Top Gear Says Lancia Is The Best Automaker. Ever.


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Ok, that’s not an exact quote, but Episode 3, which aired last night, was the best of Season 14 thus far. If you haven’t seen it yet, go here and enjoy it. Am I the only one who noticed the increasing friction between Jeremy and James? If looks could kill, Jeremy would be deader than John Candy.

The episode feature saw Jezza and the Hamster testing Lancia’s notoriously poor reliability record in an endurance race before thrashing a Stratos and a Delta Integrale along UK’s stunning and picturesque coastal B-roads. The cinematography was its usual high-calibre and the banter was its equal.

This summer, I also had a Lancia experience. It’s below.


Down on the Viennese streets, not far from where we saw the SLR Roadster, an arrow-straight Lancia 2000 HF. Strangely, this seemed to be missing the chrome grille surround that is frequently seen on these. I didn’t think much of it as I walked past, but leave it to the architect I was travelling with to give me pause and hand me a camera.


Just in case you have a newly-developed hankering for some Lancia lovin’, we’ve beat you to it and we’re more than happy to share. Check out this Zagato-bodied Lancia Fulvia on eBay, not unlike the one Stirling saw at the Italia Concours d’Elegance. You just know a car company is special when they can make a car that’s so engrossingly polarizing.

My picks for best automaker were Citroën (pre-1974) because of the Traction Avant, DS, SM, H Van, and 2CV and Datsun/Nissan because of the 510,  Z-cars and the several generations of GT-Rs. But that was before Top Gear reminded me of Lancia.