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Lancia Aurelia: Buying guide and review (1950-1958)

Lancia Aurelia: Buying guide and review (1950-1958) Classic and Performance Car
Lancia Aurelia Lancia Aurelia Lancia Aurelia
The Lancia badge may have become rather neglected over the past couple of decades, but take a look at some of the magnificent cars the it once graced, and you’ll remember why enthusiasts hark on about this Italian legend. Lancia’s Aurelia, launched in 1950, was such a car. Not only was it beautifully designed, but it also featured a number of production world firsts, in the form of its V6 engine and semi-trailing arm rear suspension. 
Radial tyres and a unitary body construction both contributed to the cars well balanced handling and a number of well-known motor racers of the time owned Aurelias. Running gear improvements and updates kept the Aurelia up-to-date with contemporaries, and the introduction of coupe and convertible body styles raised the Aurelia’s desirability to new heights.
There used to be a time when you could pick up an Aurelia for a song, it will now take a full album to get your hands on a good one, and values are showing no signs of dipping. With a number of variants and body styles to choose from, the Aurelia’s design integrity makes it a desirable classic car today.
Which one to buy?
Sedans, coupes, convertibles, spiders and a handful of special coachbuilt variants were created during the eight-year production run. Each year saw some changes being made to the running gear of the Aurelia, with the original 1.8 and 2.0 engine sizes increased to 2.5 litres by 1953. Suspension systems were extremely advanced for the time, however post-1954 models reverted to a more conventional De-Dion rear suspension setup, making for more predictable handling. 
The very rare B24 Spider with only 150 made is a beautiful car however both pricing and availability mean that you may need to look to the slightly more numerous convertible versions to increase your chances of ownership if you are set on an open top Aurelia.
All versions are great GT cars with the later models offering some added refinement and power. The sedan and coupe body styles are by far the most numerous, and can generally be found for sale through specialists. Spiders and convertibles are far rarer and can command some eye watering prices. Most cars would have undergone at least one full restoration by now, and it’s important to get comprehensive service and maintenance documentation to ensure the cars condition and history can be verified.
Performance and specs

Lancia Aurelia B20 GT
Engine 1991cc 12-valve SOHC V6 
Power 87bhp @ 4500rpm 
Torque 118lb ft @ 2500rpm
Top speed 105 mph 
0-60mph 12.0seconds 
Fuel consumption 24.6mpg 
Gearbox Four-speed manual
Dimensions and weight
Wheelbase 2650mm
Length 4369mm
Width 1550mm
Height 1359mm
Curb weight 1133kg
Common problems
• Service items and mechanical parts are available while trim for both the interior and exterior is much harder to come by.

• Rust is a real concern, especially on cars that have not been subject to a rebuild. The most common areas for the tin worm to manifest itself are the, footwells, inner and outer wheel arches, bulkhead, door sills, rear suspension turrets, rear wings and the bootlid edge.

• The V6 engines were cutting edge for their time however they can be prone to overheating and head gasket damage. The wet-liner design cylinder bores can sink over time requiring a rebuild, check that any such work has been done by a specialist, as using the incorrect parts for the model year can cause problems.

• The front suspension has a reservoir for its sliding pillar system, which must be kept topped-up regularly. Most cars that have not been refurbished will need a suspension rebuild, and this is a specialist job.

• Some cars will have had modifications carried out to improve everyday usability, including the fitment of electric fuel pumps to cure vapour lock and improve cold starting. For hot starting issues, fuel return lines similar to the Fulvia’s much-improved setup have been installed.

• Gearboxes were subtly revised throughout the first four series, with the final iterations being the most robust. Some of the later cars have had their hydraulic clutches reverted back to a manual setup to improve reliability.
Model history
1950: Lancia Aurelia B10 First Series launched, initially available with 56bhp 1.8-litre V6 in sedan form
1951: Aurelia B21 launched with 70bhp 2.0-litre V6. Aurelia B20 Coupe introduced with uprated 75bhp 2.0-litre engine
1952: Second Series Aurelia launched. Coupe uprated to 80bhp, while B22 Sedan received dual Webers and 90bhp. Changes included improved brakes and minor styling changes
1953: Third Series Aurelia introduced, with engine capacity increased to 2.5-litres and modified rear styling
1954: Fourth Series Aurelia introduced: De Dion tube rear suspension replaces semi-trailing setup, and engine bearing design upgraded. B24 Spider body style introduced
1955: B24 Spider production ends with 240 cars built
1956: Fifth Series Aurelia launched. Transaxle and driveshaft received upgrades. B24 convertible introduced with similar running gear to Coupes
1957: Sixth Series of the Aurelia introduced. Engine tweaking resulted in lower power but increased torque outputs. Minor external changes with vent windows and chrome detailing. Fuel tank was relocated to boot from its original position behind seats. Seats updated
1958: Aurelia production ends with approximately 18,200 cars built
Owners clubs, forums and websites
Summary and prices
Values vary wildly between the early B10 Aurelia sedans, which in good condition can be found for around £20,000, to the very rare B24 spiders, which have seen close to £1m at auction.
In between these extremes, the desirable B20 GT coupes can be had for £100,000 and up, while the slightly more numerous convertibles can command up to £350,000.
With similar running gear to the spiders and priced high enough to ensure that they have been well maintained, the later model coupes seem like conspicuously good value. Whichever version you go for, there are a fair number of Aurelias to choose from, and as long as you avoid the suspiciously cheap and badly rusted examples, they can transport you back to a time when the Lancia name was synonymous with style and grace.
Words: John Tallodi
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Last updated: 9th Feb 2016
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Lancia Aurelia cars for sale

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Lancia Aurelia
52950 229500 GBP
  • Lancia Aurelia B24 S 1957 blue


    SOLD, thank you!

