Vincenzo Lancia, a brilliant automobile engineer, passed away before witnessing his final creation come to life. Launched in 1937, two months after his death, the Aprilia set new standards in car design. Breaking away from the traditional layout, it featured all-independent suspension, hydraulic braking, unitary construction, and an overhead-camshaft narrow-angle V4 engine.
The streamlined shape, determined by wind tunnel experimentation, showcased one of the earliest applications of aerodynamics in production cars. Despite its modest 1,351cc (later 1,485cc) engine, the Aprilia reached nearly 80mph, offering superior handling and braking. With ‘mirror-image’ doors and pillar-less construction, it provided unparalleled passenger access convenience.