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Author Topic: Lancia and De Virgilio  (Read 2615 times)
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BlueSky
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« on: 11 April, 2014, 04:57:25 AM »

I see Geoff Goldberg's new book, "Lancia and De Virgilio", is available for pre-order at various online book stores. Looking forward to getting a copy, should be a terrific read.
Noel
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1937 1st series Aprilia Berlina
Nissan X-Trail T31 TS
1920 P & M 3 1/2hp {FOR SALE}
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Parisien
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« Reply #1 on: 11 April, 2014, 07:23:00 AM »

First link I came across.....thanks for heads up BlueSky

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lancia-De-Virgilio-At-Centre/dp/1935007254

P
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Frank Gallagher
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« Reply #2 on: 11 April, 2014, 04:28:56 PM »


One for the "must have" list...
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David Laver, Lewisham.
GG
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« Reply #3 on: 11 April, 2014, 09:55:48 PM »

Thank you for your interest. A bit of caution on the pre-ordering. The Amazon listing has the wrong cover, page count, size, etc. The price is probably right. The book is 344 pg., 10 3/4 x 11 1/2 inches.

I'm working with the publisher, David Bull, to figure out ways to share the book (for previews). The book is off to the printers now.

If the club manages to get a list together, volume pricing may be possible. Chaters will be another source as well.

Hope this helps,

Geoff

* Cover for promo 4.11.14.pdf (499.1 KB - downloaded 153 times.)
« Last Edit: 12 April, 2014, 12:18:22 PM by GG » Logged

B20 s.2, Appia C10 unrestored
adrian donovan
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« Reply #4 on: 22 April, 2014, 04:25:22 PM »

I am really looking forward to seeing this - Geoff gave us a preview at the SPR in Sedan last year, and there is some really interesting material there.
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Mic
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« Reply #5 on: 16 May, 2014, 02:21:40 PM »

Various sites say release date is 28 May so I have pre-ordered mine from Amazon as shall be away at that time and they are very reliable.  Something to look forward to on return.  Price?  Varies a bit form site to site.
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lancialulu
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« Reply #6 on: 16 May, 2014, 05:05:11 PM »

Giovanni De Virgilio is come to our AGM weekend with his family....
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1955 Aurelia B12
1967 Flavia Vignale iniezione
1967 Fulvia 1.3HFR
1972 Fulvia 1600HF
1972 Fulvia 1600HF
1972 1600 Fulvia Sport
1979 2500 Gamma Coupe
1988 Delta 1.6GTi
1998 Zeta
GG
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« Reply #7 on: 20 March, 2021, 09:22:46 PM »

For those of you who are interested, the book has now been reprinted and is currently being shipped from the printers. It was sold out some years back. It is essentially the same book, with only a few small errors corrected.

For European customers, it can be ordered from Gilena in Brescia: https://www.gilena.it/en/page/contatti.

For North Americans, please contact me directly (as the publisher is no longer in business).

Not sure what to tell my British friends... shipping is likely less expensive from Italy....

Thank you,

Geoff
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GerardJPC
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« Reply #8 on: 21 March, 2021, 07:51:49 AM »

Many thanks, Mr Goldberg.  May I ask if you could kindly point me towards a book or article written by you or by another well informed author on the question of whether Marshall Plan aid for Lancia was adversely affected by concerns that the Lancia family had been, in postwar US State Department eyes, too close to Communists when opposing Mussolini.  Is that question perhaps covered in your De Virgilio book? 

I'm interested in learning more about how the postwar fortunes of Lancia, Fiat, and Alfa varied.  I add that I'm more of a general Italian car enthusiast than a die hard Lancista, although I find myself tending to get more Lancia-ish as time goes by.   Right now I'm celebrating my decision not to buy a very tempting 1976 Alfetta GT last year, because that meant that I had funds available when a RHD 2000 HF Coupe suddenly popped up.
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1962 Appia Berlina, 1974 2000 HF Coupe
1979 Beta 1600 Coupe FOR SALE

1973 Fiat 124 Sport Coupe, 1981 Lotus Eclat S2, 1982 Moto Guzzi V50 Monza, 1982 Moto Morini 350 S, 1983 Land Rover SIII 88
GG
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« Reply #9 on: 21 March, 2021, 12:17:59 PM »

Many thanks, Mr Goldberg.  May I ask if you could kindly point me towards a book or article written by you or by another well informed author on the question of whether Marshall Plan aid for Lancia was adversely affected by concerns that the Lancia family had been, in postwar US State Department eyes, too close to Communists when opposing Mussolini.  Is that question perhaps covered in your De Virgilio book? 

I'm interested in learning more about how the postwar fortunes of Lancia, Fiat, and Alfa varied.  I add that I'm more of a general Italian car enthusiast than a die hard Lancista, although I find myself tending to get more Lancia-ish as time goes by.   Right now I'm celebrating my decision not to buy a very tempting 1976 Alfetta GT last year, because that meant that I had funds available when a RHD 2000 HF Coupe suddenly popped up.

