1954 Lancia Aurelia B20GT Coupé  Chassis no. B20 3630 Engine no. B20 4382

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Lot 211
1954 Lancia Aurelia B20GT Coupé
Chassis no. B20 3630 Engine no. B20 4382

CHF 120,000 - 140,000
US$ 120,000 - 150,000
1954 Lancia Aurelia B20GT Coupé
Coachwork by Pinin Farina

Chassis no. B20 3630
Engine no. B20 4382
Introduced in 1907, Vincenzo Lancia's first car showed an independence of thought and defiance of convention that would remain associated with the marque well into the modern era. Lancia recommenced production after WW2 with the Aprilia and its smaller cousin the Ardea, but waiting in the wings was yet another groundbreaking design: the Aurelia. Lancia's classic Aurelia, the first car ever to employ a V6 engine, was launched at the 1950 Turin Motor Show. Designed in wartime by Francesco de Virgilio, 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, first seen on the Lambda, 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 Coupe, a fastback '2+2' on a shortened wheelbase which, with its combination of sportscar 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 it was this unit in up-rated form that 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.
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. Discerning drivers respected its pace and handling - Formula 1 aces Fangio and Hawthorn both loved their B20s - while styling connoisseurs feted Pinin Farina's trend-setting coupe envelope for its elegant simplicity. Even in 1958, at the end of its eight-year cycle, a B20 was still one of the quickest, and most stylish, methods of arriving at your destination
Supplied new to France, this 4th series B20 Coupé has enjoyed only three owners from new, the last for 25 years. Featured in the 1983 book 'Le Favolose Vetture Europee, 1950-1965' (published by EPA) and described as in very good, original condition, the car is elegantly finished in black with dove grey cloth upholstery and factory tinted windows. It comes with numerous invoices relating to its mechanical upkeep and is offered with owner's handbook, French Carte Grise and FIVA identity card. The car successfully completed the 2007 Sestrière historic rally.
A correction in the market value of Lancia Aurelia B20GTs has been long overdue and seems finally to be happening; the $300,000 asked for a similar example at a Pebble Beach exposition this summer is one example, not to mention the $550,000 achieved by a Spyder version the same weekend. Drive a B20GT and a Ferrari of the same vintage back to back and you won't ask why.
Local taxes will apply if the car remains in Switzerland.
1954 Lancia Aurelia B20GT Coupé  Chassis no. B20 3630 Engine no. B20 4382
1954 Lancia Aurelia B20GT Coupé  Chassis no. B20 3630 Engine no. B20 4382
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