Anybody interested who lives nearby should inspect asap.

    Like 3
  4. Ralph

    Hideous box, can’t hardly tell whats the front and whats the back……

    Never understood the Lancia “mystique”…..

    • SubGothius

      It’s are all about their clever, advanced and sophisticated engineering and uncompromising build quality, and the experience of owning and driving such a car. I might say that classic Lancias were like “Italian Mercedes” but that would be selling them short. To paraphrase Jamie Kitman, Lancia is the only major marque to nearly go out of business, twice, by paying too much attention to quality.

    • chrlsful

      something that helped my usa neighbor w/”the concept” was when I said- chebby, Buick, olds, then caddy (as comparison to Itilian cars). It does not fit but he seemed to get the point. SubG explains beddah below:

  5. Araknid78

    nice

  6. ChingaTrailer

    Lancia – Subaru – Goliath. What about Jowett? Let’s not forget the Jupiter.

  7. SubGothius

    As seen in the movie Rush, when Niki Lauda (played by Daniel Brühl) gets goaded into flogging one mercilessly though Italian vineyard backroads:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdG74P7j6h8

    • Tom

      Thanks for sharing that – great stuff!

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