1958 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT 2½-Litre Series VI Coupé  Chassis no. B20 3941
Lot 227
1958 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT 2½-Litre Series VI Coupé
Coachwork by Pininfarina
£120,000 - 150,000
US$ 160,000 - 200,000

Lot Details
1958 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT 2½-Litre Series VI Coupé  Chassis no. B20 3941 1958 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT 2½-Litre Series VI Coupé  Chassis no. B20 3941 1958 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT 2½-Litre Series VI Coupé  Chassis no. B20 3941 1958 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT 2½-Litre Series VI Coupé  Chassis no. B20 3941 1958 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT 2½-Litre Series VI Coupé  Chassis no. B20 3941 1958 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT 2½-Litre Series VI Coupé  Chassis no. B20 3941 1958 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT 2½-Litre Series VI Coupé  Chassis no. B20 3941 1958 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT 2½-Litre Series VI Coupé  Chassis no. B20 3941 1958 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT 2½-Litre Series VI Coupé  Chassis no. B20 3941 1958 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT 2½-Litre Series VI Coupé  Chassis no. B20 3941 1958 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT 2½-Litre Series VI Coupé  Chassis no. B20 3941 1958 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT 2½-Litre Series VI Coupé  Chassis no. B20 3941 1958 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT 2½-Litre Series VI Coupé  Chassis no. B20 3941 1958 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT 2½-Litre Series VI Coupé  Chassis no. B20 3941 1958 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT 2½-Litre Series VI Coupé  Chassis no. B20 3941 1958 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT 2½-Litre Series VI Coupé  Chassis no. B20 3941 1958 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT 2½-Litre Series VI Coupé  Chassis no. B20 3941 1958 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT 2½-Litre Series VI Coupé  Chassis no. B20 3941 1958 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT 2½-Litre Series VI Coupé  Chassis no. B20 3941 1958 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT 2½-Litre Series VI Coupé  Chassis no. B20 3941 1958 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT 2½-Litre Series VI Coupé  Chassis no. B20 3941 1958 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT 2½-Litre Series VI Coupé  Chassis no. B20 3941
1958 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT 2½-Litre Series VI Coupé
Coachwork by Pininfarina

Registration no. NSJ 996
Chassis no. B20 3941
*Landmark Gran Turismo design
*One of 196 2½-litre Series VI cars
*Present ownership for 20 years
*Low-mileage, well maintained
*Eligible for many of the most prestigious historic motoring events

Footnotes

  • Introduced in 1907, the 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 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 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. Stunning the motor racing world, a mildly race-developed B20 driven by chain-smoking, brandy-swigging Giovanni Bracco finished 2nd in the 1951 Mille Miglia, beaten only by Luigi Villoresi's 4.1-litre works Ferrari! It is worth noting that the nimble Aurelia was actually faster than the Ferrari over the mountain passes north of Florence.

    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 Lancia factory publication, 'The History of Lancia 1906-1989', states that 1,231 2.0-litre B20 GTs were produced (Series I and II) plus a further 1,880 2½-litre cars (Series III to VI).

    In 1997, the Aurelia B20 was voted one of the ten most innovative cars of the 20th Century by a group of UK motoring journalists. A photograph of an Aurelia B20, representing these trailblazers, was used for the cover of the March '97 edition of Classic Car magazine. 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.

    Manufactured in 1958, chassis number '3941' is one of 196 Series VI Lancia B20 GTs built (chassis numbers ran from '3816' to '4011', so this car is one of the last 75). The owner remembers, as a schoolboy, seeing photographs of Giovanni Bracco competing in the 1951 Mille Miglia in what he thought was the most beautiful car he had ever seen: the Aurelia B20.

    After a patient search for a Series VI, the owner found this example - right-hand drive like almost all B20 GTs - which had been registered new in Switzerland on 24th November 1958. The Lancia had a total of 56,210 kilometres on the odometer when purchased on 24th April 1997 and was - we are advised - in excellent original condition at that time, permitting the car to be imported into the UK as a 'work of art'. The excellent original seats had been protected by covers (since removed) while the door trim and headlining have been renewed.

    The first UK MoT certificate was issued on 21st August 1997 (at 56,317 kilometres) and the Lancia was registered in this country on 30th June 1998. The most recent certificate, issued on 11th November 2016, records the odometer reading at that time as 89,768 kilometres.

    The owner very rarely uses the Lancia in the UK, where the car is usually garaged within a Carcoon, but he and his wife have enjoyed non-competitive regularity and social rallies with it in Alsace, Belgium, Burgundy, Normandy, Provence, Scotland, Spain, and Switzerland.

    Since its arrival in the UK some 20 years ago, the Aurelia has been looked after by Peter Harding of Classic Restorations. Describing the car's condition, Mr Harding says that the engine 'runs very sweetly while the transmission runs quietly. This low-mileage Aurelia drives as well as a very much younger car.'

    Noteworthy upgrades include electronic ignition, an electric radiator cooling fan, an electric fuel pump, and an alternator conversion (all original components are available). Sold only because of the vendor's medical condition, and parted with very reluctantly, this beautiful example of classic 'old school' Lancia design is offered with sundry service/maintenance bills, MoT to November 2017, and a V5C Registration Certificate.
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