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Lancia Aprilia Barnfind Resumé

Erste Ausfahrt in guter, gepflegter Gesellschaft
Erste Ausfahrt in guter, gepflegter Gesellschaft

A guide to buying a Lancia Aprilia – and finally get a proper car!

This is a “buyers guide” for a Lancia Aprilia based on personal experience. First, I like to point out the typical mistakes. Secondly, you will read “how to do it right”.

The Lancia Aprilia is getting recognised as one of the two most important prewar-Lancias, together with the Lancia Lambda. Whereas the Lambda was certainly a milestone for the 1920’s, the Aprilia for a long time was mainly a car for the “connaisseur”. But attention towards Lancia is increasing from a wider audience and the Lancia Aprilia is currently quite sought after. This is also reflected in rising prices as well as a shortage in good cars on the market. So to make sure you do not experience the same problems by one of our staff read this.

Lancia Aprilia: Auf dem Weg aus der Schweiz nach Österreich - Winter 2004
Auf dem Weg aus der Schweiz nach Österreich – Winter 2004

Here is how you should not do it (an excerpt  of staff-experience):

  • Do not go to England to buy a rust-bucket (well, the wet climate as you will imagine leaves its mark in more than 70 years).
  • Do not buy a bad car sold as the official “The Autocar” press car (in the end condition is everything!).
  • Do not buy a Lancia Aprilia that is “beyond hope” of restoration, do not loose the rest of your rational mind simply by the perspective of having a rare car such as a Lancia Aprilia.
  • Do not necessarily buy a Lancia Aprilia first series (1350cc) for the fact that is “rarer and purer”. The second series differs only in detail.
  • Do not think you need to have a Lancia Aprilia immediately not taking the time to look for a good one, i.e. without considering all the necessary aspects of its condition, restoration or work ahead.
  • Do not buy from a widely known dealer who misrepresents the car.
  • Do not get the car “serviced” or “get the engine running” by this dealer – even after such a “service” make sure yourself there is anti-freeze in the radiator, do not get the car to Austria in winter without anti-freezer so the engine cracks due to freezing.
  • Do not start a complete body restoration without knowing what there is to come.
  • Do not start a complete body restoration on a derelict Lancia Aprilia, there is simply no end to such an undertaking.
  • Do not ignore all the specific problems of the Aprilia body: they rust everywhere! Lancia fitted anti-vibration mats literally everywhere, so these act like a sponge, infinite rust guaranteed!
  • Do not have body parts reproduced that you will never use.
  • Do not get the seats restored by a well-known leather manufacturer without them having to renew the seat frames since you will end up doing it all over again.
  • Do not spend all your weekend time in a frustratingly dark whole where you will work an a project without a perspective.
Lancia Aprilia: Chassis
Trotz widersprechender Wegweiser auf dem richtigen Weg in der richtigen Werkstatt

Instead “throw such a car away” or use it for spares.

Then go about a new approach, this time doing it right.

So here is what you should do instead:

  • Go to Switzerland and look for a one or two-owner Lancia Aprilia in completely barn-find condition. The Swiss are meticulous with the maintenance of their cars – good for classics. Since Switzerland was a major export market for Lancia where their cars were always held in high regard chances are good you will find the car one should get.
  • Go for a car that needs renovation or recommissioning rather than restoration.
  • Go for car that has never been welded, has little or no rust.
  • Go for a car that is complete, nothing missing.
  • Go for a car that requires straight-forward mechanical recommissioning without having had incompetent repair in the past (major disease with classic Lancias!)
  • Get the right people involved, such as Touring Garage in Troisdorf/Germany run by Bazille&Fricke to do the specific parts such as front and rear axle.
    Keep as much of the patina as possible – the “future of restoration” is in keeping as much of the car’s history.
  • Do get the right mechanics to restore the car who are really passionate about classic Lancias as well as having sound engineering experience like Schmidt Racing in Vienna
  • Do the “dirty work” yourself, you can save money and you will be “emotionally” more tied to the car.
  • Keep the old paint where possible, instruct your bodyworkshop to do a restoration having an old car in mind rather than a new one! This requires a sensitive restorer like “Robert Bernhofer Carosserie” in Salzburg
  • Feed your team with information and cakes to keep up motivation.
    Think of the Aprilia’s history looking at documents such as Karl Hirsch’s photographs depicting his participation in 1950 rallies, in order to go through difficult periods of the work.
  • Liaise with other Lancia Aprilia owners to share experience and information. They are all the same desperate.
  • First thing when finished take a “collaborateur” for a ride in it. Simply enjoy!
  • Then take it to a meeting to discuss with Lancisti and other enthusiasts.
Lancia Aprilia:  Gute Grundsubstanz sichert die Sinnhaftigkeit der Arbeit
Gute Grundsubstanz sichert die Sinnhaftigkeit der Arbeit

Read more on the “barnfind” in Switzerland back in March 2004: Aktuelles -> Lancia Aprilia Barnfind.

With „a little help“ from:

Rolf Schmidt GesmbH, 1222 Wien, Krautackergasse 26

Bernhofer Carosserie
5020 Salzburg, Mitterhofstr 15

Lancia Aprilia

For further informations about Aprilia, the comunity and activities please visit

Good luck for your undertaking!

J.E.W. / Nov. 2009

Lancia Aprilia: Wegweisende Technik an der Hinterachse
Wegweisende Technik an der Hinterachse

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