Wealthy soup manufacturer's son Vincenzo Lancia worked for Fiat before founding his own factory at Turin (and continued to race for Fiat until 1908).  His first production model, the 2,543cc Alpha, appeared in 1907, joined in 1908 by the 3,815cc DiAlfa, of which only 23 were made.  Lancia ran through the Greek alphabet with the 3,117cc Beta (1909), followed by the similar Gamma (1910) and the 4,082cc Delta (1911).  The 1912 Eta, also of 4,082cc, was the first Lancia with electric lighting.
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The 4,939cc Theta of 1914 was said to be the first European car with standardized electric lighting and starting.  A development, the Kappa, with detachable cylinder head, was Lancia's first post-war model, a narrow-angle V-12 with monobloc ohc engine shown in 1919 failing to reach production.  The Kappa was followed by the DiKappa and by the ohc V-8 TriKappa, but these were only a prelude to the classic Lambda, which made its public debut in 1922. This had a narrow-angle V-4 engine of 2,124cc, sliding-pillar ifs and integral body/chassis construction.  In 1926, the Seventh Series Lambda acquired a 2,370cc power unit, enlarged to 2,570cc on the Eighth Series of 1928-29.

At the end of 1929, Lancia introduced the more conventional DiLambda, with a 3,960cc V-8, and in 1931 replaced the Lambda with the 1,925cc ohc V-4 Artena and the 2,605cc V-8 Astura.  Unit construction reappeared with the 1,196cc Augusta which proved to have outstanding road-holding; and led to Vincenzo Lancia's last classic car, the pillar-less Aprilia, introduced just before his death in 1937.  A smaller development, the 1,091cc Ardea, appeared a little while later.

The Aprilia was built until 1950, when the Jano designed Aurelia was announced, initially with a 1,754cc V-6 engine, later enlarged to 1,991 cc, 2,261cc and 2451cc.  The Aurelia GT was also the basis for the sports-racing D23 and D24 models, with 2,693cc and 2,983cc dohc power units, some supercharged.  In 1953 Gianni Lancia designed the 1,091cc Appia V-4, but a couple of years later financial difficulties forced him to sell his company to Fiat.

The Flaminia, powered by a development of the 2,458cc Aurelia GT engine, succeeded the Aurelia in 1956, but a real sensation was caused in 1961 by the fwd Flavia, designed by Professor Fossia.  It had a flat four engine of 1,498cc, increased to 1,798cc three years later.  The Fulvia, another fwd model, succeeded the Appia as the smallest car in the Lancia range in 1964.   By the end of the decade it was available with 1,216cc and 1,298cc engines.

The Beta, first announced in 1972, was available in 1979 with ohc four-cylinder engines of 1,297cc, 1,585cc and 1,995cc.  It was sold alongside the 1,999cc and 2,484cc Gamma, which had flat four dohc power units.

The Stratos a limited-production sporting model, had a mid-mounted dohc V-6 developing 190 bhp, and in 1979 won the Monte Carlo Rally for the fifth time.

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