17.02.2011 REVOLUTIONARY LAMBDA TOOK CENTRE STAGE ON LANCIA'S STAND AT AUTOMOTORETRO

LANCIA AUTOMOTORETRO 2011
LANCIA AUTOMOTORETRO 2011
LANCIA AUTOMOTORETRO 2011

Lancia brought its latest two production special series to Automotoretro 2011, the Ypsilon Diva and Musa 5th Avenue, showcasing the cutomised pairing alongside a trio of versions of one of its most elegant pre-war tourers, the Lambda.

Lancia brought its latest two production special series to Automotoretro 2011, the Ypsilon Diva and Musa 5th Avenue, showcasing the cutomised pairing alongside a trio of versions of one of its most elegant pre-war tourers, the Lambda.

Lancia brought three examples of the beautiful Lambda to the Lingotto Fiere last weekend: a stunning series IX, the final run of this model, from 1931 (torpedo) as well as a Lambda series V from 1925 (torpedo lungo) and a Lambda series VI from 1926 (roadster). The Lambda was the perfect car to present at Automotoretro as it sums up the brand so well: a mix of technical innovation, elegant style and motorsporting prowess.

The Lambda was quite simply an automotive revolution when it arrived being the first car to feature a monocoque-type bodyshell with innovative packaging of its mechanical components such as in the design of the central tunnel, independent suspension, and even a special design of damper. The car was acclaimed when it debuted at the Paris Motor Show and then in London in 1922; eventually more than 12,000 were built. Lancia has a century-old reputation for proving just how special its cars are by taking up the toughest of all challenges poised by the race and rally tracks, and the Lambda was to be no different: it was the car chosen for the brand's first crack at the Mille Miglia in 1927 and it went on to distinguish itself with overall victories and class wins in important races, thus further cementing the firm's growing reputation in eyes across the world.

The three Lambdas attracted much attention in the exhibition centre. However Ypsilon 'Diva' and Musa '5th Avenue' are - unfortunately - two instantly forgettable special series versions of much admired cars that are coming to the end of their successful lives. The Diva, the somewhat cringe-worthy name aside, is identifiable by a low grade plastic badge stuck on the B-pillar, while the Musa 5th Avenue gets even worse, it has incomprehensible strips on the A- ,B- and C-pillars that, possibly due to the special edition's name are meant to represent high rise buildings; however they appeared more like rubber residue from transit foam packing that had forgotten to be cleaned off when they were delivered, and certainly their detailing's ugliness would he amplified once road use grim was attracted. Inside it does get better however as the Musa's well regarded cabin design and interior space - it is marketed by Lancia as the "city limousine" - is given a rich leather finished.

Unfortunately Lancia's present day bosses posses very little understanding of the brand's values so there was no room on the stand to remember sporting icons that built the reputation it holds today, most notably so as the most famous rallying brand ever, breeding a litany of legends such as the Stratos, 037 and Delta Integrale - cars that visitors to Automotoretro had come to see. However, while Lancia's management have miss the brand's DNA, fortunately many of the exhibitors in the Fiere did, and Lancisti were treated to a feast of its rich sporting tradition side-by-side with a swelter of further historic models renown for their innovation, elegance and dynamic abilities. Possibly the star of the whole show was the fearsome ECV1 rally prototype, built for a prospective class than was supposed to replace Group B, itself composed of the most outrageously advanced genre of machines ever to hits the rally tracks. The ECV1 never got to turn a wheel in anger and this amazing showcase of Lancia's technological prowess was then consigned to storage dust for a quarter of a century. Late last year, thanks to the efforts of the fabulously talented Giuseppe Volta and the driving skills of another Lancia rally legend Miki Biasion, the ECV1 caused a sensation at Rally Legend and at Automotoretro it was the centre of attention, shown on the stand of the Automobile Club Torino.

ItaliaspeedTV: Automotoretro 2011 - Lancia stand
 

2011 Interfuture Media/Italiaspeed