Produced between 1931 and 1939, the Lancia Astura was conceived to be the more accessible alternative to the Dilambda, Lancia's flagship model. Priced at 45.000 Lire against of the Dilambda's 88.500, the Astura was designed with a traditional chassis-on-frame construction rather than the revolutionary self supporting structure seen on the Lambda in 1922, as it was destined to be bodied exclusively by third-party coachbuilders. Pininfarina, Castagna, Stabilimenti Farina, Touring and Vanden Plas were among the most famous stylists who worked on Astura's chassis for the entire production period, producing some of the most exclusive and beautiful cars ever seen in the 30ies. Also, the name Astura reflected the strong nationalism of that era, as it was a departure from Lancia's tradition of naming its cars after the Greek Alphabet. As a matter of fact, its name derives from the one of the ancient castle located in the town of Nettuno, just south of Rome.
Benefitting from Lancia innovations such as the Trikappa narrow V-angle V8 engine and the excellent front wheel drive independent suspension, the Astura was a real value-for-money high level automobile of its time. It used a variant of the Dilambda's 3956cc 24° V8 engine, with total displacement reduced down to 2606cc (later increased to 3000 rpm) which featuried a narrower 19° V angle. Power output resulted in a brilliant 72hp, and although it was 38 hp less than the Dilambda, the Astura weighted around 450kg less which made it achieve a strong advantage in both acceleration and handling. Surprisingly, also the comfort resulted even superior to the Dilambda thanks to the use of Lancia's new elastic joints between the engine and the chassis, which eliminated almost any vibration from the engine.
The first series was produced between 1931 and 1932 in around 500 units and it marked immediately a strong success: at the end of the 8 year production period there would have been 4 different series and about 2900 Asturas built.