1984 Lancia Gamma Coupé

Transmission: Manual
Mileage: 48000
Colour: Black

Background and history

You can thank engine designer Francesco De Virgilio for the wonderful rakish appearance of the Lancia Gamma coupe 2500ie, which was one of the most striking designs of the 1970s.

It was De Virgilio who argued against Lancia’s case for making its flagship model a V6, insisting instead that he could give the car just as much character and performance by developing a large capacity four-cylinder flat-four Boxer engine for the car, allowing Pininfarina’s chief stylist, Aldo Brovarone, to translate the car from sketch to metal with little in the way of compromise.

The result was a modern-looking square design with a low bonnet and steeply raked windscreen, which was inarguably handsome. It was a luxury four-seater using the floorpan of the Gamma saloon, so was also incredibly practical and a lot more comfortable than other two-door coupes of the era. It was front-wheel-drive, with the flat-four longitudinally mounted.

It was no sports car – the executive saloon underpinnings making it more of a cossetting grand tourer – but it was still lively and well-balanced, a rewarding car to drive.

Sadly for Lancia, a combination of dreadful rust problems and poor reliability from the 2.5-litre Boxer engine meant that the Gamma’s honeymoon was short-lived, and today survivors are extremely rare, especially in unrestored condition.

That makes this South African import from the final year of production a real gem. It’s wonderfully original and is being sold as such rather than restored, as it’s the type of car you need to be careful not to over-restore and damage its originality.

What makes it special?

Quite frankly, an unrestored Lancia Gamma Coupé is a very rare thing indeed – beautiful as they were, they were fragile cars and the survivors tend to be restored show cars, whereas this low-ownership car has been preserved in original condition. It’s also a rare facelift car, which means it has a wider grille, Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection and ‘Sunburst’ alloy wheels.

Outside

Finished in Diamond Blue, the Gamma is extremely presentable and – importantly – very solid as a result of a life spent in sunnier climes.

It looks great, but it’s no show pony. Closer inspection reveals some scuffs to the offside rear wheelarch and on the bumpers, while the nearside headlamp lens is cracked. Overall, though, the original blue paint still looks very presentable and the body is free of rot.

If you wanted to make it a show car, then a respray would make it just that – but the counter argument is that it would dilute the car’s originality, and that’s why we haven’t had it done ourselves.

One thing that would be wise, though, would be a thorough coat of underseal – again, it has been left untouched so any potential buyer can see how solid and original the underside of the car is, with nothing hidden. There’s surface rust but no rot, and it deserves to be protected.

The Gamma also comes with a new set of tyres.

Inside

The interior of a Gamma Coupe is a very special place indeed, stylish in a way that only the Italians could muster. From the oddball dash and steering wheel to the delicate oval pedals, everything has an element of design to it.

But it’s the seats that really steal the show. Finished in blue velour, the fabric features an ‘L’ for Lancia logo embossed into the fabric, with matching velour door trim.

The cabin is excellent, though it does require a new headlining.

Engine and running gear

The car has been mechanically recommissioned very recently and has just had a full service, with fresh fluids and filters throughout.

It sounds fabulous and starts on the button.

This is also a rare five-speed manual model – many Gamma Coupés were automatic, but the three-pedal models are generally more dependable.

The appeal

Finds like this one don’t come along very often, and while it does need some light recommissioning the beauty of this Gamma is that it is completely original and totally free of the body corrosion that saw many of them despatched to an early grave.

We are selling it as it is so that you can inspect it and see just how rot-free and original it is – as it stands, it’s a wonderfully original car, but it would also be the perfect basis if you wanted to do a show standard restoration without needing to rebuild.

Location: Road and Race Automotive, United Kingdom
Contact:
Jack – +44 7545 301656

www.roadandrace.co.za

Description

1984 Lancia Gamma Coupé

Transmission: Manual
Mileage: 48000
Colour: Black

Background and history

You can thank engine designer Francesco De Virgilio for the wonderful rakish appearance of the Lancia Gamma coupe 2500ie, which was one of the most striking designs of the 1970s.

It was De Virgilio who argued against Lancia’s case for making its flagship model a V6, insisting instead that he could give the car just as much character and performance by developing a large capacity four-cylinder flat-four Boxer engine for the car, allowing Pininfarina’s chief stylist, Aldo Brovarone, to translate the car from sketch to metal with little in the way of compromise.

The result was a modern-looking square design with a low bonnet and steeply raked windscreen, which was inarguably handsome. It was a luxury four-seater using the floorpan of the Gamma saloon, so was also incredibly practical and a lot more comfortable than other two-door coupes of the era. It was front-wheel-drive, with the flat-four longitudinally mounted.

It was no sports car – the executive saloon underpinnings making it more of a cossetting grand tourer – but it was still lively and well-balanced, a rewarding car to drive.

Sadly for Lancia, a combination of dreadful rust problems and poor reliability from the 2.5-litre Boxer engine meant that the Gamma’s honeymoon was short-lived, and today survivors are extremely rare, especially in unrestored condition.

That makes this South African import from the final year of production a real gem. It’s wonderfully original and is being sold as such rather than restored, as it’s the type of car you need to be careful not to over-restore and damage its originality.

What makes it special?

Quite frankly, an unrestored Lancia Gamma Coupé is a very rare thing indeed – beautiful as they were, they were fragile cars and the survivors tend to be restored show cars, whereas this low-ownership car has been preserved in original condition. It’s also a rare facelift car, which means it has a wider grille, Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection and ‘Sunburst’ alloy wheels.

Outside

Finished in Diamond Blue, the Gamma is extremely presentable and – importantly – very solid as a result of a life spent in sunnier climes.

It looks great, but it’s no show pony. Closer inspection reveals some scuffs to the offside rear wheelarch and on the bumpers, while the nearside headlamp lens is cracked. Overall, though, the original blue paint still looks very presentable and the body is free of rot.

If you wanted to make it a show car, then a respray would make it just that – but the counter argument is that it would dilute the car’s originality, and that’s why we haven’t had it done ourselves.

One thing that would be wise, though, would be a thorough coat of underseal – again, it has been left untouched so any potential buyer can see how solid and original the underside of the car is, with nothing hidden. There’s surface rust but no rot, and it deserves to be protected.

The Gamma also comes with a new set of tyres.

Inside

The interior of a Gamma Coupe is a very special place indeed, stylish in a way that only the Italians could muster. From the oddball dash and steering wheel to the delicate oval pedals, everything has an element of design to it.

But it’s the seats that really steal the show. Finished in blue velour, the fabric features an ‘L’ for Lancia logo embossed into the fabric, with matching velour door trim.

The cabin is excellent, though it does require a new headlining.

Engine and running gear

The car has been mechanically recommissioned very recently and has just had a full service, with fresh fluids and filters throughout.

It sounds fabulous and starts on the button.

This is also a rare five-speed manual model – many Gamma Coupés were automatic, but the three-pedal models are generally more dependable.

The appeal

Finds like this one don’t come along very often, and while it does need some light recommissioning the beauty of this Gamma is that it is completely original and totally free of the body corrosion that saw many of them despatched to an early grave.

We are selling it as it is so that you can inspect it and see just how rot-free and original it is – as it stands, it’s a wonderfully original car, but it would also be the perfect basis if you wanted to do a show standard restoration without needing to rebuild.

Location: Road and Race Automotive, United Kingdom
Contact:
Jack – +44 7545 301656

www.roadandrace.co.za