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Homepage. This page: A Lancia with a model elephant on the roof - perhaps someone can shed some light on this event??

1. The Lancia Ardea.

I'd love to know what carnival this Lancia Ardea was taking part in! I'm guessing that it was photographed in Italy, sometime in the post-war years (although the Ardea dates to pre-war times). Quite what the relevance of the model elephant, fitted to a structure on the Lancia's roof is, I really don't know. Hopefully someone out there can help identify this event? As for the Lancia, well my understanding is that saloons ("Ardea Berline") started in production during 1939, and continued being built in low numbers during the war, with production picking up once hostilities had ended, until 1952. A van ("furgoncino") and pickup ("camioncino") version of the Ardea (badged as the Lancia 800) were both introduced in 1948, and outlasted the Berline slightly, ending production in 1953. Perhaps someone who knows their older Lancias can provide a little more information on this unusual little car?
Lancia Ardea saloon car
Ian dropped me a note, with some more information on these Lancias: ".. essentially the Ardea was a smaller version of the Aprilia, the significant difference being in the rear suspension - the Ardea had a live axle on leaf springs, the Aprilia had an independent back end via torsion bars." Engine capacity is quoted at 903cc, bolted to a 4 speed gearbox lifted from the larger Aprilia. In 1948 the electrical side of things was improved, with the switch from 6v to 12v electrics, and the driving experience was further improved thanks to the adoption of a 5 speed 'box. The Ardea's replacement was the compact Appia. Thanks for sending that over!
According to Maurizio: "ACICA = partially covered Acicatena, a town near Catania. You have some old photographs from Sicily, and the elephant is the symbol of Catania."

2. A different Ardea, its driver's door open.

This second photo of an Ardea sees a chap lighting up, while sat behind the wheel of his RHD (righthand drive) Lancia. The Ardea was produced from 1939 through to 1953. Most were bodied as saloons, but during WW2 several hundred were converted to taxis, with a modified rear body. The third iteration of this model line, introduced in 1948, would see a five-speed gearbox fitted as standard, believed to be something of a first for a mass-produced small car. The two-tone interior trim of this saloon can be seen in the photograph below. This example, photographed on the 4th September 1951, has been fitted with a roof rack.
Both of the cars featured are a reminder that these early Lancias were sold on the home market in righthand drive configuration, rather than lefthand drive, which we've become to accept as normal in countries where its citizens drive on the right. The thinking was that it made viewing the edge of the road easier, an important point when navigating tight and winding mountain roads.
The location of this photo is - apparently - Villa Olmo, a magnificent villa located in Como, Northern Italy.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
Righthand drive Ardea, door open showing its interior trim
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