9 June 2017

More than an old car #15: Lancia Montecarlo

Throughout my years of documenting old cars in Singapore, it is a treat to spot vehicles that I didn't know existed here, either because it is not native to the Asian market or that it has been kept from the outside world for so long. I was therefore surprised to see this 1981 Lancia Montecarlo lurking in a random corner!

Lancia is an Italian car manufacturer which was founded in 1906 by Vincenzo Lancia as "Lancia & C. Fabbrica Automobili". Lancia is renowned for pioneering many automobile innovations, such as the 5-speed gearbox and the V6 [6-cylinder] engine. Previously, it also made trucks and buses but it stopped doing so in 1970. It was bought over by Fiat in 1969 and it is currently known as Lancia Automobiles S.p A since 2007.

The design for the Montecarlo was drawn up in 1971 by Pininfarina, a famous car design company. Production began in 1975 and ended in 1982. There were 2 different generations of cars, as Lancia halted production in 1979 so that it could work out certain issues. It was powered by the Lampredi I4 engine [4-cylinder engine], allowing it to reach a maximum speed of 195 km/h with an acceleration of 9.3 seconds [0-100km/h]. The Series 2 was 3.81 m long and weighed 1040 kg.

However, the Montecarlo was plagued with problems such as a noisy engine and a propensity to rust. The first series models also had problems with braking, especially in wet conditions, leading to the hiatus as mentioned earlier. Only about 7800 were built and many were beyond repair due to the rust. To the best of my knowledge, Lancia still does not have a presence in Singapore and this specimen is most likely imported. Yet, I hope to see this someday on our roads!

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