1928 LANCIA LAMBDA
Attractive roadster body
On the button
With four-wheel brakes, independent front suspension and V4 overhead camshaft engine, many enthusiasts view the Lancia Lambda as one of the great automobiles of all time. The Lambda was also successful in competition with privately entered cars finishing fourth and fifth behind the works OMs in the first Mille Miglia of 1927.
The Lambda was continually developed through nine series of cars with the 8th and 9th series receiving a larger 2570cc engine and four-speed gearbox.
This 8th series example found its way to Australia and was in poor shape when it came into the hands of veteran automotive engineer and Lambda guru Don Wright. The chassis did, however, retain its original front suspension, front mudguards, and Bosch headlights. Don eventually accepted he would never have the time to rebuild it, so in 1991 he sold the project to master panel beater Greg Mackie of Mittagong, New South Wales.
After poring over period Lambda photographs Greg selected a two-seater, long-tail design by English coachbuilders Albany and resolved to create a body as close to the original as possible. Thankfully, due to the dry climate, a large number of Lambdas survived in Australia, so parts could still be sourced.
Rather than using a wooden frame Greg constructed the body entirely from steel. Wood was only used for only decorative items such as the door cappings and dashboard top. As long-distance touring is unavoidable in Australia, Greg ensured the cockpit was spacious and comfortable.
To retain rigidity and eliminate the risk of water leaks, no external access to the luggage compartment was provided which also adds an extra level of security. Luggage is loaded behind tilting seats. Greg had the windscreen frame specially cast to match the profile of the scuttle precisely and even the mirror mounts are part of the casting, not bolt-on items.
A new radiator grille was fabricated in nickel silver to the exact dimensions of the original and the car was then painted in a deep black finish before final trimming in tan leather and black hood.
Greg restored the Lambda over some eight-years before its debut at the 1999 Lancia meeting Castlemaine, Victoria where it won the Lancia Restoration trophy.
In 2007, after reading an article featuring the car in a 2000 edition of the Automobile magazine, Keith and Diane Humphreys bought the Lambda and shipped it to Auckland, New Zealand before enjoying the car on various tours and club events. During their tenure the sliding pillar suspension was rebuilt with new components.
Recently fitted with an original 8th series specification engine, this beautiful Lambda is in excellent order and on the button.