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from the same collection
Chassis no. 413207 - Engine no. 41297
Coachbuilder: Carrozzeria Colli
Categories: C- One-off models; E- Historic event cars; F- Cars owned by the famous; L- Limited edition cars (no. 2 manufactured)
Owner: Museo Nicolis (Italy)
The car was prepared in 1939 by Carrozzeria Colli, by order of the Milanese Scuderia Ambrosiana, for one of the Scuderia top drivers: Luigi Villoresi.
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Following the 1929 launch of the large Dilambda with a displacement of over four litres, Lancia had to find a replacement for the Lambda. Abandoning expensive and sophisticated features such as the monocoque chassis and simplifying the design of the eight-cylinder Dilambda engine, the Astura was presented at the 1931 Paris Motor Show with a displacement of 2606 cc, later increased in 1933 to 2973 cc for the III and IV series. The III Series is the most interesting from a racing point of view as in 1934, as well as winning the Giro d’Italia with Pintacuda and Nardelli ahead of an Alfa Romeo and the Astura of Farina, the same crew took it to 10th overall in the MM and 2nd in the Touring class, three minutes down on an Alfa 6C 1750. It then went on to finish 3rd overall in the Spa 10 Hours race.

Although it was created to be the Lancia luxurious flagship car, the Astura was often raced by private drivers. With the introduction of the above mentioned Sport Nazionale category, Lurani and Minetti’s Scuderia Ambrosiana, behind which there was probably Lancia itself, prepared an Astura in compliance with the dictates of the AlACR’s attachment C. The car shown in the Museum Nicolis was prepared in 1939 by Carrozzeria Colli, by order of the Milanese Scuderia Ambrosiana, for one of the Scuderia top drivers: Luigi Villoresi.

The car, whose engine gave 110 bhp compared with 82 bhp of the series version thanks to an experimental hemispheric cylinder head similar to the one of the new Aprilia, was entered to the 1940 Mille Miglia, but unfortunately Gigi Villoresi had a road accident during the running in of the car and so he could not participate in the race. In the post-war years, this car was raced by several Italian drivers, among whom Franco Cortese who gained the highest success, before being sold to the English drivers John Gordon and David Lewis who drove it at 1948 Mille Miglia, 1948 Grand Prix International 24 Heures Spa and 1949 Mille Miglia.

Ended its race career, the car was used for much less noble actions: the smuggling of precious watches from Switzerland to Italy. Seized by the Swiss police, for many years the Astura remained forgotten in a warehouse, where it was rediscovered by Luciano Nicolis who brought it to Italy and had it restored in order to proudly use it at the most prestigious classic car events.
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history - owners & events
21st December 1938 - 26th April 1940
owner: Agenzia Commerciale Dell'automobile E. Minetti | Italy
27th April 1940 - 11th June 1940
owner: Luigi (Gigi) Villoresi | Italy
28th April 1940
Mille Miglia
| Brescia | Italy
driver: Luigi Villoresi
entry number: 75
22nd November 1946 - 8th July 1947
owner: Angelo Caprara | Italy
8th July 1947 - September 1947
owner: John Stapleton Gordon | Italy
8th September 1947 - 1951
owner: Maria Vittoria Winspeare | Italy
24th April 1949
Mille Miglia
| Brescia | Italy
driver: John Stapleton Gordon
co-driver: D. Lewis
entry number: 622
21st March 1974 - 26th April 1981
owner: Giuseppe Medici | Italy
21st May 1992 - 24th May 1992
Mille Miglia
| Brescia - Roma - Brescia | Italy
driver: Luciano Nicolis
entry number: 84

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