Lancia Trevi Volumex VX

The car that inspired this whole online debacle.

Whilst out for a wander among Warsaw's crumbling industrial ruins, I saw through the chinks in a fence a pale blue wreck. Windshield gone, grill gaping wide and one front light smashed like a defeated boxer, I initially thought it was an old Volvo 200. It couldn't be a Peugeot 305 (although it deserved to be) and so I clambered through a gap in the fence to take a closer look.

The Lancia Trevi was not a car I had ever heard of, as I spat on my rear finger and wiped clean the badge on the boot. Spawned from the same line that created the far more appealing Lancia Beta, it was a rather uninspired (Trevi is derived from Tre Volumi - three box) early 80s saloon that, visually, failed to live up to its stablemates like the Beta Coupe and the HPE (High Performance Estate.)

But Blandwagon it ain't. What made this particular Trevi so special was the weedy cavern where the 2-litre Volumex supercharged engine should have been. When it rolled out of the sun-scorched Turin factory 25 years ago, this beast would have spurted out 136 horses-worth of power to the wheels. Dull on the outside, but fierce under the bonnet, less than 4000 Trevi VX's were assembled and sold, despite it's brisk 190km/h top speed. Considering it's unpopularity at the time, the fact that this shell has survived this far is worthy enough of comment, and the argument towards restoration falls in the name of rarity.

This example, however, has been robbed of the two iconic pieces of construction that made it such a significant piece of engineering. The yawning maw of the engine bay was one heartbreak - the grim disaster of cables that represented the long-absent dashboard, riddled with recessed buttons like bulletholes, was the other. Instead, this Trevi is little more than a blocky lump of Italian panels filled with perished window rubbers and furry seat coverings. How the hell it got to Poland in the first place is a mystery, but the thought that such a rare Italian car has been grave-robbed to upgrade the engine of a Polski Fiat is too painful to bare.

The only chance of salvation would be to sacrifice one of the Trevi's more desirable stablemates of the Beta clan, but time, money and parts availability are, as always, strong factors in the face of this Trevi's continued future. When this entire area of Warsaw is redeveloped (which is happening at an alarmingly furious pace) this Trevi will be dug up, squashed and forgotten like the weeds around it.


Isla said...

It's a real waste. I never really liked the Trevi but as time passes i'm starting to appreciate them and am even considering buying one.