24 July 2000
1925 LANCIA LAMBDA 4TH SERIES TORPEDO TOURER
Registration No. XY 2177
Red with black wings and black leather interior.
Engine: Tipo 67. Narrow Vee 4 cylinder, overhead camshaft, 2120cc, 50bhp at 3000rpm, Zenith Triple Diffuser carburettor; Gearbox: Four speed manual; Brakes: four wheel mechanical; Suspension: front; Lancia patented independent with sliding pillars, rear, live rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs. Right-hand drive.
On 15 March 1921 Vincenzo Lancia instructed his technical design staff to investigate ways of building a completely new car based on his 1919 patented monocoque design with independent front suspension and a narrow vee engine. Lancia tested the first prototype in September 1921 and delighted with his test drive sanctioned the development of the Lambda into production.
The Lambda introduced to the public at the 1922 Paris Salon was indeed a technical masterpiece. The combination of stressed hull frame, sliding pillar front suspension, vee four engine and four wheel brakes created a car that was low, spacious and offered good performance.
The stressed hull comprised a skeleton framework of 2mm pressed steel forming the overall shape crossbraced by the scuttle, bulkhead and seat assemblys. The propshaft tunnel formed the backbone of the crossmembers and gave longitudinal rigidity. A sheet steel skin was riveted to the skeleton frame. Tubes bracing the front frame and the bulkhead carried the engine and gearbox. The rear springs were suspended on a tube across the rear of the car. The bootlid closed the frame at the rear and the four doors and bonnet, the only non-stressed parts, completed the structure. Amazing torsional rigidity was achieved.
The vee four engine has an aluminium cylinder block with four cast-iron cylinders cast integrally and also bearing the crankshaft. The short and sturdy crankshaft ran in three main bearings with the vertical overhead camshaft driven by gears at the front. The cast iron cylinder head bears the overhead camshaft valve gear and has the inlet and exhaust manifolds (ports) cast integrally. All this achieved a stiff and light engine of compact size allowing the gear box to be located under the bonnet, thus giving more passenger space.
A multiplate dry clutch drove to a separate gearbox with the “first” remote control gear-lever. A two-piece propshaft with Hardy Spicer couplings completed the drive-train.
The Torpedo Tourer went on sale in 1923 and soon became renowned for its performance, handling and safe road holding. It was lower, more spacious and comfortable, lighter to drive and therefore faster and safer. It became and still is a favourite with car enthusiasts. Designed as a tourer it has sports car handling and road holding and achieved standards and solutions to car design decades before other manufacturers thought of them.
“The Best Medium Powered Car in the World” says 1925 Lambda advertisement. “Not built to a price but as a masterpiece of advanced design and engineering skill-to satisfy the most discriminating Motorist who demands the utmost in quality, appearance and performance . True today as proven by the enthusiastic following Lambdas have Worldwide.
This Lambda, a fourth series 1925 model, is representative of the archytepe of all Lambda models. Until 1996 it was owned for almost forty years by a gentleman in Bath who maintained the car and kept it on the road almost continuously, as a result it has remained in good original condition throughout with correct instrumentation and engine ancillaries. Recently benefitting from reconditioned rear shock absorbers, water pump and Autovac.
With original UK registration, tax and MOT plus VSCC Blue-form the car is ready to be driven throughout the Summer months.
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No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.
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