Saturday, November 3, 2012


On Thursday it had gone to join Stutz, Oldsmobile, Packard and Morris in the graveyard of dead marques, but by Friday it had risen, Lazarus-like. Lancia, which once produced some of the most interesting cars in Europe, was apparently a victim of Sergio Marchionne's re-organization of Fiat-Chrysler, killed in the interest of making the 500 the new Mini and Alfa-Romeo the new Aston-Martin. But then someone from Chrysler said that Marchionne was misunderstood, and that the good news was that Lancia would live on.

The bad news was that they'd all be Chryslers.

The other day I was begging Marchionne to make good on his promise to bring Alfas over here, and maybe a few Lancias while he was at it. I linked to Lancia's website, but only later nosed around and realized that they looked like perhaps the most boring cars in all of Europe. Probably because they're all Chryslers, without a single broad-shouldered 300 among them.

There was a lot of wailing and groaning on the car blogs, but mostly because of a lingering fondness for cars like the Integrale and the Stratos, which is a bit funny because very few people can own one of the former, and almost nobody will ever even see the latter. And to be honest, most of us here in North America only know about Lancias because of Top Gear:

They were, even among Italian cars, uniquely trying to own. But Clarkson and Hammond are right - even broken, they're better cars than almost anything you can drive today.

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