1935 Lancia Augusta March Special Tourer Registration no. ADK 609 Chassis no. 34.1902 Engine no. to be advised
At the other end of the scale from Lancia's large Lambda, Dilambda, Astura and Artena models was the Augusta, produced from 1933 to 1936. Like its larger siblings, the Augusta was powered by a V-configuration engine a 1,196cc four and featured Lancia's trademark sliding-pillar independent front suspension. Exquisitely engineered like all Lancias, the technologically advanced Augusta caught the attention of aristocratic motoring enthusiast Freddie Richmond, Earl of March, who inherited the Goodwood Estate in the same year that this car was completed: 1935. A former Bentley Motors apprentice and successful racing driver, he was partner in a motor dealership with former Bentley sales manager Hugh Kevill-Davies, trading as Kevill-Davies & March Ltd. This company was responsible for a number of sporting 'March Specials' on Hillman, AC and Riley chassis, which were built by various independent coachbuilders. The Augusta March Special featured cutaway doors, sweeping rear wings extending beyond the body, and a smoothly rounded tail with vertical fin. It is an early example of streamlining, boasting a flush-fitting tonneau covering the rear seats when unoccupied, giving the appearance of a two-seat roadster. When folded down the convertible hood was completely hidden from view, making it one of the first examples of the disappearing soft-top applied to a 'British' car. Like all the finest bespoke creations, the Lancia Augusta March Special was far from cheap, being priced at £450 when a Jaguar SS1 could be purchased for £395.
'ADK 609' was first registered in December 1935 but there is no record of its early history. The car comes with a copy of its Mayo Motor Library, Lancia Augusta March Special Register entry, which takes up the story in May 1952 when the car belonged to one D H O Smart of Kerridge, Macclesfield. Its next owner was Don Warren of Sussex, during whose ownership (circa 1957-59) the front axle was replaced by Lancia (England) Ltd following an accident.
In June 1966 the Augusta passed to R F Hartley Leppard of Hove, Sussex, who is the first owner listed in the accompanying old-style continuation logbook. He was followed by Peter Giddings of Brighton and then Douglas Burnell 'Bunny' Tubbs, well-known motoring writer and past editor of The Motor. During Bunny's ownership 'ADK 609' went on the Lancia Motor Club's Rally to Turin (1971) and International Rally (1973). Its next three owners, in order, were Geoffrey Allen of Blackboys, East Sussex; Graeme Steinfort of Victoria, Australia; and motor dealer Dick Parrett of Shepreth, Cambridgeshire, who acquired the car in 2001.
The current vendor purchased the Augusta in June 2005 and since then the cylinder head has been rebuilt by Mass Racing Developments, who had previously overhauled the engine, as detailed in the bill on file dated February 2010. The gearbox was rebuilt in 2014 and the car is described as in generally excellent condition, with very good paintwork and interior. 'ADK 609' has also been equipped with a Centric supercharger, an in-period option that was fitted to the Augusta March Special tested by The Autocar in 1934. The esteemed motoring magazine found that the blown car had 'altogether exceptional capabilities on top gear for an engine of its capacity', continuing, 'this Lancia Augusta possesses a most attractive kind of performance, for it gets up to 55 or 60mph and will run there without the least fuss or bother...' In addition to the 'blower', the car has also been fitted with a brake servo, twin fuel pumps, seat belt anchorages, two driving lamps and a clock.
In recent years the Lancia has been used for historic road rallies including the Liège-Rome-Liège, finishing 12th overall and 1st in class in 2004. The car is offered with the aforementioned documentation and copy Autocar road test, FIVA Identity Card, FIA Historic Regularity Pass, expired MoT (2013), current road fund licence and V5C registration document.