Originally Ronald ‘Steady’ Barker’s shortened Lancia Astura, and now belonging to TIGOSE Founder Michael Scott, this Italian classic was restored over a long period of time – and rebuilding included not just the body (to Steady Special’s own design, going back several decades) but also the engine, gearbox, differential, brakes and front suspension. It is probably easier to list what HASN’T been rebuilt.
A press release was issued to the media about this project at the end of 2013 (here’s a shortened version). Both the car and Michael Scott were comprehensively featured in Octane magazine (March issue). The Steady Special Lancia Astura should be completed by July.
Famous former owner and a very ‘special’ Lancia reunited at Autosport International 2014 after almost sixty years.
The ex-Ronald ‘Steady’ Barker 1934 Lancia Astura makes its UK public début at Autosport International as the ‘Steady Special’, the car its owner redesigned almost 60 years ago.
Currently undergoing complete restoration and, in the best coachbuilding tradition, soon to sport a bespoke body, the 1934 Lancia Astura ‘Steady Special’, once belonging to Autocar road tester and star columnist ‘Steady’ Barker, is unveiled for the first time at Autosport International 2014. The Steady Special is no ordinary classic car: it is a piece of British as well as Italian automotive history. Steady Barker purchased it as a mammoth six-seat limousine and chopped almost four feet out of the chassis, replacing the limo body with a lighter, enclosed sports racer shell, fronted by a DB2 bonnet.
This is the very car he drove to an interview for the position as Autocar’s road tester in 1955, later securing the job as road test editor; he also raced it in the early Fifties. Having lived a romantic life of varied fortunes, much like Steady himself, the car was purchased by its current owner, The Guild of International Engineering Specialists founder Michael Scott. Steady’s original design sketches of some sixty years ago were turned into reality. This has required a full restoration, including engine, suspension, gearbox and brakes. An all-aluminium body based on Steady’s sketches was fabricated with the help of the latest technology, using the expertise of Stuart Brown of 3D Engineers. The car, fittingly unveiled at Autosport International (which, like Autocar, is part of the Haymarket publishing titles) will soon be ready to be driven again by Steady Barker, almost sixty years later. “I test drove the driving chassis in November, and was happy with the way the car responded; I cannot wait to see it, completed in all but details, at Autosport,” said Steady Barker.