Introduced at the Turin Motor Show in 1950 initially as a pillarless 4 door saloon, the Aurelia quickly established itself as the most innovative car produced in Europe since the war - a reputation which it kept until the end of production in 1957. The light aluminium V6 engine, aluminium transaxle with inboard brakes and effective all round independent suspension were all firsts when combined in a series production car.
Under the guiding hands of Francesco De Virgilio and the great Vittorio Jano of pre war Alfa Romeo fame, the Aurelia was quickly developed into a spectacularly beautiful Pininfarina coupe with first a 2 litre then a 2.5 litre engine - the world's first true GT. Competition successes followed thick and fast, most famously with Giovanni Bracco's celebrated 2nd place overall in the 1951 Mille Miglia, only minutes behind Villoreisi's wining 4.1 litre Ferrari. With a mere 80 bhp in an almost standard car, Bracco averaged 73.78 mph over 1000 miles, mainly in pouring rain, against Villorei's 75.7 mph. A few weeks later Count Lurani and Bracco came a heroic 12th overall at Le Mans, averaging 82mph. The following year Aurelias came 3rd, 5th and 6th overall in the Mille Miglia, finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd overall in the Targa Florio and scored a remarkable 4th in the Carrera Panamericana. No wonder that Aurelias quickly became the road cars of Ascari and Fangio as well as of film stars and captains of industry.
The car offered here is a desirable 4th series with 2.5 litre engine and de Dion rear axle, presented in the attractive livery of black coachwork and pale brown traditional high quality Lancia cloth upholstery and the rare original pale green tinted glass. Owned by a noted Lancia connoisseur, the car has been fully restored mechanically with no cost spared by well known specialist, Omicron Engineering Ltd. It is fitted with the rare Nardi floor change and original Nardi twin Weber carburettor set-up - not the often seen modern reproduction. The fully rebuilt engine (which is a later and stronger 6th series unit - the original 4th series block and heads are included in the sale ) has new pistons, rings and bearings, a new camshaft to the rare Lancia competition profile and a special fabricated exhaust manifold ( the original manifolds are included in the sale). The engine was very carefully balanced and then set up on the rolling road where it gave a remarkable 146 bhp at 4,500 rpm and 172 lb/ft of torque at 4,000 rpm - respectively 30% and 40 % more than standard. The transaxle, suspension and brakes have also been fully rebuilt with front brakes to the ultimate and most powerful twin leading shoe 6th series specification.
This is an outstanding example of the highly sought after 4th series Aurelia Coupe in a most attractive colour scheme, rebuilt at great expense to give exceptional performance while respecting correct period specifications.