Ronald “Steady” Barker has, over many years, had a stable of amazing cars including – amongst others – a 1922 6hp Peugeot Quadrillate and Lancia Dilamda.
The Astura the “Steady Special” chassis was based on had been a six-seater limousine body owned by BOAC’s Director of Engineering. Steady had the idea that by removing the massive coach-built body, he could produce a lightweight sports racing car. He therefore reduced the chassis length by almost four feet.
Once lightened the car raced at Silverstone, Oulton Park and Prescott, achieving very respectable results at all three circuits.
After Steady purchased a famous ex-Mille Miglia Lancia Astura, he sold the Steady Special for £400. The car required towing away.
The shortened Astura was then painted Italian Red.
Subsequently the Steady Special MKI was sold back to Ronald Barker as the VSCC had refused to let it race with a non-period Aston Martin bonnet. The car was then sold to fellow Lancia Club member, Roland Grazebrook, who removed the body and did nothing else to the car until he sold it back to Steady 20 years later. The car remained with Steady and he designed the body that he considered to be acceptable to the VSCC as a PVT Tourer.
In 1991 – 30 years later – the vehicle was repurchased by a previous owner, this time for £15,000. Confused yet?
Twenty one years later in 2012 the chassis restoration and creation of the new body began.