Those who saw John Nicholson’s 1912 Lancia Eta at the VSCC New Year’s Day meeting at Ledbury (where it was promptly dubbed “The Happy Eta”!) may have wondered why it did not have the 5-litre ohc engine attributed to these cars. It seems this engine never went into production. The car has the Eta 10ft 6in wheelbase chassis and the body may have been made by Schutter & Van Bakel of Amsterdam.
This rare Lancia spent almost sixty years in Indonesia and ten in Singapore, before being bought by Nicholson in Beaulieu in 1986. He has since driven it 900 miles, taking in two vintage rallies and a Dublin exhibition. It has weathered two world wars very well, only lamps, wheel-rims and tyres having to be replaced.
It carries a sign above its 3/4-elliptic back springs reading “No Hand Signals.” — a reminder of its sojourn in foreign climes. WB