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1922 Lancia Lambda

1922 Lancia Lambda

1922 Lancia Lambda

The Lambda was one of the most innovative cars of the twenties with its chassis, independant suspension and compact engine. It was the first to feature a load-bearing monocoque body which adopted by almost every manufacturer thirty years later. Vincenzo Lancia personally envisioned the Lambda after considering ship design and the strength that a hull needs to battle the great seas.

Every Lamda was based around a steel monocoque which eliminated the need for a heavy frame. Most of the body’s strength came from the driveshaft tunnel which formed a lightweight backbone for the car. Passengers were seated beside the tunnel allowing for a lower roofline. Typically cars of this period placed all the occupants above the driveshaft which resulted in a high center of balance.

Aside from its revolutionary body, the Lambda was also endowed with independent sliding pillar front suspension and four wheel brakes. Combining these attributes with ample power from a unique narrow-angle V4, the Lambda was a driver’s car. So much so, Lancia prepared a Mille Miglia (MM) version, and raced with good success at that race, usually placing in the top ten.

When released for sale the Lambda became known for its road holding, spacious interior and light weight. Despite these traits, the Lambda was never regarded as an elegant nor luxurious car and Lancia described it themslves as the ”The Best Medium Powered Car in the World.” However, this didn’t stop buyers and over 11000 cars were made from 1922 to 1931. During that period the car evolved through eight different series and used progressively larger engines.

The specification listed is for an eighth series car which featured an updated 2570cc engine and a 4-speed manual.

In Detail

submitted by Richard Owen
engine Water Cooled, V4
position Front Longitudinal
valvetrain SOHC,
displacement 2570 cc / 156.8 in³
bore 82.57 mm / 3.25 in
stroke 120 mm / 4.72 in
compression 5.15:1
power 51.5 kw / 69.1 bhp @ 3500 rpm
specific output 26.89 bhp per litre
bhp/weight bhp per tonne
body / frame Aluminum over Stressed Steel Monocoque
driven wheels RWD
front tires 14×50
rear tires 14×50
front brakes Drums
f brake size mm / in
rear brakes Drums
r brake size mm / in
steering Wrom & Wheel
f suspension Independant Sliding Pillar w/Coil Springs, Telescopic Damper
r suspension Live Axle w/Sem-Elliptic Leaf Springs, Friction Dampers
curb weight 1117 kg / 2463 lbs
wheelbase 3419 mm / 134.6 in
front track 1417 mm / 55.8 in
rear track 1417 mm / 55.8 in
length 4572 mm / 180.0 in
width 1661 mm / 65.4 in
transmission 4-Speed Manual
gear ratios 3.19:1, 1.89:1, 1.44:1, 1.00:1, :1
final drive 4.45:1
top speed ~120.7 kph / 75.0 mph