<b>1932 Lancia Dilambda Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 27-934 <br />Engine no. 1031

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Lot 192
Barn Discovery
1932 Lancia Dilambda Town Car
Coachwork by Carrozzeria Castagna of Milan

Sold for US$ 47,040 inc. premium
Barn Discovery
1932 Lancia Dilambda Town Car
Coachwork by Carrozzeria Castagna of Milan

Chassis no. 27-934
Engine no. 1031

3,960cc SOHC V8 Engine
Single Carburetor
100bhp at 4,000rpm
4-Speed Manual Transmission
Sliding Pillar Independent Front Suspension – Live Rear Axle
4-Wheel Mechanical Drum Brakes

*Believed to be a 1932 New York and 1933 Chicago Auto Show Car
*In the present ownership since 1950
*Noted former owners including D. Cameron Peck and Henry B. Babson
*An intriguing and rare project car


THE DILAMBDA

One of the most gifted automobile engineers of all time, Vincenzo Lancia founded his own company in 1906, having previously been FIAT's chief test driver. Introduced in 1907, the first Lancia car showed an independence of thought and defiance of convention that would remain associated with the marque well into the modern era. Military vehicles, lorries, vans and aero engines followed, the latter enabling Lancia to accrue valuable expertise in the design and construction of vee-configuration engines. Lancia's first vee-engined model - the V8 Trikappa sportscar - appeared in 1922 and his third, the Dilambda, in 1929. Unlike its revolutionary Lambda V4 predecessor, the Dilambda did not use a stress-bearing body but reverted to a separate chassis. A new design, the latter possessed exceptional torsional rigidity, a virtue necessitated by its independent front suspension. Narrow-angle vee-configuration engines were a Lancia speciality, the Dilambda's 3,960cc overhead-valve unit having cylinder banks disposed at only 24 degrees. With 100bhp on tap, the Dilambda in its short-chassis form was capable of 85mph, an exceptional performance at the time. The Dilambda remained in production until 1935, by which time only some 1,700 of these luxurious cars had been built.

THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

According to information supplied with the car and supported by marque authorities, this remarkable andrecently discovered Lancia is believed to have been the very car that had been displayed at the Auto Salons in both New York City in 1932 and the following year in Chicago. We are not certain if this would have been as an imported car, or perhaps for its coachbuilder Castagna. This well renowned Italian house had been founded in the mid-19th Century when Carlo Castagna took over the carriage-making business of his erstwhile employer, a Mr. Ferrari. With the coming of motorized transport, Castagna turned to making motor bodies, specializing in the chassis of prestigious makes including Isotta Fraschini, Mercedes-Benz, Hispano Suiza, Daimler, Lancia, Duesenberg and Alfa Romeo. By 1920 Castagna was Italy's biggest coachbuilder, with approximately 400 employees. Castagna exhibited at the New York Auto Salon at the Commodore Hotel in 1928 and 1929 and developed a good following among American clientele. In American cities, the coachbuilding nomenclature of Sedanca de Ville was commonly referred to as a Town Car and it is easy to see how a car of this guise may well have been marketed at the Salon.

The car's early history, assumed immediately post show circuit, is understood to be that the car was purchased new by a Mr. Henry B. Babson, being most likely the famed entrepreneur and breeder of Arabian horses - the Babson equine breeding line survives to this day. He lived in Chicago and could certainly have afforded the upscale European coachbuilt Lancia, perhaps seeing it at the show and acquiring it, as was quite common practice. From Babson it is said to have passed to Howe B. Willis in 1937. Willis was a noted Italian car aficionado and the founder of the Isotta Fraschini Owners Club in the 1950s (later disbanded). By the 1940s the car is understood to have been owned by famed pioneering car collector D. Cameron Peck of Chicago. George V. Campbell, Highland Park, Illinois advertised the car in the Antique Automobile Club of America in 1950 for $725. It was purchased by the late husband of the current owner Lauren Suter, on July 14, 1950. On file is fascinating correspondence between Suter and the various sources that he hoped may assist with maintenance, parts, or indeed refurbishment.

Close inspection of the car today endorses its likely application as a show car, as the design is both elegantly poised and low slung for a car of its form and the quality of the materials and plethora of chrome accents and details are all the sorts of features that manufacturers and coachbuilders packed on to demonstration vehicles.

Untouched in decades and unused for more, its fascinating features and history ensure that it would make a very worthwhile project and a striking and rewarding concours car if completed.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note, the title for this vehicle will be in transit.
Contacts
<b>1932 Lancia Dilambda Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 27-934 <br />Engine no. 1031
<b>1932 Lancia Dilambda Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 27-934 <br />Engine no. 1031
<b>1932 Lancia Dilambda Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 27-934 <br />Engine no. 1031
<b>1932 Lancia Dilambda Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 27-934 <br />Engine no. 1031
<b>1932 Lancia Dilambda Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 27-934 <br />Engine no. 1031
<b>1932 Lancia Dilambda Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 27-934 <br />Engine no. 1031
<b>1932 Lancia Dilambda Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 27-934 <br />Engine no. 1031
<b>1932 Lancia Dilambda Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 27-934 <br />Engine no. 1031
<b>1932 Lancia Dilambda Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 27-934 <br />Engine no. 1031
<b>1932 Lancia Dilambda Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 27-934 <br />Engine no. 1031
<b>1932 Lancia Dilambda Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 27-934 <br />Engine no. 1031
<b>1932 Lancia Dilambda Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 27-934 <br />Engine no. 1031
<b>1932 Lancia Dilambda Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 27-934 <br />Engine no. 1031
<b>1932 Lancia Dilambda Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 27-934 <br />Engine no. 1031
<b>1932 Lancia Dilambda Town Car</b><br />Chassis no. 27-934 <br />Engine no. 1031
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