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1936 Lancia Astura news, pictures, specifications, and information
Cabriolet
Coachwork: Pininfarina
 
The Lancia Astura was designed to receive the best custom coachwork available in the 1930s. Pinin Farina was among the first companies to body the Astura. These luxurious cars gained notoriety after the Mussolini regime made them official government transportation.

This third-series short wheelbase, or corto, Astura is one of the most photographed Lancias in the world. It was shown at the 1936 Milan Auto Show on the Pinin Farina stand and at the Concorso d'Eleganza in San Remo the same year.

Approximately 300 short wheelbase Asturas were produced. The proportions of the short wheelbase 233C are impossible to duplicate in the more common long wheelbase models. On note are the door in the center of the body, curved door glass and the two piece V-windshield, each half individually hinged to fold down as desired. The original color of Off-White was refinished in a darker color when the car was presented as a gift of the Italian government to the German government. The earliest registered owner was collector Barney Pollard, who purchased two captured steam locomotives in Berlin in 1947. The car came as part of the package.

The mechanical engineering was quite sophisticated for its time but not widely recognized outside of Europe. It has a sliding pillar front suspension and oil filled rear shocks controlled by a knob in the driver's compartment. The single head, 2604cc, V8 engine is an 82 horsepower marvel. It has a screen oil filter that rotates 17 degrees each time the starter is engaged, and an internal water pump driven by a triple row timing chain.
Cabriolet
Coachwork: Pininfarina
Chassis Num: 333277
Engine Num: 41208
 
High bid of $375,000 at 2010 The Branson Auction. (did not sell)
In 1930, Battista 'Pinin' Farina established his company, in part with an investment from Vincenzo Lancia. Farina quickly created a reputation with the bodies he designed for the newly introduced Lancia Astura. The smooth shapes and elegant designs quickly became styling trademarks for the newly formed company.

This Astura was built on a 1934 chassis and is one of a series of six cars with similar styling commissioned by a Lancia dealer known as Bocca. This car, chassis number 33-3277, was sold in 1936 and the original owner is unknown. After World War II, the car was in the United Kingdom and in the ownership of the chief engineer of BOAC, the British national airline. By the 1960s, the car sat abandoned in a garden in Surrey. It was discovered there in 19962 by Ronald 'Steady' Barker and Michael Scott. Barker showed a photo of the Astura to Mr. Farina, who made a generous offer - if the car could be brought to the Pininfarina facilities near Turin, Italy, he would have it restored at no cost to Michael Scott. Just a year and a half later, the work was completed. This was the first time the Pininfarina Company had ever done a restoration.

The car was retained by Mr. Scott until May of 1976, at which time it was sold to musician Eric Clapton, one of several Asturas he would own. At some time in the 1980s, the car was offered for sale at auction where it was purchased by Pininfarina for the factory collection. It would remain there until purchased by the current owner through a friend who has a close business relationship with the firm.

The car is powered by a V-8 engine that displaces 2973cc and breathes through a 2-Barrel Zenith carburetor. The 82 horsepower is sent to the rear wheels via a four-speed manual gearbox. There are four-wheel drum brakes and an independent front suspension. There is a laid-back grille, balanced teardrop fenders, recessed door handles, and a long wheelbase. Inside, there are basket-weave leather seat backs, orange Bakelite control knobs and jewel-like Jaeger dashboard instruments.

In 2010, this vehicle was offered for sale at the Pebble Beach Auction presented by Gooding & Company. The car was estimated to sell for $450,000 - $550,000. It would leave the auction unsold.

By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2010
The Lancia Astura was produced from 1931 through 1936 with 2,484 examples produced. The Astura was one of the first platforms for which Pinin Farina performed his craft. The Astura was produced in three series and powered by an Overhead Cam V8 engine that displaced 2604cc's and later increased to 2972cc. The Astura was introduced at the 1931 Paris Motor Show alongside the four-cylinder Artena.

The Fist Series was produced between 1931 and 1932 with a total of 496 examples produced. The Second Series was built in 1932 and 1933 with 750 examples made. The Fourth Series was from 1937 through 1939 with 423 units built. The Fourth Series was only offered on a long wheelbase.

By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2008
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