Sunday, 30 March 2014

World’s oldest functioning Lancia motorcar to be auctioned for charity

A 1912 Lancia 20/30 HP Tipo 58 “Epsilon” Corsa went under the hammer at Coys auction at the famous Techno Classica event in Essen, Germany, yesterday.

This car is understood to be the world’s oldest functioning Lancia motorcar and the marque’s only surviving racing car of that period.

It was once owned by Oscar Capellano, one of the most esteemed marque authors and historians, who located it in an un-restored and original state in storage at the Lancia factory museum. Capellano determined that it was one of the 1913 TargaFlorio team cars, due to its unmistakeable VersioneCorsa competition components, and managed to buy it in the late 1970s. He then set out to restore it using all original components where there were none.

Oscar passed away last year and in his honour his daughter decided to sell this car at auction to fund “Progetto Gnekko”. This is a project to build up a nature park in Chivasso in the outskirts of Turin, Italy, where handicapped kids and children who had a bad upbringing will be able to interact with animals and learn to appreciate nature.

Chris Routledge, Managing Partner at Coys, said: 
“This is unique opportunity for the courageous veteran car adventurer not only to own a pre-World War I vehicle from the pioneering days of competition motoring but to help one of the noblest causes.”

He added: “This Lancia was built as a pure race car with no passenger protection, a huge fuel tank and racing gearbox. Today it is still capable of running at modern motorway speeds. We estimate it will sell between €300,000 and €380,000.”
The model was initially available in various versions. It had a mono block engine with a fixed head and unilateral valves pushing out a respectable 60 HP out of the 4.1 litre displacement. It could be ordered in four different chassis lengths to accommodate bodies for trucks, limousines, coupés, Landaulets, torpedos or spiders.

Only 312 chassis were produced and only two of these are known today, including this car and a limousine that is in the SchlumpfMuseum.

 Also featuring in the sale is a highly original 1948 Nardi-BMW Gilco that remains absolutely untouched. According to the famous authority on these cars, Johnde Boer, this is an early Nardi, which used the BMW engine in the front and the ultimate chassis technology at the time, the Gilco chassis. It is estimated at €130,000 - €150,000.

Another important car coming up for sale at this auction is a 1930 Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 Super Sport Zagato ex-Scuderia Ferrari with extensive Mille Miglia history. This car competed several times in the famous race with some outstanding results, including finishing second in class and 16th overall in 1933 and first in class and 10th overall in 1937.

For more information and to find the prices achieved on these and other lots, visit:

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