1927 Lancia Lambda 'Short Chassis' 2Dr Tourer
|Engine||In-line 4-cylinder, 2000cc (see text)|
|Gearbox||4-speed manual (see text)|
A landmark car, not only in the history of Lancia but in general automotive terms, Vincenzo Lancia's Lambda single-handedly advanced automotive design in several key departments when unveiled to the public in 1922. Combining monocoque construction with sliding pillar independent front suspension endowed the Lambda with superb handling and that, combined with its advanced overhead camshaft V4 engine, proved to the world that a light, relatively small capacity car could out-perform much bigger, heavier machinery. Early Lambdas were powered by a 2121cc version of the V4, developing 49 horsepower at 3250 rpm but from the Seventh Series onwards capacity was increased to 2370cc by raising the cylinder bore from 75mm to 79.3mm (the stroke remained 120mm), gaining 10 horsepower. A similar boost to the output followed with the Eighth Series, as the engine was enlarged once more to 2570cc, while the original three-speed gearbox had given way to a four-speed unit on Fifth Series cars. The Lambda proved hugely successful for Lancia, not only in engineering but also commercial terms, with around 11,000 made in total by the time production ended in 1931. A number appeared in competition during the Twenties, performing creditably in the Targa Florio, Mille Miglia and elsewhere, while the Lambda's high ground clearance made it popular in countries like Australia, where the survival rate has been amongst the highest in the world. The Lambda remains one of the most desirable and sought after vintage cars, the excellent handling characteristics and decent brakes making it perfect for rallies. Lambda owners are well catered for by the local Vintage Sports Car Clubs and specialists around the world offer plenty of technical support.