In the nineteen thirties the Lancia Astura represented the ultimate in Italian style and class. Virtue with Italian flair.
The Lancia collection by the Dutch Jansen family is no stranger here on CineCars. Today Harry Jansen shows us a 1932 Lancia Astura, a car for connaisseurs. An aristocratic appearance with a name going back to the river south of Rome, where in the fifth century the Romans fought their final battles against the upcoming Vandals. A name with heritage, a name that surrounds the car with the dignity it deserves.
The love in Harry Jansen’s story on the Lancia Astura runs deeper than the night blue example he shows us today. The Jansen family owns already four Astura’s in several states of ‘project’, when they find this Irish beauty. A chance they just can’t pass by on. With a history in Scotland, London and Ireland, this James Young Ltd bodied Astura is a true gem. Today this nearly perfect vehicle tours the Dutch countryside much to the enjoyment of the Jansen’s. This Astura even knows how to tempt a hardened mechanic like Harry to take place behind the wheel every now and then, even though he prefers tinkering far beyond driving.
In 1931 the Astura succeeds the groundbreaking Lancia Lambda. Like its predecessor the newcomer is the pearl in the crown on modern automotive engineering. An especially compact 2.6 litre V8 engine is the base for comfy and often very luxurious creations by Pininfarina and many others. The smooth and silent V8 fits beautifully to the stately style of the Astura. Lancia’s famous sliding pillar front suspension combined with an ingenious remote controlled hydraulic damping of the rear axle leads to a level of road holding that impresses even today. Hydraulic brakes all around and a nifty central lubrication device are just some of the other characteristics that show how far ahead of time this Lancia really was.
Driving the Astura the first thing you notice is how smoothly this car mingles with modern traffic. Ah well, the non-synchronized gear box needs a little getting used to, but besides that this 86 year old simply does what she is supposed to deliver. This is a car that helped create the blueprint for the modern automobile. A car that shows perfectly how a manufacturer like Lancia was already way ahead of its time during the Interbellum. Creating a future that would bring us many more beautiful things. To Harry Jansen, the Lancia Astura is exactly the car to embody the true meaning of a classic car. Pure lines, clear cut engineering, a combination that connects generations within the Jansen family. Now and in the future.
Marc GF Zaan