1924 Lancia Lambda Series III Saloon by Castagna
Reg. no. YP 2783
Chassis no. 1917
Engine no. 1932
In the first few decades of the 20th century, Lancia became renowned as one of the more innovative car companies. This reputation was in no small part helped by the Lambda, introduced in 1922 – the first car with a semi-monocoque construction, and one of the first uses of independent sliding-pillar front suspension. While earlier Lancias had tended to be large cars with high capacity engines, the Lambda was comparatively small and light, and thus the 2.1 litre engine, producing 49bhp initially, was enough to make it a rather sporty car. The engine itself was interesting for its configuration; instead of the straight-4 that was the norm at the time, this was a V4 – another first for Lancia. A single overhead camshaft served both banks of cylinders, while the V angle was an extremely narrow 20 degrees, enabling the use of a single cylinder head for both banks. The result was an extremely compact engine, no doubt helping the weight distribution and handling of the car. The Lambda went through nine different series in just nine years of production, each new series bringing further improvements to the then cutting-edge technology.
This 1924 3rd-series Lambda is believed to be unique; saloon bodies were not available until the 6th series, which was offered as a bare chassis, and Lancia didn’t build their own saloon body until the 8th series. The reason for this was that the Lambda’s strength was partially derived from its body tub, due to the semi-monocoque construction. It was therefore not usually feasible for any bodies other than Lancia’s own to be fitted. This changed later on when a more conventional chassis was introduced, but this car pre-dates that. It was delivered to coachbuilders Castagna of Milan one week after it was built, and they modified it in very ingenious fashion – it retains the original steel body tub, and therefore its structural rigidity, but the traditional ash-framed saloon body has been built on and around that. Imported to the UK in 1926, the car has been in the current family since 1945, and its entire UK history is documented in logbooks. In generally good condition, it may however benefit from some attention to the engine, although it still remains in fair running order. This fascinating car comes with a large quantity of spares and specialist tools, plus a V5c.
Extra details and estimates:
£40,000 - 50,000
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