Having been Down Under, we were now heading below sea level, as the documentary filming moved on from Australia to Holland. Once again, we hear you saying, ‘What were they doing there, it’s hardly the spiritual home of Vincenzo?’.

However, it is home of another very enthusiastic Lancia community, not to mention, as Lambda fans well know, The Grouse and the Air Commodore Buckle car ‘Go’ and, as students of Lancia well know, home of Wim Oude Weernink, author of the seminal La Lancia.

The schedule began in Knegsel in the South, with the Jansens, most committed defenders of the faith. Continuing the family tradition, Dick and Harry preside over a veritable Aladdin’s Cave of prewar Lancia joy. After a heatwave day on the road, we were greeted with a bbq and a double garage with 2 gleaming Asturas. There was no way we weren’t going to head out for a spot of sunset filming, with summer solstice light until 10.15.

Dick and Harry took us to a great location with a tree-lined road and open fields bathed in golden sunshine. Perfect for drone filming. Or was it? The drone insisted we were in a no-fly zone and was having none of it. Five minutes later we found out why as a late Eindhoven Airport departure took off directly overhead, something Dick and Harry had forgotten to mention! For the next hour, cameras remained strictly on terra firma but we weren’t disappointed. The word ‘legend’ was used more than once.

Next morning, it was tempting to go for a sunrise start, but 4.00am was just a bridge too far. The exAir Commodore Buckle Lambda was paired with an Artena Berlina S1, an ex-bakery delivery vehicle with plenty of patina but no breadcrumbs. As we headed out, for Dick & Harry’s next trick, when we weren’t in the airport no-fly zone, we were in the middle of a Dutch miniature pony and buggy road event and I can tell you, those things make a Lambda seem positively rapid. Then, of course, there were the bicycles, out in force in the morning weekend sunshine.

Just as we were despairing, Dick & Harry pulled an ace out of the pack – an arrow straight mile long empty road slicing through the Dutch countryside and going nowhere. In a flash, go pros rigged, drone up, roadside camera turning, premium footage was going in the can thick and fast. With our own safe stretch of road, with great visibility, we could really choreograph the driving and filming, as the Buckle Lambda thundered past and the Artena lifted up its skirts, not quite a Bonnie and Clyde getaway car, but definitely a bread van in a hurry.

Then it was back to the garage for interviews with Dick & Harry. It would be a close run thing between the Benwells at Phoenix Green and the Jansens in Knegsel as to who has the best pre-war Lancia film set. Everywhere we pointed the camera seemed to reveal more Lancia lens candy.

No sooner were Jansens wrapped and thanked, we were on the road for the 2 hour drive to Heidi and Joost Koning’s Aalsmeer abode. Exhausted after a long day, the sight of the contents of their garage immediately revived our spirits. Over dinner we debated what we’d like to take home – Aurelia, Flaminia, Lambda or perhaps the interloping Mistrale.

The following morning, the weather had turned as the battle green Dilambda Viotti of the Gast family thundered into view. This thing looked straight out of an Indiana Jones movie, was wearing its years well and definitely meant business. We interviewed Guido Gast who told us about this incredible car and some of the model’s unique features, such as the Lancia emblem shaped headlights and the locking gear stick.

Comparing the Lambda and Dilambda together, we were quite struck by the relative delicacy of the former compared to the brutishness of the latter. Loud as Thor, and with an attitude to match, we still managed to lose it later on the road, as the Dilambda fell off radio contact for a full half hour following a wrong turn. Being one of three in the country, this was quite an achievement, until finally the stray Gasts picked up our signal.

As the Dilambda disappeared off into the drizzle, we headed into the garage for an interview with Heidi and Joost, who told us of their recent Sliding Pillar adventure and The Grouse’s return to Lowther Castle, where it had spent its youth as a hunting shooting break in the hands of the Earl of Lonsdale. How they had become honorary members of the Dutch AA thanks to the car was perhaps not the content we were looking for in the documentary!

The following morning, Wim Oude Weernink arrived for one of the key interviews for the project. This was not a session for wimps and an hour and a half later we had some of the most valuable Lancia information that money can’t buy. It is the knowledge of these rare and valuable people we are privileged to have in our community that, as a result of this project, we are able to capture and preserve on film for the first time.

As the weather improved, we headed out with The Grouse and its younger stable mates, the Aurelia and Flaminia Spiders, before a final evening session with Bart Kleyn’s Mille Miglia replica Casaro Lambda. Bart gave us windmills, dykes and canals bathed in glorious mellow gold all to the rumbunctious soundtrack of his rorty racer.

Many thanks to all the Flying Dutchmen who helped us during the shoot, your generosity and enthusiasm would make Vincenzo proud!

Next stop is our first Italian shoot, which will be in the can by the time you read this. Perhaps our most important outing to date, we are set to capture some truly unique content in Turin and Fobello. Giovanni De Virgilio has literally worked his socks off to raise support, gather information and organise the details. Interviews with no less than 5 family members and a visit to La Monta, the family home, will surely provide some extraordinary insights into the man behind the marque. Whilst Joachim Griese and Lorenzo Morello are due to impart their extensive knowledge and the Mauto Museum and Stellantis are also providing key personnel to speak on the film.

We are also lining up some additional and very exciting UK filming that is under wraps for the moment but that will really help to further raise the profile of this exceptional project.

So there you are, that’s what our community can achieve when we put it together. Remarkable stuff made possible by Lancia people positivity that continues to make us feel quite humble. As ever, we end our update with a call for financial support from those who haven’t already got behind the project. It’s a long road to make the best possible documentary and every contribution helps to take us further down it. Contact Alison at Dit e-mailadres wordt beveiligd tegen spambots. JavaScript dient ingeschakeld te zijn om het te bekijken.  for info on how to support.

Meanwhile, we put together a short film montage of the cars we shot in Holland that you can watch on youtube: https://youtu.be/vOinLIft3DY

Or simply search: Lancia – The Flying Dutchmen.

Forza Lancia! Alison & Josh


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