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1908 Lancia Alpha Tourer

The 12-horsepower was the first production car made by Vincenzo Lancia. First unveiled 100 years ago at the 1908 Turin Motor Show, the 12 hp was later renamed the Alfa (and is now called the Alpha) in order to follow Lancia's decision to adopt Greek nomenclature for his cars. The 12 horsepower was available as a straight chassis to be bodied in a variety of styles from closed landaulets to sporting two-seater Corsas, one example of which raced at Savannah, Georgia, in 1908. These first Lancia cars were famed for their lightness and efficient engineering; they included conventional engines of 2.4-liters.

Vincenzo Lancia, born in 1881, had his first job as an accountant in the bicycle factory of Giovanno Ceirano in Torino. When FIAT bought Ceirano in 1899, Lancia became Chief Inspector. He stayed with FIAT for eight more years, and then, in 1906, he became a constructor and created 'Lancia and Co., Fabbrica Automobili.' In 1908, Lancia began production of automobiles, and the first model was called the 'Alpha.' The Alpha was a four-cylinder car of 2543cc, with an L-Head engine good for 53 bhp at 1800 RPM. The car was capable of 56 mph and was known for its quality and reliability. This example was sent to the United States as a bare chassis, and a custom body was installed by Miller Brothers of Amesbury, Massachusetts. A total of 108 Alphas were built by Lancia, and this is the oldest known example in the world.

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1908 Lancia Alpha

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1908 Lancia Alpha vehicle information
Tourer
Coachwork: Miller Brothers
Chassis #: 102
Engine #: 99