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.
|submitted by||Richard Owen|
|engine||Tipo 91, 19º V8|
|valvetrain||DOHC 2 Valves per Cyl|
|fuel feed||Zenith 30 DVI Downdraught Carburetor|
|displacement||2972 cc / 181.36 in³|
|bore||74.6 mm / 2.9 in|
|stroke||85 mm / 3.3 in|
|power||82.0 kw / 110 bhp|
|specific output||37.01 bhp per litre|
|body / frame||Aluminum Body over Steel Ladder Frame|
|wheelbase||3475 mm / 136.8 in|
|front track||1400 mm / 55.1 in|
|rear track||1420 mm / 55.9 in|
|tran clutch||Single Dry Plate|