One of the most gifted automobile engineers of all time, Vincenzo Lancia founded his own company in 1906, having previously been in FIAT’s employ as chief test driver.
Introduced in 1907, the first Lancia car showed an independence of thought and defiance of convention that would remain associated with the marque well into the modern era. A milestone in automotive history, the revolutionary Lambda of 1922 was the world’s first car to have a stress-bearing monocoque body and the first to be powered by a V4 engine.
Only a handful of Lambdas were used in competition, starting from the second half of the Twenties. These cars were distinguished in their displacement class (the class “3-litre) in the first edition of the Mille Miglia , which took place on the 26 and 27 March 1927.
Two cars; those of Strazza / Varallo and Fist / Bergia were classified first and second in class and took a magnificent fourth and fifth overall. Delighted with the outcome Vincenzo Lancia himself decided to prepare a more suitable circuit version of the car with his friend Strazza in time for the second edition of the race in 1928. Three units were produced by Carrosserie Casaro for the official 1928 Lancia Team.
The Type 223 Casaro cars were distinguished externally for running boards (and wings) in the highest position from the ground, with a stunning streamline torpedo rear. The three “spider Casaro’s” were the first to be equipped with 2569 cc engines that will power all of the Lambda eighth and ninth series. This time (1928) Lancia got closer to victory, finishing only 6 minutes behind the supercharged Alfa Romeo 6C to take 3rd step on the podium and victory for the 3 litre class.
ABOUT THIS SPECIFIC EXAMPLE
Our Lancia Lambda Type 223 (8th Series Corto Spider) is a well known Mille Miglia veteran car because the car started in 1930, 1931, 1932 and 1934 at the Mille Miglia.
The car has a fantastic Mille Miglia history and is even complete with 3 of the 4 original sealings from 1930, 1931 and 1932.
These sealings are still present on the steering wheel.
The Lancia has an impressive Mille Miglia history file with documents which proofs it’s participation in the Mille Miglia. Period pictures and documentation from the Mille Miglia Museum Archive in Brescia provide indications of its beautiful competition career.
Mr. Coda has always been the driver and in 1931 and 1932 he drove the race with Mr. Caligaris. In 1930 and 1934, Mr. Ramella was his co-driver.
Right-hand drive like all Lancias up to the 1950s, amongst the fact that the car has been regular participant of the Mille Miglia it was owned for 52 years by Mr. Luigi Villoresi, a very well known Italian Grand Prix motor racing legend and winner of the 1951 Mille Miglia. He was the recorded owner of the car from 1948 until 1990 when at the age of 81 years old he gave the Lambda to a dear friend in Florence, the Police Doctor Mr. Luciano Caporali, a classic car enthusiast and founder of the Scuderia Pantere Storiche where Mr. Villoresi was a member in the last years of his career.
Luigi Villoresi was born in 1909, in Milan. He was often referred to by his nickname of “Gigi”. From a prosperous family, Villoresi could afford to buy a car of his own and began competing in local rallies at the age of twenty-two with a Lancia Lambda.
A few years later he acquired a Fiat Balilla with which he and his brother Emilio competed in the Mille Miglia. In 1938, Luigi Villoresi became part of the Maserati team and in 1949 he signed with Ferrari debuting in Formula 1. In 1951 Villoresi / Cassani were the winner of the Mille Miglia on a Ferrari 340 America Berlinetta. Luigi Villoresi died in 1997 at the age of eighty-eight.
The Lambda remained in Florence for a number of years until we were able to purchase it in May 2017 with the intent of going participating in the next Mille Miglia and so we immediately brought it to a very well known Italian Lambda’s specialist in Brescia, who performed various complementary works for the Lambda and rebuilding the engine making a huge upgrade in the power of the Lambda.
Since 2017 it has been used on a regular basis and very successfully participated in the 2018 and 2019 Mille Miglia.
The car was extensively prepared for the Mille Miglia to achieve mechanical perfection yet leave the exterior unchanged, thereby preserving the well worn patina.
The car comes with an impressive history file which includes the invoices of the work done in the recent years, a variety of photo albums from rallies including the Mille Miglia and extremely beautiful old photos of the car during its racing career.
We have driven the 2018 and 2019 Mille Miglia in this car ourselves and enjoyed the experience immensely.
Its rarity, its history, but also its sporty and powerful appearance, make this vehicle a very good choice for a subscription in the Mille Miglia.
The beautiful interior features Black leather seats, the car has been the subject of a considerable amount of work, both mechanical and structural but its interior has been left largely undisturbed so it still feels like a proper old car when you sit in it.
A beautiful patina that can never be achieved when an interior is renewed.
The Lambda’s technical innovations make it still very pleasant to drive today. Impressive, considering that it is a car with 90 years of history and life.
On the road it feels very taut and the car goes extremely well, there is no doubt its performance will put many other 1930’s cars including many sports cars of the period to shame.
This car is a very unique and rare appearance. It has a beautiful history since new and an amazing Mille Miglia story.
It is now waiting for a new owner who will continue the unique history of this car.
The Lambda has a very impressive history file and comes with a lot of spare parts.
Included in the history file are amongst other papers: