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1938 Lancia Astura Pinin Farina Cabriolet

1938 Lancia Astura on highway
1938 Lancia Astura Pinin Farina Cabriolet cruising down the highway

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Part of our private collection

This 1938 Lancia Astura is one of 423 fourth-series examples built and left the factory as a rolling chassis on November 17, 1938, en route to Carrozzeria Pinin Farina. Chassis 41-3195 reportedly began as a special order for Italian diplomat Count Galeazzo Ciano, but completion of the bodywork was precluded by the outbreak of World War II and Ciano’s 1944 execution. In 1947 Pinin Farina outfitted the car with two-door cabriolet coachwork, after which it is said to have been displayed on Lancia’s stand at the Turin Motor Show. After residing in a Paris collection, it was purchased in 1971 by industrial designer Philippe Charbonneaux and his son and displayed in their Saint-Dizier museum until the late 1970s. The car received a refurbishment in Italy in 1993 and was again freshened following acquisition by its current owner in 2018. It was shown at the 2019 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este and won first in the Pinin Farina Prewar class at the 2021 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Finished in black over red leather, the car is powered by a 3.0-liter narrow-angle V8 with a shared cylinder head housing a single camshaft operating two sets of overhead valves. Additional equipment includes a four-speed manual transmission, sliding-pillar independent front suspension, and hydraulic drum brakes. This Tipo 241 Astura is now offered on dealer consignment in St. Louis, Missouri, with importation paperwork showing US import duties paid, a FIVA identity card, ASI certification, its Pebble Beach class-winner badge, and Italian registration.

The Astura made its debut at the 1931 Paris Motor Show alongside the V4-powered Artena, with which it shared its chassis design. The model was produced in four series, with the final variant offered from 1937 to 1939 featuring a 3,475mm-wheelbase platform chassis instead of the third series’ choice of two shorter-wheelbase box-section frames. Coachwork was supplied in a range of configurations by various European carrozzerie.

1938 Lancia Astura front 3/4 shot
1938 Lancia Astura Pinin Farina Cabriolet

This example’s steel bodywork is finished in black and is said to have undergone refurbishment work by Mario Galbiati in Italy in 1993. Fully-enveloped styling incorporates glass-covered Carello headlights, a centrally hinged hood, a narrow shield-shaped grille, horizontal side-grille accents, trafficators, and a black convertible top.

Body-color steel wheels with bright hubcaps are wrapped in 15/16×45 Michelin “Double Rivet” tires, as is a matching spare secured in the trunk. Hydraulic brakes were introduced to the Astura for its fourth series in place of the model’s previous servo-assisted mechanical setup. First used by Lancia on the 1922 Lambda, the sliding-pillar independent front suspension design comprises coil springs and adjustable shocks contained in oil around vertical pins anchored to either end of a beam axle.

1938 Lancia Astura Pinin Farina Cabriolet cabin

The cabin was reupholstered following the current owner’s acquisition and features red leather over seating for four as well as over the door panels. Additional features include color-matched carpeting, ashtrays and leather grab ropes on each front seatback, and a red-painted dash housing a glovebox and a Pinin Farina-branded ashtray. A St. Christopher medallion is affixed to the left side of the dash.

The banjo-spoke steering wheel is situated at the right of the cabin and frames bronze-color instrumentation including a 160-km/h speedometer, a 5k-rpm tachometer, a clock, and gauges monitoring fuel level and oil pressure. The five-digit odometer shows 350 kilometers (~200 miles), with actual mileage unknown.

 

The 2,972cc Tipo 91 V8 features a 17° angle between cylinder banks with both banks topped by a single detachable cylinder head containing a chain-driven camshaft actuating two sets of overhead valves. Induction is through a single downdraft carburetor, and the engine’s output was originally rated at 82 horsepower. The engine is said to have been rebuilt during the 1993 refurbishment. A tool kit is secured ahead of the cowl inside the engine compartment.

Power is sent to the rear wheels via a four-speed manual transmission and a live-axle rear end. Additional features include a Bijur central lubrication system and a dual exhaust setup.

1938 Lancia Astura Pinin Farina at Pebble Beach Concours
1938 Lancia Astura Pinin Farina Cabriolet at Pebble Beach Concours

The photos include the car being shown during the 2019 Concorso d’Eleganza Ville d’Este, and photos of the car at the 2021 Pebble Beach Concours and Tour d’Elegance along with its Pebble Beach class-winner badge. Also included and shown in the gallery are the car’s FIVA and ASI passports, a letter from Lancia public relations regarding the car’s build date, and 1938 Italian fuel vouchers. The car has its Italian registration paperwork and 2021 US importation paperwork with US import duties paid.

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Vehicle Highlights

  • 1 of only 423 built
  • Black over Red leather
  • Shown at 2019 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este
  • Winner of Pinin Farina Prewar class at the 2021 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance
  • 3.0 L narrow-angle V8
  • 4-speed manual transmission

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