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In the post-war years, Lancia were arguably the greatest innovators and engineers in the Italian motor industry, building on Vincenzo Lancia’s original drive for excellence in design and construction.
The Aurelia, initially launched in 1950 as a four door, pillarless Berlina, continued that tradition, being the world’s first production car powered by De Virgilio’s famed V6 engine. A year later the B20GT coupe variant was launched, winning immediate success both in rallies and on the track. Seven years of continuous development followed on this, the world’s first true Gran Turismo.
In this initial 2-litre coupé form, the B20GT enjoyed immediate rally and race success, including second place on its debut in the 1951 Mille Miglia. The Series II Aurelia B20GT coupé arrived in 1952 with various upgrades, including a revised version of the 1,991cc V6 now producing 80bhp, improved brakes and several styling modifications, such as new chromed bumpers, new dashboard with larger instrument gauges, and uniquely-shaped rear wings.
One of just 731 Series II examples Lancia built, this car arrived at our workshops direct from a US auction, at which it had been purchased unseen by our UK client.
Although the car came with little written history, it was clear from the various stickers, decals etc. that it had been used extensively for rallying. In addition, various rally modifications and the generally very tired condition of the car confirmed that it had led a full and hard life.
Our client has an extensive collection of classic and vintage cars, all of which are regularly and enthusiastically driven. His instructions for the car were therefore very clear; to ensure it was safe, structurally sound, mechanically and electrically strong and reliable and capable of some serious rallying here in Europe.
After a full inspection the conclusion was that this would necessitate significant metalwork repair, particularly the sills, a full re-wire, full engine, transmission, suspension and brake rebuilds, and a thorough overhaul of the fuel and coolant systems. In the event, the state of the original 2 litre engine block and cylinder heads was so poor that we were forced to source, crack test, machine and re-build a new correct series 2 engine from scratch. This was enhanced with the addition of an original Nardi upgrade kit for the carburetion providing both extra horsepower mid-range torque. Additional works included a full upgrade to the interior with new rally seats, rubber mats and seals, additional instrumentation and improved safety features. Ultimately, virtually the only area untouched on the car was the paintwork!
In total over £180,000 has been spent on this car since its arrival. Following a recent successful rally around Ireland, the car is available for sale/viewing at our workshops. If you are looking for a fully sorted, fast and comprehensively equipped early B20GT, particularly suitable for rallying competitively, please contact us on 01285 869791.