- Equally beautiful styling and engineering
- Covered fewer than 1,000 kilometres since restoration
- Spent much of its life in the dry South African climate
Not only was Lancia’s B20GT undeniably one of the most beautiful cars ever made, it was also one of the most pioneering.
At the hands of esteemed wheelmen Giovanni Bracco, Felice Bonetto and Louis Chiron, Aurelias secured Lancia silverware at Mille Miglia, Targa Florio and Monte Carlo Rally.
This 1955 example spent much of its life in South Africa before undergoing an extensive restoration and ending up in the UK. Eligible for numerous prestigious events the world over, this Aurelia is ready to be enjoyed by its next custodian.
The History and Paperwork
- Supplied new in Italy
- Imported to Zimbabwe, in 1962
- 4 owners while in Southern Africa
- Stored for a number of years awaiting restoration
- Fully restored during the 2000s
- Now UK registered
- Historic MOT / road tax status
- Original manual and workshop book
- History file containing numerous hand-written notes, photographs and correspondence
Little is known of this Lancia’s early history besides the fact it was originally sold in Italy. We are informed that the car was imported into Zimbabwe in 1962 where it was owned by a gentleman called Eric Deacon who used the Lancia to participate in club rallies.
The car was then sold to a Mr Bill Brown and around five years later to a gentleman named Stuart Weeks who had reportedly been wanting to acquire the car for some years previously. The history file suggests that Mr Weeks moved to Durban, South Africa in 1982, taking the car with him although we understand that he reluctantly sold the Aurelia when he emigrated to New Zealand during the early 1990s.
The B20GT then lived with David Crookes, an acquaintance of the previous owner and the car was put into storage for 15 years before undergoing extensive restoration work using parts from British specialists Omicron. Since then, we are informed that the Lancia has covered less than 1000 kilometres and it is now in the UK.
- Panni Grigio cloth seats
- Fully retrimmed
- Original rubber mats
The vendor informs us that the Lancia’s seats have been fully restored using grey leather and grey cloth (Panni Grigio). The seats appear to be in very fine shape with little sign of wear. We could detect a little discolouration to the cloth on the rear bench but nothing that would concern us. The front seats feature a folding armrest and are a very elegant design. We could also see that the door cards have been reupholstered to match and are in good order.
The vendor reports that the passenger’s interior light lens is missing and the fuel gauge isn’t currently functioning. Besides these small defects, we understand that everything else in this B20’s cabin functions exactly as Lancia intended as the car was partially rewired during the restoration.
The headlining appears to be very smart, with only the most insignificant blemishes visible here and there. The vendor informs us that the Aurelia’s rubber floor mats were in good condition so were able to be saved. Indeed, they present well and certainly look original to the car.
- 'Bleu' paintwork
- Lower wheel arches and sills replaced
- Brightwork rechromed, light lenses resilvered
A coat of 'Bleu' paint really shows off the Aurelia’s lines and it truly is a stunning car to behold. The brightwork was all rechromed during the restoration and the vendor also reports that the light lenses have been resilvered.
The paintwork itself has some imperfections including some orange peel, localised chips and bubbling. The bodywork underneath appears to be very straight and the history file shows that the lower portions of the wheel arches and the sills were replaced before the car was painted.
While the car would require remedial paintwork to bring it up to a very high standard, this car is eminently usable in its current condition and is ideally suited to participating in rallies or events where concours examples would be ill-suited.
A glance underneath reveals the monocoque to be in very fine order and we were unable to see any signs of corrosion or rust. No underseal has been applied which makes for easy inspection of the floor pans, which all look to be very good indeed.
Resplendent with domed hubcaps, the cream wheels all look to be in good condition and are shod with new Michelin X 400 X 165 tyres which were fitted to Aurelias in period.
- 112 horsepower 2.5-litre V6
- De Dion tube rear suspension
- Matching numbers, confirmed by Lancia heritage certification
Lancia can claim to be the first manufacturer to use a V6 engine in a production car. This 1955 4th series example benefits from an improved 2.5-litre engine. This represented a significant improvement over the 1.8-litre variant used in earlier cars which only produced around half the horsepower.
The vendor informs us that the engine, carburettor and cooling system were rebuilt. The fuel tank was chemically cleaned, relined in zinc and a new fuel pump was fitted. We are informed that the radiator blinds are supplied with the car, although are not currently installed.
It is currently equipped with 123 electronic ignition although the original distributor has been phased and is supplied with the car. The Lancia runs very well, settling down to a steady, burbling idle.
The aforementioned powerplant is coupled to a rear-mounted transaxle incorporating the clutch, transmission, differential and inboard drum brakes. The 4th Series cars also make use of de Dion tube rear suspension with semi-elliptical leaf springs.
During the restoration, we understand that the brake cylinders were relined with stainless steel and new bevelled bearings were fitted to the rear hubs. The gearbox was rebuilt, receiving new bearings and seals, which were also renewed in the differential.
We are informed that the B20 drives really very well indeed, with no untoward noises, leaks or smoke the next owner ought to be aware of. Having covered so few miles since restoration, all that’s left mechanically is for this car to be used and enjoyed out on the road.
It is not often that the opportunity to acquire such an exquisite motorcar arises.
The Lancia B20GT represents a milestone in the development of the automobile and this restored Aurelia is surely among the healthiest examples on the road today.
Please see our FAQs
and our Terms & Conditions