1958 Lancia Aurelia B20GT

The historic competition record of these cars cannot be overlooked; they are eligible and welcome just about everywhere

Despite the fact the Lancia nameplate continues to exist over one hundred years after it was established in Italy, this builder of fast, refined automobiles is relatively unknown outside sporting circles. Lancia cars competing over the past century have won everything from F1 races to World Rally Championships.

Vincenzo Lancia began working as a bookkeeper in an automobile factory, but by 1899 he had become a chief inspector at Fiat. After his prowess as a racer was discovered, he founded Lancia & Cie, Fabbrica Automobili, in 1906. The firm’s first car was destroyed by fire, but Lancia persisted and soon was supplying the upper market with technologically innovative automobiles.

In the late 1940s, son Gianni Lancia and designer Vittorio Jano unveiled an all-new range of V6 Aurelia models. Powered by a 56-hp, 1,754-cc overhead-valve engine and mated to a 4-speed gearbox integral with the rear axle, the Aurelia range was expanded in 1951 with the introduction of a 75-hp, 1,991-cc B20 Aurelia GT coupe.

The B20 proved to be both a commercial and sporting success. Following the 2nd Series, the engine was enlarged to 2.5 liters, but the horsepower rating dropped slightly in the 5th and 6th Series. When the 6th Series was introduced in 1958, the V6 engine was rated at 112 hp, yet the maximum speed was maintained at 185 kph (112 mph) and the roadholding was improved thanks to the fitting of a DeDion rear axle.

The smooth V6 engine, combined with its well designed chassis, provided the Lancia B20 Aurelia GT coupe with the speed and road-holding capabilities to achieve victories in such well-known world racing events as Le Mans, the Targa Florio, Mille Miglia, and Monte Carlo. The beautiful lines of the coupe were penned by Italian coachbuilder Pinin Farina, and throughout the series production run the subtle curves and flowing lines were further enhanced with trim details.

This 1958 Lancia B20 Aurelia Grand Turismo coupe was a California car that was fully stripped, completely disassembled, and then meticulously restored. The coupe’s fine Italian lines were amplified by the rich dark blue paintwork and fine, often delicate touches of brightwork and trim. The mechanicals of this B20 were rebuilt by respected restorer and Italian car expert Iggy Franciamore of New York. A similar blend of style and functionality can be found inside. The interior has been completely rebuilt and refinished in rich tan hides, with fresh carpet, chrome fittings, and paint.