Italy was undoubtedly the leading light in automotive design in the early 1950s, with manufacturers renowned for combining engineering innovation and elegant styling in producing some of the most celebrated cars of the decade.
With the founder’s son Gianni Lancia at the helm alongside chief engineer Vittorio Jano, Lancia were amongst those enjoying great success, with the Aurelia, the company’s first post-war production model, proving a winner both on the road and on track.
In 1953 the Series III was unveiled, boasting a larger 2.5-litre version of the era-defining V6 engine, and firmly established the marque amongst the leaders of Grand Touring design.
Chassis number: B20-2932
Engine: 2.5-litre six-cylinder, 60 degree vee, two overhead valves
Gearbox: 4-speed manual
Completing the Series I lineup in 1951 was the short wheelbase, Pininfarina-bodied 2-door GT coupé B20, in which form Lancia enjoyed its most notable sporting success on debut in the 1951 Mille Miglia.
The introduction of the Series II Aurelia saw power output of the 2-litre V6 increase to 80hp, whilst the new B22 sedan the following year gained dual Webers and a hotter camshaft to increase power yet further to 90hp.
In 1953, the Series III Aurelia arrived, complete with the increased 2,451cc capacity of the V6 engine, raising the maximum power output to 110hp, and no longer sporting rear fins of the previous cars.
First registered in Italy, our Series III Aurelia was imported into the UK in January 1963.
It was purchased by a UK Lancia specialist in late 2009 and sold as a project to the most recent owner, who undertook a comprehensive and expensive 2-year restoration to the highest possible standards.
One of the last of 720 Series III Aurelia produced, the car retains its original de Virgilio designed 2.5-litre V6 engine and its period ‘Amaranto’ colour, paired with a traditional Lancia grey cloth interior. Genuine chrome hubcaps complete the cream-coloured wheels, matched by the original cream steering wheel.
For connoisseurs of early post-war GT cars, the Lancia Aurelia undoubtedly ranks alongside the more heralded brands of the period, such as Aston Martin and Mercedes-Benz.
This Series III B20GT is a stunning example of what could be considered the first true Grand Touring car. No expense has been spared to ensure only the most authentic finish.
The car not only delivers in appearance but in performance too, bearing all the hallmarks one would expect of the early, lightweight versions of the Aurelia – fast, agile and confident, powered along by the 2.5-litre unit that sets the Series III apart.