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The Lancia Gamma 2500 ie (Iniezione Elettronica)

Lancia Gamma
ER Classics Desktop 2022

Completely in contradiction with the sober, exuberantly modest appearance of the so wildly sporty Fulvia there is also a Lancia Gamma 2500 ie (Iniezione Elettronica, from 1981) from 1982. FIAT had incorporated the financially underperforming Lancia into 1969 and the Gamma is the last model that was completely designed by Lancia: afterwards FIAT finally made all decisions and for each new model the question was under which brand name it would appear. For example, it has long been a question of whether the Croma would be marketed as FIAT or as Lancia.

Specially picked up

In 1982 this elegant noble carriage was no longer available in the Netherlands, but garage mechanic Stef Hartogs scored it at the Belgian importer because his client simply wanted such a large Lancia. And at a time when the dealer was still in charge with the importer, the customer was still king. The Azzura Bleu automobile is super jaw-hanging. Authentic and undamaged. Large but elegant. Impressive, but not threatening. Where the Fulvia 'una bella ragazza'is, there the Gamma is a real 'bella donna'. Even the 'Garagebedrijf Hartogs' glued on at the first sale is still spotless. Only the right front door lock was pierced by an insane one time when the car slept outside one night. The dilletrant had rammed a point in the lock. It was broken off. Such an action must be characteristic of a person's entire life. Trying something stupid and having it fail ... In the context of the failure, the Gamma was also a winner.


 

The Gamma should have succeeded

The Lancia Gamma seemed to have everything that was required at that time for success for a car in this class: the press praised the spring comfort and the fantastic handling and handling of the car. Those plus points were mainly due to the front-wheel drive and the almost optimal weight distribution between the front and rear wheels. The Gamma had power steering as standard; all-round disc brakes and manual five-speed gearbox (four-speed automatic transmission as an option). Oh yes: The car suffered problems with the engine in the first years. With that unique 2,5 liter boxer made of aluminum with overhead camshafts (for the Italian market there was also a two-liter version for tax reasons). For eighteen years this remained the largest 4 cylinder boxer of all time. That power source was extremely flexible because at 2000 rpm it was already delivering 90% of the maximum torque and at high revs it was fantastic and almost vibration-free. . Unfortunately, boxer engines always lie flat on their stomach in the dark so that you don't see anything beautiful about it.

And the 'ie,' is also considerably less beautiful than a nest of Dell 'Orto's or double Solexes

Unfortunately, there were serious quality problems with the camshafts, which wore out much too quickly and there was a lot of thinking in the construction. The camshafts were driven with toothed belts and the left camshaft in turn powered the power steering pump with a V-belt. With a non-Italian, so cold winter start, the load from that pump through the then apple syrup thick oil sometimes wanted to be so great that the belt of the camshaft jumped a notch. That resulted in a 'close encounter of the expensive kind' between the left pistons and the valves. The cars also often had cooling problems, which resulted in broken cylinder head gaskets and therefore also major repairs. But that happened again in the summer.

2 Comments

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  1. @ T.Bootsma: don't you think he has that vaudtgesgreven on purpose ...?

    Anyway ... What a beautiful car this remains ...

    The Coupé is completely insanely 'lower jaw hanging' beautiful ...

    It's a shame that Lancia is only delivered in Italia…. :(
    My father used to have 2 Béta2000's, which were also beautiful cars. He was hit with the 1st at the time in front of a traffic light from behind by an Amsterdam temeier who then gave a false name etc.…. Years later and with the help of Interpol he only got his insurance money… :(

    After all these years I still remember the license plate number… 90-PZ-07

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