Classic Cars (UK) - - Driven -

‘This is not an easy car to un­der­stand,’ says its ar­chi­tect owner, Cor­rado Lo­presto. ‘The Au­gusta was a small car with a tiny 1.2-litre four-cylin­der engine. It was what today we’d call an en­try-level model, much smaller than the three-litre V8 As­tura and four-litre Dil­amba that made up the rest of Lan­cia’s range at the time.

‘What’s spe­cial about this par­tic­u­lar car is the de­sign and its his­tory. Mario Rev­elli di Beau­mont was one of the most pro­lific and tal­ented Ital­ian de­sign­ers ever. I think that today I’ve spent more time study­ing his de­signs than any other col­lec­tor – I bought his fam­ily ar­chive, spent days with his son and bought al­most all the cars de­signed by him that I’ve been able to find. He was, to me, a ge­nius, ca­pa­ble of in­cred­i­ble shapes that were of­ten far ad­vanced in stylis­tic terms. But he was also a tal­ented en­gi­neer who patented anti-vi­bra­tion steer­ing wheels and lock­ing fuel caps. He also cre­ated some of the most fa­mous Ital­ian GT cars of the Fifties and Six­ties.

‘When I first saw this car at the Villa d’este Con­corso d’el­e­ganza in 1996, I was struck by how el­e­gant it was, de­spite be­ing so small. I im­me­di­ately re­mem­bered of the old pic­tures I saw of a cabri­o­let ver­sion of the same coach­work de­sign that had been in­stalled on a big­ger chas­sis.

‘This is a car that should rarely be driven, be­cause its con­di­tion is so unique that ev­ery bit of dam­age, no mat­ter how small, would im­pact on its orig­i­nal­ity and per­fec­tion – as would any mod­i­fi­ca­tions to make it more us­able or re­li­able in mod­ern traf­fic.’

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