Lost & found

Classic Sports Car - - Contents -

Swiss his­toric-car spe­cial­ist Christoph Grohe has re­cently un­earthed a 1932 se­cond-se­ries Lancia As­tura in a vil­lage close to Geneva. Its his­tory is un­known, but it had been in the same fam­ily own­er­ship since 1941 and the in­di­vid­ual who sold the car to Grohe re­mem­bers hav­ing driven the car at the age of 14. The Lancia was laid up in 1959 and never driven again.

The As­tura was born when Lancia needed to re­place the age­ing Lambda with a new model in a lower price bracket. It first ap­peared in 1931 and con­tin­ued in pro­duc­tion, with var­i­ous mod­i­fi­ca­tions, un­til 1939.

It is thought that this ex­am­ple was the first chas­sis in the se­cond se­ries, while the body is a cabri­o­let by Pinin Fa­rina and it looks as if it could have been a one-off, be­cause so far no pe­riod pic­tures of this style have been found.

“The body is in rather poor con­di­tion,” says Grohe, who is now of­fer­ing the car for sale (e-mail: info@christoph­grohe.com). “The wooden frame is rot­ten and the doors are hang­ing very badly. The orig­i­nal colour seems to have been a dark grey, which fits per­fectly with the dark-blue in­te­rior. The whole of the cabin re­mains in sur­pris­ingly orig­i­nal con­di­tion. The V8 en­gine is seized, but the gear­box ap­pears to be free.”

The As­tura is quite a large car, with a long, lux­u­ri­ous fold­ing roof that is fit­ted with two very strong pis­tons, which help when clos­ing it. The whole de­sign aims to take up as lit­tle space as pos­si­ble, but even so there is a lot of hood to stow. In its open form the side wid­ows fold down and, for rea­sons un­known, all of the glass is stamped ‘Seku­rit’.

‘The whole in­te­rior, in dark blue, is in sur­pris­ingly orig­i­nal con­di­tion’

Cabri­o­let As­tura could be the only one in ex­is­tence. It was built in 1932 but has been in stor­age for nearly 60 years

The V8 will need work to recom­mis­sion, but the gear­box is re­ported to be in bet­ter or­der

The win­dows de­scend when the large hood is folded – the mech­a­nism uses strong pis­tons

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