1954' Lancia B20 Gt Coupe
Released in 1950, the Lancia Aurelia was the first production car with a V6 engine – a result of Lancia’s long-term commitment to the V-engine concept that had first been seen in the Lambda of 1922. Like that ground-breaking car, the Aurelia featured monocoque construction, and was rich with typical Lancia flair for innovation; for example, there was a rear-mounted transaxle which combined the clutch, four-speed gearbox and differential, and the rear brakes were inboard. Radial tyres were fitted as standard – another first for the Aurelia. The suspension was sliding pillar at the front and initially semi-trailing arms at the rear, although this was replaced by an improved De Dion setup for the Fourth Series of 1954. Over the course of its eight years and six series of production, the Aurelia was available in saloon, coupe, spider and convertible configurations, and numerous changes and improvements occurred. Perhaps the most important change was the fitment from 1953 onwards of a 2.4 litre version of the V6, instead of the 1.8 and 2-litre versions of the earlier cars; this gave excellent power and performance by the standards of the time.
This 1954 Fourth Series coupe has the desirable De Dion rear suspension and the 2.4 litre engine, plus a floor-mounted gearchange – a factory option instead of the standard column shift. Found via Lancia specialists Omicron for prolific motoring author Anthony Pritchard, by chance it turned out to be the very same car he had owned decades earlier. The body and interior were restored in the USA, then the car returned to the UK where Omicron restored the mechanical components. There are bills in the file relating to the work carried out, including the engine rebuild. The car has since been set up on a rolling road and is said to ‘pull like a train’. The vendor also notes that Formula 1 world champion Mike Hawthorn had an Aurelia to the same specification; a sign of a fine car. The example offered here has recently been featured in ‘Chance Encounter’, a charity film raising money for mobile chemotherapy wards. The car comes with the aforementioned bills, plus a V5C.
This, 45 other classic cars, automobilia and collectables will be offered for auction on September 19th at our new venue Showell Farm, near Chippenham, SN15 2NU. Fully illustrated catalogue at Richard Edmonds Auctions website.
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- United States
- 13 September 2020