Google retrieved the answer instantly, and sure enough, it turned-out that I had been right all along for the past 40 years, as the car is indeed a Lancia 2000 Coupe, with this pleasing Pininfarina-built car being owned at the time by the founder of the Hipgnosis London-based group of artists; Storm Thorgerson. Album cover photographer Peter Christopherson used Thorgerson’s Lancia is a prop for the record sleeve image, and at last I could sleep easy in my bed. Except I couldn’t..!
My mind began wandering, thinking about other album covers that featured cars. The Chemical Brothers classic 1995 album - Exit Planet Dust – immediately sprang to mind with a 1968 Plymouth Belvedere driving past a couple of hipster pedestrians.
Then there was the early 1970s Citroen DS on the sleeve of the 1976 AC/DC album Dirty Deeds Done Cheap, the 1971 Datsun 510 (Bluebird) Wagon on Snoop Dogg’s Ego Trippin, the Series 1 Jaguar E-Type roadster on the Dave Clark Five’s Catch Us If You Can, the H-registration Ferrari 365 GTB/4 ‘Daytona’ in Jack Bruce’s Things We Like, The Streets’ The Hardest Way to Make a Living with a customised Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow, the Honda Insight coupe on Metromy’s Nights Out, the white Volkswagen Beetle parked-up on the left in the background on The Beatles’ Abbey Road, plus of course Peter Ustinov sitting under the bonnet of a blue Jaguar XK140 in his rib-tickling The Grand Prix of Gibraltar. No wonder I couldn’t get to sleep!
Lead art courtesy of Virgin Records.