Car of the Week: Lancia Astura Aerodinamico

Lancia Astura Aerodinamico

Although it is perfectly suited to the Lancia chassis atop which it is perched today, that stunning aerodynamic body by the Italian coachbuilder, Castagna, was in fact originally crafted for an Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Lungo and was shown at the 1934 Milan Motor Show.

In 1935, on instructions from Vittorio and Bruno Mussolini, sons of the Italian dictator, it was transferred to the shortened chassis of a V8-engined Lancia Astura Series 2. The Mussolini brothers briefly raced the car under the banner of Scuderia Parioli, a racing team for the children of wealthy parents; the car ran in the 24 Hours of Pescara in 1935, but retired with fuel problems.

That same year it was also shown at the seventh Concorso d’eleganza Villa d’este. The Lancia remained in Italy in the years before World War Two, then spent some time in Britain during the 1950s, where it was once repaired with a Morris Eight Series front grille. Later restored by a British owner, in 1982 the car found its way into the Rosso Bianco museum in Germany.

Its current custodian acquired the slippery-bodied Astura in 2006 and had it restored to original specification by specialist Paul Grist. In 2016 it was awarded the Coppa d’Oro at the Villa d’Este concours.