    For sale
    +31 0252 218 980 VIEW CONTACT NUMBER
  • 1955 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT Series IV

    $185,000(£147,241.50) $185,000(£147,241.50)

    This car is currently not at Fantasy Junction but is available by appointment. 1955 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT, Series IV s/n 3618, engine no. 4372 Maroon with Tan wool interior Always known for their advanced and sophisticated engineering, Lancia’s B20 GT was the company’s greatest car. The car combined both prodigious performance and handling with a sublime, classic form while adding, and defining, the name Gran Turismo to the world lexicon. Shortly after its introduction a B20 GT finished second overall in the 1951 Millie Miglia, minutes behind the winning Ferrari 340 America. In the face of severe storms, the excellence of its chassis and smooth power delivery allowed the B20 to close in on the leading Ferrari only to lose ground on the final high speed run back into Brescia. Even the original B10 sedan was noted for its performance and quickly began to be entered in rallies and other events. With its lighter weight, cleaner shape and sense of chic the B20 replaced the sedan as a sporting vehicle and became the favorite mount of many a moneyed sportsman. The Aurelia design hosted a number of special features from its hemispherical head and aluminum construction V-6 engine to its tra

    • Year: 1955
    • Mileage: 93942 mi
    For sale
  • 1955 Lancia B20GT Aurelia Series IV

    $229,500(£182,659.05) $229,500(£182,659.05)

    1955 Lancia B20GT Aurelia s/n B20-3419, MOT20*4127* Powder Blue with Grey Cloth Interior Since their first offerings to the automotive public, Lancia has consistently designed and engineered some of the most technically advanced and beautiful racing and touring cars. This is certainly the case with this particularly remarkable Lancia B20 GT Aurelia - truly a Gran Tourismo car in every respect, boasting impeccable provenance, superb restoration, and highly respected ownership. The Aurelia design hosted a number of special features including a hemispherical head, aluminum V-6 engine with rear transaxle, offering excellent weight distribution and vastly improved handling. With the all-new unibody construction, the compact V-6 engine combined with the dynamic chassis, suspension and power resulted in a truly modern car. The Lancia B20 was an innovation in GT cars, literally inventing the term with this car as the very embodiment of Gran Tourismo. B20s evolved with multiple improvements in drive train and suspension until the recognized peak of refinement was achieved with this car. The Series IV is perhaps the best of the B-20's six series, combining excellent power to weight ratio via

    • Year: 1955
    • Mileage: 61390 mi
    For sale
  • Lancia Aurelia B20 GT 2nd Series Rosso Amaranto 1952


    The Lancia Aurelia is one of the famous designs Lancia produced, it was made from 1950 until 1958. It is noted for using the first ever production V6 engine. The Aurelia was offered in different styles, a 4-door saloon, 2-door coupé, 2-door spider and a 2-door convertible. Following the Lancia tradition, the car was named after a Roman road, Via Aurelia, leading from Rome to Pisa. The Aurelia was designed under the direction of engineer Vittorio Jano. The engine, the first production V6, with a 60° design, was developed by Francesco de Virgilio. He was a Lancia engineer, who worked under Jano, between 1943 and 1948. The engine was an all-alloy pushrod design with a single camshaft between the cylinder banks. A single Solex or Weber carburettor completed the engine. Some uprated 1991 cc models were fitted with twin carburettors. At the rear featured an innovative combination transaxle with the gearbox, clutch, differential, and inboard-mounted drum brakes. The front suspension was a sliding pillar design, with rear semi-trailing arms replaced by a de Dion tube in the Fourth series. The Aurelia was also first car to be fitted with radial tires as standard equipment. Initially 165SR40

    For sale
  • Lancia Aurelia B21 Sedan 1952

    €52,950(£45,791.16) €52,950(£45,791.16)

    Lancia Aurelia B 21 Sedan 1952, restored A really beautifully restored Lancia Aurelia B21, delivered in 1952. The car has marvelous paint and chromeparts. Very special is the wide boarding space thanks to the ‘suicide doors’. The car has a complete new grey cloth interior with black piping. The varnished dashboard is provided with the original steering wheel, 3 clocks and the original radio. This Lancia has the original 1991CC, V6 engine and gearshift at the steering wheel. The car is easy to handle. So a perfect driving, completely restored, rare Lancia. Car has German title and document importduties for every EU country are paid by us. Documentation is complete for registration in every EU country. You do not need to pay any importduties. We can help with transport. Trading in, buying and consignment possible.

    • Year: 1952
    For sale
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