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Saturday 1 November 2014

Antinori-commissioned ‘van’ commands a classic price

19th June, 2014 by Richard Ross

A classic vehicle, commissioned by the Marchese Antinori in the late 1940s, may be the world’s most expensive wine delivery van, with a current asking price of over £75,000.

Aprilia1The Lancia Aprilia Francis Lombardi ‘Woody’ was commissioned by the Tuscan proprietor Marchese Niccolò Antinori in 1948, adapted from a standard four-seater car into a stylish wood-panelled station wagon – just the thing for delivering a few cases of Castello della Sala or Badia a Passignano.

The Lancia Aprilia was a technically-advanced car for its time, and Antinori approached aircraft builder (and World War I flying ace) Francis Lombardi to build this one-off special using the Lancia as a base. The rear door opens to offer a sizeable space for carrying luggage or wine.

Aprilia3Although there is clear proof that the car was commissioned by Antinori, the detail of how the vehicle was used by the family is less clear. Approached on behalf of The Drinks Business, the current head of the family, Piero Antinori , who would have been a young man when the vehicle was commissioned by his father, could shed no further light on what the Lancia was used for. We can only speculate on its role in delivering fine wines in stylish surroundings.

The car was discovered by a group of Italian Lancia enthusiasts in 2004, and underwent a complete restoration to bring it to its current state. It is now being offered for sale by Bernard Marreyt, a classic car dealer in Belgium, for €95,000. Marreyt describes the car as a “once in a lifetime classic”.

Aprilia2For those whose budget doesn’t stretch quite that far, 1/43 scale model versions of the car have been produced at a slightly more affordable price of around £200.

2 Responses to “Antinori-commissioned ‘van’ commands a classic price”

  1. Neville Sparks says:

    I am not sure that it is the most expensive. On a visit to the Krug cellars in the 1990’s , I was shown the Rolls Royce that had been specailly painted in the Krug Livery and colours and was used to delivery caaes of Krug around Rheims to it’s most famous customers.It had a sold rear, ie with no windows, so it lloked like a van with a Rolls Royce front. I understand that it is was the only one built like this. But I could be wrong!!!!
    Not sure if it is still running but I am sure it would top that price if it was.
    Who has a picutre?

  2. Richard Ross says:

    Neville,
    Have a look at our latest piece to see the picture you’re looking for.

    Top 5 Classic winery vehicles

    There used to be three of the Krug Rollers – the other two appear to be in private ownership in the USA now.

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