Italy 1969. Design firm Pininfarina is busy at work chain smoking the entire tail end of the psychedelic sixties, and finding time in between to work on Lancia Automobiles new mid engine Montecarlo. Matt Monroe and the sound of a wailing Mirua V12 echos through the ears and hearts of every young man fortunate enough to find himself in a Cinema viewing The Italian Job. But oh how far away that car was from the grips of these masses of young men. The 70s arrive and the world is in love with the idea of the Italian exotic. The romance of a beautifully sleek piece of art speeding through the South of France, piloted by only the manliest of men, a perfectly groomed mustache, cigarette dangling from the brim of his mouth, beautiful young woman by his side with hair flowing in the warm summer’s breeze, not a care in the world.
Lancia’s brand new Montecarlo is released, and is immediately a wanted accessory to every young man. Landed stateside and rebadged as the Scorpion, an 81hp twin cam four cylinder engine placed directly behind the cabin propels you along at a brisk-for-the-day speed. But acceleration is not where the fun is had with a car like this. To carry your speed through a corner and connect every bend together in an automotive dance is where you come alive. Every vibration through the 5 speed manual transmission to the chassis is felt, with the car talking to you in a mechanically Italian voice begging you to light up another cigarette and push harder. The mini Ferrari that is the Lancia Scorpion voices a time that is forgotten in the past to almost all of us. But have a seat, slide on those tan leather driving gloves, dawn a pair of vintage Persol aviators, and put that gear lever in first. Matt Monroe is waiting.
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