Your question has long been a difficult one for Lancia historians. There have long been rumors about the Marshall Aid and the family "connections" to political entities. I cover this somewhat in the book, but not fully as the research was ongoing and not quite complete at the time; Paolo Giusti has done the deep dive into the Lancia finances, and we have worked together on how to present the information. His research into the numbers show that the Lancia company was able to get loans and aid from the Marshall Plan, and that there appears to be no evidence of hindrance. Paolo has investigated the loans, which  continue into the 1950s. What one might argue is whether or not they got their fair share, when compared to Fiat and Alfa Romeo, but that is a much more complex effort.

Please know that the research into this has included looking into Lancia corporate records (which Paolo did most carefully), and US Gov't publications of the period for loan amounts (year by year). While his writing on Ital economics and financial policy may be a bit florid, the research was sound.

See: https://forum.viva-lancia.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=1266251&p=1266251&hilit=paolo+giusti#p1266251

A few other interesting points:
- the search for financial clarity is difficult due to the rather private way in which Lancia kept their financial records, Italian practice, and financial re-org in the company. Even more curiously, in 1952, Lancia corporate records simply decline listing any financial records, oddly taking a pass on the year. One can puzzle on that for quite some time.
- Guido Rosani spoke to me in detail about Gianni's involvement during the war. He was involved in the partisan movement, which at the time was a loose collaboration of many different resistance efforts, and included the Communist party. But he was not associated with them directly - Rosani made this very clear. And all the information he gave was always right, so I believe him on this too.
- the last major Lancia loan that Paolo identifies isn't paid back until the late 1950s, under the Fessia/Pesenti regime.

Hope this answers. What this does not address is two other issues: the role of out-of-date production practices, historically an issue at Lancia (too much hand work, and redoing) that stems from the 1930s, and also the role of racing and the tower building in the 1950s financial crisis (which is covered in detail in the book). 
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B20 s.2, Appia C10 unrestored
GerardJPC
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« Reply #10 on: 21 March, 2021, 02:55:27 PM »

Many thanks for that very helpful and interesting reply.  It is good to see industrial history being done in such a careful and scholarly manner.  Too many histories of cars and car makers are just lazy collections of journalism, anecdote, and recycled rumours, even when written by people acclaimed as experts on a particular car or car maker.   Setright wrote scholarly texts, but he's gone.  

I'm also a BL enthusiast (yes, I know...), and it is very hard to find any book on BL that is not just a load of old blah.   My late father was a BL production engineer so I can at least test what I read against what he told me about the projects that he worked on and the personalities that he worked with.    

Back to Lancia, yes, the tower must have been quite a splurge!  I assumed that by now it would be a posh condo, but on checking I see that the building is in project jail awaiting a new owner.  As for racing, that reminds me of Lotus*, where Chapman didn't really care about the road cars save as things to make money for the racing team.


 * Three Ls:  Lancia, Lotus, and Leyland - my main motoring interests.
« Last Edit: 21 March, 2021, 02:58:45 PM by GerardJPC » Logged

1962 Appia Berlina, 1974 2000 HF Coupe
1979 Beta 1600 Coupe FOR SALE

1973 Fiat 124 Sport Coupe, 1981 Lotus Eclat S2, 1982 Moto Guzzi V50 Monza, 1982 Moto Morini 350 S, 1983 Land Rover SIII 88
GG
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« Reply #11 on: 21 March, 2021, 04:34:12 PM »

You are welcome. In the book the cost of the tower is addressed: its roughly the same as the estimated costs that Rosani assembled for the D car racing effort. While one of these costs might have been manageable, it doesn't take a hard look to see that there wasn't the throughput (forget about the profit!) from the Appia and Aurelia to support both. This raises the question of who was giving the family financial advice at the time, an interesting point, as clearly something was missing from the table. Of course, information and reporting practices then were quite different than today, but still, cash flow is cash flow. Then there is the lovely Jano point that "Grand Prix racing was going to be cheaper than sports racing" as its to a formula and at a track, so the support costs are less. Ha! says anyone who looks at these cars.

Its fun to see that the D25, the swan song of the sports racing cars, has this lovely detail of the water exiting the top of the radiator, and instead of finding some slightly circuitous route to the block, rather goes through the chassis tubes and then exits to the block. Even at the end of their racing endeavors, they couldn't stop themselves!


* _DSC5615 copy 2.jpg (1893.55 KB, 1800x1200 - viewed 16 times.)

* _DSC5616 copy.jpg (1987.09 KB, 1800x1200 - viewed 20 times.)
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GerardJPC
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« Reply #12 on: 21 March, 2021, 05:23:28 PM »

Crikey, what a marvellous thing.
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1962 Appia Berlina, 1974 2000 HF Coupe
1979 Beta 1600 Coupe FOR SALE

1973 Fiat 124 Sport Coupe, 1981 Lotus Eclat S2, 1982 Moto Guzzi V50 Monza, 1982 Moto Morini 350 S, 1983 Land Rover SIII 88
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« Reply #13 on: 21 March, 2021, 07:01:41 PM »

Hi Geoff, so I presume the reprint is not worth buying for those of us who have the original, if there are only small corrections?
Perhaps you could produce a small addendum to add to the original?
Best wishes
Ade
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« Reply #14 on: 21 March, 2021, 08:13:29 PM »

If you have the original, there is no need for the reprint. There is NO new material, only  some errata corrections to some of the notes and to the list of people in the back, but nothing too serious. I'll publish that, after it goes through proper checks.... to make sure its right!
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