Breathtaking Pebble Beach Winning 1936 Lancia Astura Has A Surprising Connection To Rock Royalty

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This year at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, an enchanting 1936 Lancia Astura Pinin Farina Cabriolet left the judges spellbound and drove away with the Best of Show prize.

The Astura's win at the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance was the first time a Lancia took top honours at the most prestigious classic car show in the world.

The winning Lancia, is just one of six 'Tipo Bocca' Lancia Astura's that were ever built. Each Tipo Bocca Lancia Astura had a different personality and this specific car had a power top, curved side glass and engraved side trims running around the entire car. Also present were a basket-woven interior, skirted rear fenders and dashboard made with woodgrain dash.

The Lancia Astura Pinin Farina Cabriolet is powered by a 2973cc V8 engine that produced 82bhp. The engine was mated to a

However, the car was quite lucky to have made it to Pebble Beach as it was almost sent to the scrap heap in 1962, 26 years after it was first commissioned from Pininfarina by an Italian Lancia dealership in 1936.

The car was found rusting in England by some Lancia enthusiasts, who purchased it for just £15 for it (around £224 or Rs. 19,868 in today's money). The new owner reached out to Pininfarina for help who offered to restore the car for free. 

After it was restored, the Astura made its way into the collection of English rocker Eric Clapton in the 1970s. Clapton must have thought it looked 'wonderful tonight' as he described it as "the most fun I've had off stage and out of bed."

Clapton sold the car back to Pininfarina who displayed it at their museum till 2009, when it was purchased by current owner Richard Mattei of Paradise Valley, Arizona, who tried to sell it off in 2010 at the Pebble Beach auctions. 

However, when the car did not sell, Mattei commissioned an extensive restoration which brought the car back to its former glory after six years of work. Mattei was then invited for this year's Concours d'Elegance event and well you know what happened next. 

Images Via The Globe And Mail 

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Story first published: Thursday, August 25, 2016, 15:31 [IST]
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