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Author Topic: Mystery Astura  (Read 2996 times)
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« on: 05 July, 2010, 07:20:07 PM »

A contact in Italy has sent me the following photos of a special Astura, he would like to know if anyone knows about it, this is what he has said:-
This car came out from nowhere for the first time at V Concours of Elegance in Turin last May. This is what the restorer told me: it's a 1939 spyder Motto (41-3301). In 1946 Motto rebodied the car in a sport spyder. An American pilot who was in Turin that year bought the car to race with it at Indianapolis, where in a car crash the car burned totally. After that it disappeared until 2006, when his customer bought the wreck in the USA.Using some period photos (i didn't see them) the restorer rebodied the chassis like the car was in 1946, under the supervision of Motto's son, Franco.This is a terrific barn find, but looking these photos i can't recognize a'40s car or a Motto's car. I don't know why, but the car seems to me a fake.There are some mistakes too: it's a left hand drive, the wheel is in walnut, there are too many Lancia badges around. The restorer admitted them, he said they are vagaries of his customer.So i checked: an american friend of mine send to me the list of the competitor cars at Indianapolis from 1946 to 1950, but no one Astura joined in a race at Indianapolis.I asked to John de Boer, italian car register, if he saw this car and he answered to me he never saw this car before. Like me, he thinks it's a fake.I phoned to the Motto's son to ask something more, but he doesn't want to talk.I know the only Astura joined in a race after the WWII was the Gordon's 1939 Colli sport at 1949MM, actually is in the Nicolis Museum near Verona.This car is driving me crazy !


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* A3.jpg (55.87 KB, 640x480 - viewed 398 times.)

* A4.jpg (50.25 KB, 640x480 - viewed 317 times.)

* A5.jpg (47.61 KB, 640x480 - viewed 834 times.)
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« Reply #1 on: 05 July, 2010, 08:02:50 PM »

I've posted a link to this on the alfabb as there are quite a number of posters knowledgeable in the more obscure Italian eceterini regularly posting (John de Boer included).

It seems a bit of a stretch to think anyone would have thought it would have been competitive at Indianapolis ?
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« Reply #2 on: 06 July, 2010, 01:01:21 AM »

Hardly the most elegant of special bodied Lancia's that I've seen, the proportions look wrong.

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« Reply #3 on: 07 July, 2010, 03:37:54 AM »

Many years ago (10+) I had a conversation with a Dr in Vermont, who had a poor reputation to say the least. He told me he had this burnt Astura  with a Motto body on it. He said the car was totally shot, save the body, and it might be useful to someone with a spare Astura chassis. The body was  not well known, but he thought it authentic.

Given his reputation, none of this means anything - except that there was probably a burnt Astura somewhere in the pile. Needless to say, no visit took place. I did poke around, but never went to see it.  Like others,  no information was found to confirm this. On the other hand - might be true. Weirder things have happened.
« Last Edit: 05 November, 2010, 10:48:27 PM by GG » Logged

B20 s.2, Appia C10 unrestored
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« Reply #4 on: 05 November, 2010, 06:40:50 PM »

As is often the case this whole story line has some truths. The attached pictures were taken by me in Los Angeles in the late 80's. It was a real car built on a 3rd series chassis. It had been registered in California in 1955 and had a US Forces in Austria plate on it. It was later sold to someone on the East coast and we later heard that it had been "destroyed" in a fire. Unless the body had been removed from the chassis before the fire I don't quite understand how the chassis could be destroyed and the body survive. At any rate the numbers now on the car are not what was there when I first saw the car[


* Astura3.jpg (340.46 KB, 695x828 - viewed 294 times.)

* Astura1.jpg (209.71 KB, 794x438 - viewed 321 times.)
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« Reply #5 on: 09 November, 2010, 10:55:06 PM »

It looks to me as though somone has tried to make a replica and made a hash of it. The last pictures lack the bulged boot lid, the rear deck flows more gently into the bumper area and the opening for the grille is wider at the base. I have a picture culled from the net which is variously captioned 1938 or 1947 Astura Mille Millia but in both cases attributed to Motta.


* Astura Motta 1947 Millie Miglia.jpg (17.73 KB, 348x193 - viewed 355 times.)
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