1958 Lancia Aurelia B20GT 6th Series Coupe
Chassis no. B20S 1813
Engine no. B20 4361
Lancia's classic Aurelia, the first car ever to employ a V6 engine, was launched at the 1950 Turin Motor Show. Designed in wartime, the 1,754cc 60-degree V6 was of all-aluminium construction and used overhead valves operated via short pushrods instead of Lancia's traditional overhead camshafts. An advanced unitary-construction design, the Aurelia retained Lancia's 'sliding pillar' independent front suspension but used a novel semi-trailing-arm layout at the rear, another world first. The transmission too, was unusual, comprising a two-piece prop-shaft and combined gearbox/rear transaxle on which were mounted the inboard brakes, though for once this was not an entirely new departure.
The B10 saloon was joined the following year by the Pinin Farina-styled B20 Coupé, a fastback '2+2' on a shortened wheelbase which, with its combination of sports car performance and saloon car practicality, can be said to have introduced the Gran Turismo concept to the world. The Aurelia engine had been increased to 1,991cc in 1951 and in up-rated form went into the B20. Lighter and higher geared than the saloon, the B20 was good for a top speed of over 100mph. Introduced in 1953, the 3rd and subsequent series B20s were powered by a 2,451cc, 118bhp version of the pushrod V6, while 4th-series onwards cars had De Dion rear suspension instead of the original semi-trailing-arm arrangement. The Aurelia had a long and successful competition history, finishing second overall in the 1951 Mille Miglia and taking a class win at Le Mans the same year. An engineering tour de force clothed in sublime coachwork by Italy's foremost carrozzeria, the Aurelia B20 represents for many the zenith of Lancia's post-war production.
First registered in Brescia on the 30th of August, 1958 this particular Sixth Series B20 was sold to Frank Price of Australia in Turin on the 1st of July, 1965 and shipped to Sydney on the Galileo Galilei, one of four examples he brought to the country. The current owner purchased the Lancia (deemed the best of the group) on the 28th of June, 1969 with the speedo reading 74,997 kilometres. The ensuing restoration of the car has been a true labour of love, spanning several decades and has resulted in what is arguably one of the best examples of the Aurelia in existence. Every aspect of the car has been restored or rebuilt, right down to the smallest details and everything has been documented with photographs and history file. As one might expect, the finished Aurelia has been a consistent award winner at every concours and car show entered. A part of the owner's life for more than four decades, the Lancia is being offered for sale at a fraction of the cost of restoring an equivalent example to this standard and is no mere show car, being regularly exercised in the hands of its enthusiastic and dedicated owner.