1957 Lancia Aurelia B20GT Series VI Coupé Coachwork by Pinin Farina Registration no. APP 137B Chassis no. B20.4008 Engine no. B20.5446
Lancia's classic Aurelia, the first car ever to employ a V6 engine, was launched at the 1950 Turin Motor Show. The basic saloon was joined the following year by the Pinin Farina-styled B20 Coupé, a fastback 2+2 GT which, with its combination of sportscar performance and saloon car practicality, can be said to have introduced the Gran Turismo concept to the world. Lancia had introduced an enlarged engine on the 1951 Aurelia Saloon, and the B20 made use of this 1,991cc unit, which in Coupé form came with twin Weber carburettors and an increased compression ratio. 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 car's obvious competition potential was successfully exploited by a many a racetrack maestro, among them Ascari, Fagioli, Lurani and Villoresi. 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. The widow of this Aurelia B20GT's late owner recalls that he treated it to a 'complete and very expensive rebuild, which took a long time' but, unfortunately, has been unable to find any related papers or bills or even the restorer's name. According to the lady vendor, it was driven only once post-rebuild, owing to her husband's ill health. Since 1998 the Lancia has been kept in a dry, heated garage and remains in gleaming, undamaged and un-corroded condition, without even road dirt underneath. The exterior is excellent, the interior is original cloth, in good order, and the under-bonnet area is merely dusty. The car will, nevertheless, require re-commissioning after such a lengthy period of inactivity. Accompanying documentation consists of an expired MoT certificate and tax disc (1998) and Swansea V5 registration document.