A group of Fiat racing drivers, including Vincenzo Lancia and his friend Claudio Fogolin, founded Lancia & C. Fabbrica Automobili on this day in 1906 in Turin, Italy. Lancia achieved commercial success with their first vehicle, the Tipo 51. This 12 hp car remained in production from 1907 through 1912. Lancia quickly earned a reputation for innovation. It became the first automaker to offer production V4 and V6 engines, as well as independent suspension.
By the end of the 1960s Lancia skimmed the possibility of bankruptcy. A bid by Fiat to take over the company was accepted. A reorganization put the company back on track, literally. A new focus on racing boosted sales after many dominating rally racing performances throughout the 1970s and 1980s. (Cover photo: 1909 Lancia)