9-10 October 2014

Offered from the collection of John Moir

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Lot 118

1934 Lancia Augusta Special Tourer by March

  • Chassis no. 34-1078

Sold for $143,000

35 bhp, 1,196 cc overhead-valve V-4 engine, four-speed manual transmission, fully independent front suspension with coil springs, solid rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 104 in.

  • Offered from the collection of John Moir
  • Designed and bodied by Freddie Richmond, of Goodwood
  • A pioneer of streamlined art deco design
  • Advanced Lancia engine and drivetrain
  • Freshly restored by David Steinman

For the British enthusiast, Goodwood is a sacred place, as it is not only one of the most important venues in post-war motor racing, it is also a place where men and women who love automobiles congregate to celebrate that passion. It has been curated since its inception by the family of the Duke of Richmond, beginning with the 9th Duke, Frederick Charles Gordon-Lennox, a passionate engineer and enthusiast automobilist who had participated in racing activities as early as the late 1920s. By the 1930s, Freddie Richmond, as he was known to the public and popular press, had even reached out into automobile design himself, creating sporting bodies at his March Ltd. shops.

Richmond’s best-known design was the March Special Tourer, which was introduced in 1934 for the Lancia Augusta chassis. At the time, the Augusta was one of the world’s most advanced automobiles, and its V-4 engine and independent front suspension, comprising concentric springs, and oil-filled shock absorbers represented the height of modern motoring. It was an obvious basis for March’s equally advanced design, which represented one of the first reaches towards streamlining by a British stylist. The rear of the body was gracefully rounded and curved, with a tonneau covering the rear seat while it was unoccupied. A large dorsal fin was also mounted in the rear deck lid, to which air was guided by long, flowing fenders. To emphasize smoothness and aerodynamics, the top was hidden from view when folded, marking one of the first uses of a disappearing soft-top for a British open car.

The March Special attracted a great deal of attention in period press. In the June 5, 1934, issue of The Motor, Tenon described the model as “a car of unusual interest…designed with a view to performance and efficiency, as well as appearance; a characteristic of March coachwork.” He returned to the subject on December 18, 1934, describing the car as “the result of an attempt to produce a really practical design for the enthusiastic owner. Lord March’s own racing experience has been drawn upon in evolving a thoroughly efficient model.”

John Moir’s March Special is believed to be the only example of this style known in the United States. It was beautifully restored by Mr. Moir’s favored restorer, David Steinman, of the Waitsfield Motor Car Company in Vermont, who carefully rebuilt the body’s original wooden framing, restored its outer panels, and refinished the car in a striking combination of shades of Kelly Green. Mr. Steinman was also able to restore the rather complicated cloth top, as well as its side curtains and rear tonneau.

Mr. Moir has shown the March Special at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, where it was much-appreciated. It is still freshly finished and in beautiful condition in all regards, and it awaits future concours competition, as it is one of the most striking and unique examples of British coachwork and Italian engineering from this period. It is offered with a file that contains documentation of its restoration, including diagrams for the independent suspension, as well as assorted copies of period road tests and, most importantly, an original manual for the model.

To once again quote Tenon, “In brief, the March Augusta is a style of car to be recommended sincerely as a distinctive vehicle with a very strong individual appeal.” That distinctive individual appeal comes from its designer, the man who gave birth to racing at Goodwood and all of the wonderful events that followed.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver


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Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat


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Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht


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Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig


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David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose


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Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould


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Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff


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Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach


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Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry


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Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut


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A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire


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Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn


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As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin


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With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill


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Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher


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Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers


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Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden


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Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more