Last Sunday night Top Gear presented the top 10 car makers coming from votes of their viewers (or so). Anyway the question was: What car makers made the highest number of great cars. Great cars means not just good cars, but cars to remember, cars that are exceptional. Well, the top ten Richard and Jeremy showed (see picture) were not what you would expect. Ferrari was on the tenth place, Ford on first. But Richard and Jeremy didn't agree neither. They themselves named Lancia (they were not able to pronounce it correctly of course) as being the car maker with the most great cars.
And they presented quite some evidence. You may not agree with all the (seven) cars they called great, i.e. the Monte-Carlo or so. But clearly they got some cars right, i.e. the all time icon Lancia Stratos, the Lancia Fulvia, the 037 and the Delta Integrale. They missed some of the others (i.e. Aurelia, etc). But they also showed some great rallye pictures and made the point that there's no other car maker winning the Rallye World Championship more often than Lancia. Also Lancia is responsible for many engineering's first in the car industry. Not all of them really made sense, but there was certainly a lot of creativity! Today Lancias are not what they were. Today Lancias are basically rebodied Fiats and some of them are pretty ugly on top of that. It's a sad story. But, hey, there are still Fulvias available at acceptable prices, and even good Betas are rarely beyond 20k. And for the same money you can also get a Delta Integrale with true rallye pedigree. So, get them, as long as they are affordable!