Have you ever taken a close look at the badge Lancia applied to their top-end driving machines? Did you notice the elephant? No? Well, now you have. What is an elephant doing on a performance vehicle? That’s an amusing story really...
The apocryphal story goes that Lancia were looking for an animal mascot for their hardcore models, like Ferrari’s Prancing Horse or Lamborghini’s Bull. During a creative meeting to determine a mascot, Gianni Lancia (son of the founder) proposed the elephant. The team fought it, asking why an elephant of all animals should be on a fast car, as it is not fast or agile at all. Gianni responded with “Yes, but once an elephant starts running nothing can stop it.”
Whether this is the true story is up for debate. The official reasoning for the Elephant was that it was a symbol of longevity, strength, prosperity and victory. An elephant with outstretched trunk is also considered good luck in some cultures.
As for the “HF”, supposedly it stands for High Fidelity. This is to communicate the pure, unfiltered, uncompromised driving experience of the cars. It comes from the HF Squadra Corse, a privateer racing team that was absorbed by the factory when Lancia decided to re-enter racing in the 60's. It first appeared on the Fulvia.