The Lambda, introduced in 1922, is perhaps the most crucial car in Lancia's history. It represents a fusion of Vincenzo Lancia's innovative ideas and designer Battista Falchetto's skill, resulting in a car that blends speed and sophistication with a touch of elegance. The Lambda's unitary body and independent front suspension, conceived for superior handling, were coupled with a sleek Torpedo body design that became an icon of the Roaring Twenties.
The Lambda boasts a remarkable list of firsts: it was the very first production car powered by a highly successful narrow-angle SOHC V-4 engine and the first car to have fully independent strut front suspension and four-wheel brakes. The designs were so ahead of their time that it created a rare sight of such a large sedan immediately dominant in the under 3-liter class of Italian road racing. Representing a departure from conventional automobile design, the Lambda was the first car to feature a monocoque chassis, eliminating the need for a traditional ladder frame. This groundbreaking design, inspired by ship structures, not only enhanced the car's sporty appearance but also significantly lowered its center of gravity.
The open Torpedo body shown here on a 1st Series chassis was the only design available for some time. Closed coachwork was difficult to build on the unitary chassis, although hardtops could be ordered. Between 1923 and 1931, over 11,000 Lancia Lambdas were built, with approximately 400 of these being in the 1st Series.
Our 1926 model has a 14-degree angle aluminum engine with an overhead camshaft and displaces 2,370cc. With the help of Zenith Triple Diffuser carburetors, it produces 59 horsepower. Other options throughout the years included two 13-degree vee angle motors of 2,119cc and 2,570cc. The 2,119cc engine produced about 49 horsepower, and the 2,570cc unit improved horsepower to 69.
While not originally conceived as a sports car, the Lambda's lightweight and powerful nature, coupled with its superb chassis, made it a formidable competitor in renowned competitions such as the 1000 Miglia. Racing driver Ermenegildo Strazza, dubbed the "King of the Lambdas," achieved notable success in Lambda cars, securing victories in various editions of the 1000 Miglia and showcasing the car's remarkable dynamic qualities.