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Again the story about Gianna Lancia who was supposed to join to the communist party for two weeks!
Jay, why don't you open a Lancia history book at least once in a lifetime ?
Stop telling craps on TV !!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Again the story about Gianna Lancia who was supposed to join to the communist party for two weeks!
Jay, why don't you open a Lancia history book at least once in a lifetime ?
Stop telling craps on TV !!
I know you've done so in a past post, but can you give us the real story? He does state that he's not at all sure his story was ever true, just something he heard (and likes repeating!).
 

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Discussion Starter #5

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Paolo, yes that's it. Question- you say Lancia made 3 requests for grants through the ERP in the period of 1948-1949, but you don't say if they were approved? So, they were not approved, as only 30 of 119 applications were, is that correct? Thanks again.
Phil
Phil, I think the following two passages explain the situation (loans were granted and paid back):

First, in the "European Recovery Program" section:
The granting of loans assignments was contracted again to the Ex-Im Bank, while the IMI (Istituto Mobiliare Italiano) assumes the role of Italian counterpart.
Then, in the "Conclusions" Section:
Eventually, a further and recent analysis of the company documents revealed that, during the Fidanza-Pesenti management period, the company paid back for the first Ex-Im bank loan in late 1958 and the last instalment of the other three IMI loans in late 1959, relieving the new Board from this obligation.
 

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Paolo, yes that's it. Question- you say Lancia made 3 requests for grants through the ERP in the period of 1948-1949, but you don't say if they were approved? So, they were not approved, as only 30 of 119 applications were, is that correct? Thanks again. Phil
No, it isn't.
Lancia receveived all the money they requested and they paid back the loans in 10 years.
The problem for Lancia was that Arturo Lancia (President in 1948) and later Gianni (President in 1949) and Panigadi (CEO since 1948) underestimated the amount of the grant. So Lancia didn't receive less money because Gianni was suspected to be a communist or because FIAT (better to say the CEO Valletta) interfered with the banks to allow more money to FIAT and less to Lancia*[nobody could interfere with the grants of the competitors, because IMI was charged to make the final decision], but because the board, thanks to the wrong economic preview made by Arturo in 1948, didn't plan a five-years production program correctly. When Lancia planned to put in production the Appia sedan, Gianni tried to ask for another grant, but it was too late. IMI was stopped by ECA because the Corea war, Ex-Im bank suspended all the disbursement of funds and nobody in Europe had a single penny ever again. At the end of the day, the bigger problem for Lancia, despite they were the second Italian vehicles producer, was always a short economic vision and the inability to consider themselves as European competitor at least. But the story told us that they have to solve different problems before.

* Valletta need not have done this foolish request. In 1946, 2 years before the start of the ERP, he made a tour in the USA to visit the factories and to introduce his company to the investors. He convinced the director of Bank of America in San Francisco to provide to FIAT a private grant of 260 million dollars!! So he didn't need to interfere with anyone.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ah, I was not familiar at all with this part of Lancia history-I see it now, a little buried in that last section. Thanks, guys.
So the whole premise of the "story" is false, too- that Lancia was totally shut out of the program. Interesting, because Mr Leno usually prides himself on being a walking encyclopedia of automotive knowledge. Even his "bits" usually have a grain of truth to them..at least he makes up for it by featuring cars like this on his channel.
 

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Leno and the facts

He remains stuck in the old stories, which are simply not true. And that neither of them could recall Lancia’s first V4 was the 1922 Lambda is a bit odd. I guess having fun was more important than being correct.

Paolo is right - there is nothing to this Communist myth. Gianni joined a partisan organization during the war, as did many others, that had many groups, including Communists, under its umbrella. No one has ever found a bit of proof that this had any relationship to the aid Lancia got later. And they did get aid - mostly loans, but over $3 mil worth.
 

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Lots of nonsense beyond the Marshall Plan myth. The Appia wasn't Lancia's "top-of-the-line, executive" 2-door car. In 1960, Lancia was still selling the Flaminia Coupé.
 

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good point Ed, i noticed that too. it must be a little tough to do a spot like that though, i'm sure i would say something stupid too, and then it lives forever on u tube...
 

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If it were only a little slip, ok... but there seems to be some reluctance to increase/change the understandings. Old stories are repeated, and not updated with new info.

And with Don Osborne nearby, its not hard to get the information. Seems like there is just more interest in having a good time (OK, that's a good thing too!) and telling stories, than getting to the bottom of things. I suppose this is the new world, but gee, can't these guys push the envelope a wee bit more?
 

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Did I hear correctly that Vittorio Jano designed the Aurelia V6? I think that's what Jay Leno said. So, there's more than a little inaccuracy in the video. But if the video saves just one car from a pointless restoration, then I will overlook any historical gaffes that Jay might make.
 

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Did I hear correctly that Vittorio Jano designed the Aurelia V6? I think that's what Jay Leno said. So, there's more than a little inaccuracy in the video. But if the video saves just one car from a pointless restoration, then I will overlook any historical gaffes that Jay might make.
Heck i always thought Jano did design the Lancia v6, but he designed the car. I bet he influenced the engine design though as he was the boss.

Pete
 

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...And with Don Osborne nearby, its not hard to get the information.
I'm afraid Osborne didn't anything about the Italian car history at all. Last year he went ahed to modify one of my car-book I wrote for the owners that entered at Villa d'Este, writing a compilation of nonsenses and using more fantasy than Walt Disney!
 

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Geoff's book

"Lancia and De Virgilio" is very well done. I hope there will be an updated edition more than a reprint.

When it comes to Donald Osborne ... sometimes we can be entertained while being misinformed.
My sister told me a few years ago that my father thought I was perhaps responsible for the published news (in a story from Donald) that my father was deceased at that time. My father is still active today with cars and more.

John
 
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