2023 |Estate of Mark Smith Auction
1958 Lancia Aurelia B20S GT Series VI
Coachwork by Pinin Farina
$100,000 - $150,000| Without Reserve
The Penultimate Left-Hand-Drive B20 GT Built
Equipped with Nardi Kit and Period Custom Features
A Fascinating Example of a Connoisseur’s Gran Turismo
2,451 CC OHV Alloy V-6 Engine
Twin Weber Carburetors
118 BHP at 5,300 RPM
4-Speed Manual Transaxle
4-Wheel Hydraulic Drum Brakes, Inboard Rear
Front Independent Sliding-Pillar Suspension
Rear De Dion Axle with Semi-Elliptical Leaf Springs and Panhard Rod
Arguably the most technically advanced automobile of its generation, the Lancia Aurelia has appealed to connoisseurs since it debuted in 1950.
Developed under Vittorio Jano and Francesco de Virgilio, the Aurelia was an engineering tour de force which featured Lancia’s famous sliding-pillar independent front suspension, independent spring rear suspension, and a rear-mounted four-speed transaxle with integrated inboard rear brakes. Equipped with the world’s first production V-6 engine, the Aurelia was capable of 100 mph performance, while standard radial tires, another production car first, contributed to exceptional road holding and passenger comfort.
Initially offered as a factory-bodied four-door Berlina, Lancia introduced the world to the Gran Turismo concept in 1951, when it unveiled the B20 GT. An understated 2+2 coupe, with styling courtesy of Felice Mario Boano, the B20 GT shared the Aurelia’s state-of-the-art mechanical underpinnings and immediately proved successful in motor sports. In 1951 alone, Lancia’s B20 GT captured class wins at the Giro di Sicilia, Stella Alpina, 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the Mille Miglia, where Giovanni Bracco and Umberto Maglioli famously drove their near-standard Aurelia to 2nd place overall, defeated only by Scuderia Ferrari’s 4.1-liter 340 America. The B20 GT’s exceptional performance, high-quality construction, and clean, unadorned design attracted a discerning clientele, including many of the era’s top racing drivers; Briggs Cunningham, Bill Spear, Richie Ginther, Juan Manuel Fangio, and Mike Hawthorn were all B20 GT owners.
The example presented here, chassis B20S-1859, is the penultimate left-hand-drive B20 GT built by Lancia, and one of only 621 examples from the final sixth series. Like all sixth series B20 GTs, this car features a 2.5-liter V-6 engine, De Dion-type rear suspension, and Pinin Farina coachwork.
Completed in October 1958, this B20 GT was sold new that December to a Mexican corporation named Everest S.A. Originally finished in gray with matching gray upholstery, and equipped with a Blaupunkt stereo and electric aerial, the Lancia’s first recorded owner was Guillermo Gallegos Vargas of Lomas, Mexico, who retained the car until at least 1965. During his ownership, the original engine was replaced, reportedly by Lancia agent MotorItalia, with the unit currently fitted.
Around 1979, Dr. Vincent Whitehead of Houston, Texas acquired the Lancia and imported it from Mexico. Photos taken around the time of his purchase show the car had already been customized with its unusual stacked quad headlights, non-standard taillights, bumper over-riders, lowered roofline, and bucket seats. Although the modified Pinin Farina coachwork has been fitted with Carrozzeria Touring badges, the period customization work was not performed by the Milanese coachbuilder.
Acquired by a New York-based collector in partially restored condition during the late 1990s, the Aurelia restoration was completed and finished in its present color scheme of dark blue with beige leather upholstery. Equipped with a desirable Nardi twin-carburetor kit, floor shift, and wood-rimmed steering wheel, this unique B20 GT has been a part of Mark Smith’s collection since 2010.
An ideal event car or something for the Lancia enthusiast seeking an Aurelia that is a bit out of the ordinary, this customized, late-production B20 GT is a fascinating example worthy of a closer look.
*Please note that this Lot, like all vehicles in this Auction, has been in long-term static storage and may not be currently operational. It will require mechanical attention prior to any road use.
Gooding & Company presents and conducts the Estate of Mark Smith Auction under the authority of John J. Rendemonti, Executor of the Estate of Mark J. Smith, duly appointed by the Circuit Court of the State of New Hampshire, Probate Division, Case Number 312-2022-ET-00072. The Estate has compiled available title and/or registration paperwork for the Vehicles offered in the Auction and will provide such paperwork to the Buyer if it is available. However, as set forth more fully in the Conditions of Sale, neither the Estate nor Gooding makes any representation or warranty with respect to any existing certificate of title or registration with regard to any Lot in the Auction. Any Lot may be sold on a Bill of Sale. By participating in this Auction, all bidders and buyers recognize that Estate and Gooding have expressly disclaimed all such warranties concerning the availability or sufficiency of any title or registration documentation.