Lot 362 - 1954 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT, Series 4 - Restoration Project
|Chassis Number||B20 3213|
|Engine Number||B20 3766|
|Odometer reading||3,781 miles|
|Result||Sold - £29,120|
The Lancia Aurelia was first introduced at the Turin Motor Show of 1950. This innovative automotive creation included a narrow 60 degree all alloy V6 engine (being the first production V6 car) that ranged from 1.8 litres to 2.5 litres over the life of the models' six series. Drive was through the rear mounted transaxle that incorporated the gearbox, clutch, differential and inboard mounted drum brakes to reduce un-sprung weight. The sliding pillar front suspension was complemented at the rear by semi trailing arms. Come the 4th series and those trailing arms were replaced by a de Dion tube and the engine's white metal bearings replaced with shell bearings. Most Lancia motor cars up until 1955 were manufactured at the factory in righthand drive form; the series 4 cars started to see the addition of lefthand drive as these were the first cars to be imported into America in significant numbers. Clothed with a lightweight coupé body that not only gave the Aurelia GT sports car performance but saloon car practicality also. It soon became apparent that, with the fine chassis design and a smooth V6 power plant, the car lent itself for competition use with many period competition successes such as Le Mans, the Targa Florio, Mille Miglia, and Monte Carlo Rally. This still holds true today with many B20s being used in club and prestigious historic events. Mike Hawthorn took delivery of a series 4 Aurelia B20 GT in 1954 that was modified with floor mounted shift, wood/alloy steering wheel with further upgrades to the engine and exhaust. That car, WPD 10 is still in existence today.
On offer today is a rare chance to enter B20 ownership with this 4th series 2.5 litre Aurelia. It is believed that this righthand drive example was first imported into the United Kingdom in the late 1950s or early 1960s and only registered in the UK in 1983. The history file has a letter from a Mr. R. Bishop who states he purchased the car in 1965 (no mention where from) and sold it in or around 1972. He mentions that the car was in fine fettle when sold and was ""used Chester - Speke daily seeing off any opposition past the Ford works on the dual carriageway"". Another letter from a gentleman from Hook in Hampshire, dated May 2006 enlightens us further; he states; ""I bought 66 from a Doctor English who lived near Herriad about 10 miles from here in 1981. He had a leaking barn full of them all in very bad, non running, state and it all seemed rather weird. If he was a dealer then the cars were in a dreadful state, covered in hay, old tyres etc. He said he had the engine rebuilt and I got it working and it sounded fine. It was inhibited(oiled internally to prevent corrosion) though by me since then"". He further states; ""I have no more history but it did appear 20 years ago on the front of the Lancia club magazine saying; where is it now?"" The car is currently partially stripped for restoration with the running gear still in place, the five wheels have been restored and the rubber mats are in good order. It is also important to note that this is a matching numbers motor car; not only the engine/gearbox combination but also the radiator grill and other removable parts such as the doors, boot lid, dashboard, glove box and door handles etc., are also marked with the last three digits of the chassis number. The Lancia is offered with a similar specification as the 'Hawthorn' car as in it has the Nardi floor gear shift conversion plus an alloy/wood rim steering wheel. It currently sits with most of the original paintwork (believed to be 'beige chiaro' colour) stripped from the coachwork; this has the benefit of showing the extent of repairs required. The interior is currently trimmed in grey cloth with blue leatherette; however, it is believed that the original trim colour would have been hazel. The current owner informs us that the chassis is in good order with no evidence of any accident damage in the past.
With Aurelia prices heading upward in recent years, here is a chance to own one at a realistic price. Offered with an outstanding 'No Reserve' you might wish to build that historic competition car to your own specification or return the Aurelia to the handsome original specification and colour combination as may be seen in period advertising shots. Whatever your wishes, this is a rare opportunity.
Previous lotLot 361 - 1965 MG B Roadster - Restoration Project
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.