Pebble Beach, California

Posted on 19 September 2014

Every year in August, around 200 of the most world’s most prized collector cars and motorcycles roll onto the fairway of the famed eighteenth hole at the Pebble Beach Golf Links, located between Carmel and Monterey in California. Featuring one of the most competitive events in the automotive world, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance judges these exceptional cars and motorbikes for their historical accuracy, technical merit and their style. It attracts people from all over the world who either compete in, or simply come to enjoy, this event of elegance and style.

Originally a small social event paired with a road race through the pine and cypress forests of Pebble Beach, the Concours has become one of the most prestigious car competitions in the world. After a painstaking and exceptionally detailed 3-year restoration at Thornley Kelham of the ex-1951 Mille Miglia/Le Mans Lancia Aurelia B20GT, the car was accepted for this year’s event. The car was mobbed by enthusiastic crowds who congratulated the owner and asked lots of questions. Its impressive race history includes being driven by noted race driver Giovanni Bracco who originally purchased the car straight off the Lancia production line in 1951.

He went on to compete in the Mille Miglia, Le Mans 24 Hour race and the Pescara 6 Hours amongst others, until it was finally sold at the end of that year after it crashed out on the 4th stage of Mexico’s 2nd Carrera Panamericana. It then disappeared until discovered in an American barn and brought to the UK for a complete, very high specification restoration carried out in our workshops to its original Panamerican livery.

All aspects of this meticulous restoration were thoroughly researched and applied to the car: from the 3 coats of paint that were applied to emulate its paint history – black for the 1951 Mille Miglia, red for the 1951 Le Mans 24 Hour Race then back to black; to the highly detailed signwriting and decals from the period, and the recreation of the special interior and lowered bodywork. The thousands of hours spent on this exceptional Aurelia are clearly visible in every minute aspect of this important and historic race car.

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