Lost & found
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: firstname.lastname@example.org). “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