While I was wiling away the hours driving north to Darwin in the Sizaire somewhere between one saltbush and another it came to me that I had too many vehicles and I needed to branch out and maybe take on a new marque and maybe a new country as well.
So the first thing to do was sell some stuff so the ’28 Sunbeam, ’15 T Ford, ’14 Triumph and the ’24 Douglas seemed a good place to start. You may have noticed the heading and may think how does the maths work? Well I had already bought a ’14 3.5hp Douglas so this deal is retrospective so to speak, 2 in 4 out.
Initially I was after a Delage DMS or DIS these turned out to be as available as rocking horse poo and as overpriced as dare I say a Bugatti and anyway I did say a new country could be possible.
The last Italian car I owned was a Fiat 500 it was a great little car and as we lived at the time in Clifton Hill we did not need stretch the mighty vertical twin too much. At the time Lancia was just a type of Fiat except even more rusty, I had no inkling that they were ever anything else. I was obviously misinformed.
So to cut a long story short I have bought a 1925 series 6 LWB Lambda and long wheel base it is, with the Bug the first thing anyone asks (apart from what does it run on, can you still get tyres and how much did it cost) is how fast does it go with the Lancia it will be how long is it. It seems like one of those New York fire trucks that has the guy in the back steering although remarkably it has quite a good turning circle.
Apart from being a monocoque and have sliding pillar front suspension (is this becoming a habit?) and an overhead cam V4 the thing that people in the know seem ask is “how is the block?” As it is made of aluminium and after 90 years of possible neglect most Lambda owners seem to have a collection of cracked or rotted or both, blocks stuck away under their benches . No one is game to throw them away as technology may save them yet….but not yet.
I have read the 40 page booklet by Bill Smith on Lambda corrosion and I will do what I can to slow the inevitable, hopefully by then someone will have started to make new blocks and as the other 12600 Lambas no longer extant are just that. Good spare Lambda blocks will be just as hard to get as a DMS Delage.