WHY I BOUGHT IT
‘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.’