1953 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT Series III Coupé  Chassis no. B20-2730

This lot has been removed from the website, please contact customer services for more information

Lot 128
1953 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT Series III Coupé
Registration no. 991 HYP Chassis no. B20-2730

Sold for £ 86,250 (US$ 116,340) inc. premium
1953 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT Series III Coupé
Registration no. 991 HYP
Chassis no. B20-2730
• Iconic Italian Gran Turismo
• First owned by Adnan Khashoggi
• Present ownership since the 1990s
• Extensively restored
• Up-rated (140bhp) engine
• Recently re-commissioned

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 4.1litre 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). 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.

    This B20 GT's original owner was Adnan Khashoggi, the Saudi Arabian businessman known for his controversial business deals and lavish lifestyle. The original registration was '7 AMK', which presumably was retained when the car was sold. The original logbook shows the date of first registration as 4th January 1954 and Khashoggi as first owner. The registration later changed to the current '991 HYP'.

    The vendor purchased the Aurelia in the 1990s from Tim Burrett, who had had it stored in a barn for many years. The vendor stripped the car and the body was restored by marque specialists Tanc Barrett and painted twice, latterly and to a very high standard by Autocraft in Telford. The exterior colour was originally two-tone grey (as it was when the car was acquired by the vendor) and is now Lancia dark blue.

    The B20's standard front seat is a split bench type. These original seats are freshly trimmed in grey leather with all original runners, etc and come with the car, but there are currently two period style bucket seats fitted, improving the driving position. These bucket seats were available at the time, and it is understood that both the Hawthorn and the Fangio cars had them, as did some of the works competition cars.

    This car's cylinder block has been changed to later Series IV block, which uses Vandervell bearings rather than the Series I/II/III white metal bearings which are more difficult to renew. The engine's external appearance is the same. The engine has been dynamometer tested to produce over 140bhp and excellent torque at 5,000rpm. This is considerably more than the standard unit's claimed 118bhp, which in most cases was nearer 100 in reality. The engine has been rebuilt with a Nardi-style up-rated camshaft, modified flywheel, and twin-choke Weber carburettors as per the works cars, and has been balanced. The engine spent around 8-10 hours on the test bed at Tim Adams Racing and since then has probably done no more than five hours in the car. The test sheets are available, and with its more powerful engine we are advised that this Aurelia goes very well.

    The transmission was rebuilt by Tim Burrett with new first/reverse gears and bearings, etc. The transmission likewise has done only five hours since the rebuild and is said to have an excellent gear change and synchromesh. A floor change has been fitted rather than the standard column change. Brakes are Series VI twin-leading-shoe at the front, which was a common modification in the day and a big improvement. The wheels fitted are similar to the original style but the rims are to suit 15" tyres, which gives a much greater tyre choice than standard (the original wheels and aluminium hubcaps are included in the sale).

    The Aurelia has been standing for a little over two years, but in the last few weeks has been re-commissioned by CMC and we are advised is once again running and stopping well. Overall a sensibly upgraded and smartly presented example worthy of the closest inspection.
Contacts
1953 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT Series III Coupé  Chassis no. B20-2730
1953 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT Series III Coupé  Chassis no. B20-2730
1953 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT Series III Coupé  Chassis no. B20-2730
1953 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT Series III Coupé  Chassis no. B20-2730
1953 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT Series III Coupé  Chassis no. B20-2730
1953 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT Series III Coupé  Chassis no. B20-2730
1953 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT Series III Coupé  Chassis no. B20-2730
1953 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT Series III Coupé  Chassis no. B20-2730
1953 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT Series III Coupé  Chassis no. B20-2730
1953 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT Series III Coupé  Chassis no. B20-2730
1953 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT Series III Coupé  Chassis no. B20-2730
1953 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT Series III Coupé  Chassis no. B20-2730
1953 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT Series III Coupé  Chassis no. B20-2730
1953 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT Series III Coupé  Chassis no. B20-2730
1953 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT Series III Coupé  Chassis no. B20-2730
1953 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT Series III Coupé  Chassis no. B20-2730
1953 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT Series III Coupé  Chassis no. B20-2730
1953 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT Series III Coupé  Chassis no. B20-2730
1953 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT Series III Coupé  Chassis no. B20-2730
1953 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT Series III Coupé  Chassis no. B20-2730
1953 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT Series III Coupé  Chassis no. B20-2730
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

Like the vast majority of auctioneers Bonhams charge what is known as a Buyer's Premium.

For Motor Cars and Motorcycles a 15% Buyer's Premium is payable on the first £500,000 of the final Hammer Price of each Lot, and 12% on any amount by which the Hammer Price exceeds £500,000. VAT at the standard rate is payable on the Premium by all Buyers, unless otherwise stated.

Some lots may be subject to VAT on the Hammer Price. These lots will be clearly marked with the relevant symbol printed beside the lot number in the catalog.

Payment Notices

For payment information please refer to the sale catalog.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

App