1939 Lancia Astura Colli Spider

1939 Lancia Astura Colli Spider

From its inception the Astura was sold as a luxury touring car, but that didn’t stop ambitious customers from converting some of the 2900 examples into a race cars. The relaxed rules of the Mille Miglia meant that virtually anything with four wheels could contest the grueling race.

The first Asturas appeared at the Mille Miglia in 1933 and placed 40th overall. This was followed by an attempt in 1934 which Mario Nardilli and Carlo Pintacuda placed a remarkable 10th place. Not until 1940 did another Astura make an appearance at the great race with our feature red spider.

Prepared with a special body from Carrozeria Colli, this Lancia was prepared for Scuderia Ambrosiana. The engine was tuned with a new cylinder head to reach 100 bhp. Luigi Villoresi was assigned to drive the car, but it suffered a road accident and did not finish.

The Colli Spider was later picked up by Franco Cortese. After some success, he then passed it on to English driver John Gordon. He entered it in the 1948 and 1949 Mille Miglias to limited success.

After it’s racing career was over, the Swiss police impounded the car for smuggling between Switzerland and Italy. It was found stored by Luciano Nicolis who restored the car. It is now retained by the Luciano Nicolis Museum where it is on permanent display.

1939 Lancia Astura Colli Spider

In Detail

submitted byRichard Owen
engineTipo 91, 19º V8
positionFront Longitudinal
valvetrainDOHC 2 Valves per Cyl
fuel feedZenith 30 DVI Downdraught Carburetor
displacement2972 cc / 181.36 in³
bore74.6 mm / 2.9 in
stroke85 mm / 3.3 in
power82.0 kw / 110 bhp
specific output37.01 bhp per litre
body / frameAluminum Body over Steel Ladder Frame
driven wheelsRWD
wheelbase3475 mm / 136.8 in
front track1400 mm / 55.1 in
rear track1420 mm / 55.9 in
transmission4-Speed Manual
tran clutchSingle Dry Plate