1938 Lancia Aprilia Spider (Touring)

  • Brand: Lancia
  • Car Code: 940611

1938 Lancia Aprilia Spider (Touring)

Luigi Bellucci from Naples discovers his love of motor racing at an early age. Not even 30, he debuts with a 2-litre Maserati in 1933 and performs quite admirably. His liaison with Lancia begins at the end of the 1930s.

For the Mille Miglia 1938, Carrozzeria Touring does not just produce a magnificent BMW 328, the vehicles that first took their class and then overall victory, it also provides the bodywork for the little Lancia Aprilia, which ends up being just as successful. The open car for Luigi Bellucci is based on an Aprilia chassis Type 239 and carries one of those light, aerodynamic shells for which Touring becomes so famous. It is not certain whether the bodywork for other of these Aprilias were also produced by Touring. Certainly none of them turned up at a race.

Bellucci competes in the race from Brescia to Rome and back in his Aprilia with start number 85. He reaches the finishing line in 19th place, third in the 1 ½-litre class, behind Villoresi in an open Aprilia by Zagato and a Fiat 1500 Spider by the same manufacturer. The same year, Bellucci takes an impressive third-place in the Targe Abruzzi, piloting the Lancia. Paolo Alberto Paganelli injects a little more power into the Aprilia in the next season, which pays off. Together they take first place in the Targa Abruzzi, while Luigi Bellucci wins the Italian Championship in the 1 ½-litre class in his Aprilia following additional victories and podium places. The Lancia wears an aerodynamic hardtop for the Mille Miglia, the Tobruk-Tripoli race along the Libyan coastline, but narrowly fails to snatch victory.

Bellucci and his Aprilia part ways in 1940. Both of them survive the war and continue their careers. The Aprilia enters the 1947 Mille Miglia, this time with start number 185 in the two-litre class, with Gino Meschi in the driving seat and Aldo Bianchi as the copilot. The Aprilia averages 130 km/h, coming in first and securing its eleventh podium place. It starts the mother of all races in the following year as well. Aldo Bianchi and Sebastiano Aretto are 26th to cross the finishing line, equivalent to 7th in their class.

The Aprilia changes hands several times in the following years, but its racing career is over. It disappears into obscurity around the mid-1950s and doesn’t reappear until decades later. It turns up again in a Lancia collection during the 1990s, is restored and even features in a film about Enzo Ferrari.

Descriptions and pictures by fahrzeuge.dorotheum

Production Start 1938
Country of origin Italy