What do we associate when we think of Lancia? Immediately images of the Stratos, 037 and Delta Integrale flash through our heads, fire spitting and snarling their way through forests in their glory days of Group B and Group A rallying. Maybe you’re more of a classic car fan, and scenes of Aurelias and Flaminias wafting around Italian hillsides spring to mind. But did anyone picture a Lancia turning up at a building site in the centre of Milan, covered in dirt, dust and dents as the driver loads up with another tonne of rubble? No? Well, let me introduce you to the Lancia Esadelta.
Lancia are far more than just producers of beautiful cars. Between 1915 and the 1970s they also produced light and heavy commercial vehicles. From trucks to trolleybuses and military vehicles, Lancia’s commercial arm covered a wide range. After the take over by Fiat in the 1970s, production of commercials slowly ended but a Lancia/IVECO military truck was still being made in the 1990s. The Esadelta itself was produced from 1959 until 1971 in three versions: the Esadelta A from 1959, B from 1963 and the final C model appeared in 1967. All models were powered by a series of inline six engines. Sales of all variants were strong and exports reached as far as South America.
And what more fitting company to replicate the Esadelta than one we have seen before on Lamley: Italian brand Polistil/Politoys with their Penny range.
It’s a big bit of kit, supposedly 1/66 but I think it’s actually closer to 1/50 scale. It’s solidly constructed in thick metal and there’s rubber tyres, a removable plastic load cover and a functioning tipper bed and tailgate. I can imagine it was highly sought after by Italian kids growing up in the era when these were sold new!
The proportions aren’t spot on and there’s the aforementioned issue with the scale, but it’s obviously been built to be played with rather than stared at. And in my opinion these older toys evoke the spirit of the real vehicles far more effectively than most miniatures these days. And let’s face it: old toys are cool.
I always love bringing these unique and rare models to these pages so stay tuned for more weird and wonderful models from my collection!
(Find the Penny Lancia Esadelta on Ebay)